Material handling plays a vital role in manufacturing projects and logistics. It represents 20 percent of America’s economy. Just about all physical merchant products are shipped through Tugger carts and trains. Understanding how the material handling process works can help you deliver successful projects.
Importance of Material Handling
Material handling involves short distance movements within an area or building. The process includes different equipment like automated, semi-automated, and manual machines. It also consists in storing and protecting materials through manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal process.
Basics of Material Handling Methods
For businesses, material handling is helpful in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and retail stores. For production workers, it’s a convenient way to manage material movement. The operators of such equipment utilize it to move items from the building to another industrial setting. Material handling system designs include an integral structure so that material movement can efficiently be managed between production stages.
For instance, if two different activities are connected, transporting materials can quickly be done. However, separated activities may sometimes require costly transport trucks. It’s expensive to use industrial trucks due to labor costs and the overheads in production systems. Fusing in several units together in a single transfer also has adverse effects on the performance of production equipment.
Therefore, it’s sometimes more expensive to do the single transfer with more units to reduce moving trips than to go with the average number for every transfer batch.
Different Types of Material Handling
The following are the primary material handling types that business owners and operators should know about:
- Manual. Manual handling means workers move materials and individual containers using their own hands. It involves lifting, lowering, filling, carrying, and emptying containers when running them. However, manual handling can be dangerous because of the potential physical injuries that workers may acquire while at work. Generally, workers may experience sprains in their shoulders, upper limbs, and lower back. Good thing there are ergonomic developments to ensure risk-free manual handling operations.
- Automated. This type of material handling involves equipment that is designed to reduce and replace manual movement of containers. Today, semi-automated and automated material handling equipment is used to assist human operators in unloading, loading, and driving materials to another area. To overcome challenges and high costs of transporting materials, automated machines are essential. The ongoing developments in equipment programming, robotics, and sensing have been useful in completely automating the movement of materials.
Implementing Successful Handling of Materials
Knowing where to start and how to conduct and employ successful material handling processes is vital to any business. With the complexities in moving materials, it’s crucial to understand the best strategies to deliver material handling projects. Automated handling may be expensive and risky. But overall, it’s an ultimate money-saver when it comes to transporting materials needed in building sites. Physical evaluation helps in assessing equipment to determine the best advantage.
You can consider the programs, drawings, service records, spare parts, and specifications to ensure the efficiency of the equipment.
Some of the intralogistics projects modifying the industry today include workstation improvements, new product launches, new plant buildings, forklift traffic reduction, and part kitting implementation.
Over time, material handling will become even more significant for many businesses and organizations around the globe.