What are the types of material handling equipment?
Storage and handling equipment
In the Philippines, forklifts are the premier choice for many material handling work. It is the most versatile industrial truck known to man. However, they’re not the only material handling equipment used in most industries. There are smaller and larger machines– each having the same function, and that is to lift, carry, and transport goods from one place to another.
When it comes to material handling tasks, however, it’s not all about the manual labor. There are more layers and facets to efficiently and effectively working with cargo. Everything from handling the equipment, storing them, and everything in between is part of the process.
Keep in mind that the concept of material handling is not as easy as it sounds. The manual labor needed, the systems required in keeping things smooth and simple, as well as the on-site machines used for transportation, are all included in this list.
With that being said, there are four primary types of equipment used for handling different kinds of materials. They can be classified under storage and handling equipment, engineered systems, and industrial trucks.
For more information about these different pieces of equipment, continue reading this article:
Storage and Handling Equipment
Used to hold materials while they stand idle, these items are as very self-explanatory. They range from containers, stacking racks, shelves, pallets, and cages among others.
Basically, anything that is used to store and organize materials can be considered storage and handling equipment. Keep in mind, however, that you have to be careful about the storage unit that you use for particular materials.
Different materials have different compositions. Some of them can only be stored in containers and places that match their needs. A good example is ice. Ice is basically frozen water. So it has to be stored in containers or facilities that go below the freezing point. Any lower than that and the ice will melt, rendering the storage useless.
These are typically composed of automated units and machines that work together to enable an efficient process of storage and transportation for large volumes of materials around a production area.
These systems are mostly created specifically for the work in a certain factory. They are also composed of multiple smaller systems that work in accordance with each other. Conveyor systems outfitted with mechanical arms and other automated segments are popular among manufacturing factories and in a number of industrial areas.
Engineered systems and machines have very specific jobs. They’re designed to solve a distinct problem or issue in a company’s processes. The most common task that these systems are built for is the movement and sometimes assembly of relative large materials.
These relatively small but versatile vehicles are arguably the most efficient machines for any material handling work. They are used to move large materials or containers of smaller goods around the manufacturing floor. They are also designed to efficiently unload or load cargo onto delivery trucks. In the Philippines, forklifts manufactured by Clark, the original forklift provider, are found in a number of big industries. It just goes to show how iconic forklifts are among all of the other industrial trucks.
With that being said, forklifts aren’t the only industrial trucks used by businesses. There are a number of smaller and bigger alternatives to them. Listed below are a few:
Hand Trucks – More commonly known as a Hand Pallet Truck or Jack Pallet. They are L shaped box-moving carts with handles at one end, wheels at the base, and a ledge to put materials on.
Walkie-Stackers – A pedestrian walk-behind stacker with a mast for when you need to lift pallets to greater heights.
When it comes to material handling, there is far more to understand than just simply lifting and transporting. To ensure that a warehouse, logistic center, or any place that requires the constant handling of cargo is as efficient as possible, the correct material handling equipment should be used to do specific jobs. Bear this in mind when working at your warehouse.
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