3 Major Types of Material Handling Equipment
It is very hard for people to move around heavy materials in warehouses without the help of material moving equipment. Additionally, it is important to use the correct material handling equipment in order to carry out the work effectively. This equipment can include a number of things such as storage units and transport vehicles along with moving tools. Each of these will have their own function when it comes to moving the material in and out of the warehouse. Listed below are the three main types of material handling equipment-
- Storage equipment- when it comes to storing large amounts of material, it is important to do so in a manner that is space effective. It is for this reason that the storage equipment usually used is racks, shelves, and pallets or mezzanines. These parts of storage equipment are employed to keep goods and materials in temporary storage until it has to be moved to its next destination. In most cases, bigger warehouses store goods and materials in such a manner that maximum use is made of the limited amount of space available. Storage equipment is necessary as it can be altered to match the dimensions of the materials that need to be stored.
- Engineered systems- engineered systems refer to automated material moving equipment that can be used to move heavy loads from one place on the warehouse floor to another. An example of a popular engineered system is the fully automatic storage and retrieval system. This system as two main parts- a shuttle system and an automated structure. The automated structure is comprised of shelves, aisles and racks and the shuttle system resembles a claw that is used to pick cherries. This entire system could be further connected to an automated system that follows orders or by an actual person who manually operates it. This engineered system is extremely time efficient and helps to locate and retrieve specific items from other items. This is especially useful in large warehouses. Other material handling equipment that is similar to this are automatic guided vehicles, robot delivery systems, and conveyor systems.
- Industrial trucks- similar to engineered systems, industrial trucks are also used to transport heavy material and products around the warehouse. Although the term industrial truck brings to mind an image of a ruck, the actual equipment varies from this. Industrial truck equipment could refer to different types of forklifts, pallet-jacks, as well as types of hand operated trucks. These trucks again vary according to size and for what purpose they are being used. For lifting items on a flat surface, a forklift placed in a forklift truck could be used. Another way in which these trucks differ from each other is the way in which they are operated. You can find trucks that have to be manually operated or trucks that can be set to operate on their own automatically. Trucks also have other fittings in them that enable them to be used for different purposes. For instance, non-stack truck units can only be used for transporting materials from one place to another whereas stack design truck units can also help with loading and unloading these materials after transportation.