Equipment You Can Find In The Materials Handling Industry

The equipment used in material handling covers a wide range of accessories, appliances, storage units, vehicles, and tools. These are all involved in protecting, enumerating, controlling, storing, and transporting products at any stage of disposal, consumption, distribution, or manufacturing. Clearly, this equipment takes a beating daily and the better it is protected, the longer it will last.

4 Main Categories Of Material Handling Equipment

All material handling equipment falls into four main categories. They are bulk material handling, industrial trucks, engineered systems, and storage. A brief discussion of each goes as follows:

Bulk Material Handling Equipment

The control, transportation, and storing of materials which are in loose form is referred to as bulk material handling. Among others, these materials can include minerals, liquid, or food. These pieces of equipment generally deal with the materials in the following ways:

  • In packaged form via the use of hoppers and drums
  • In loose form such as elevators or conveyor belts which are basically designed to move materials in large quantities

Equipment can include but is not limited to silos, hoppers, grain elevators, bucket elevators, reclaimers, stackers, and conveyor belts.

Industrial Trucks

The various types of vehicles and transportation items used to move products and materials in material handling are referred to as industrial trucks. Various types of forklifts, pallet-jacks, small hand-operated trucks, and more are all included in these transportation devices. In order for these trucks to be suitable for different operations, they have a variety of characteristics such as:

  • For loading – some trucks need a separate piece of equipment with which to do the loading
  • For lifting – some trucks require a flat surface with which to lift

There are power lift trucks and manual trucks. Their operation can be classified as either ride or walk, which requires the operator to either ride along on the truck or manually push it. While not used for stacking, a non-stack truck can be used for transportation, but if stacking is required a stack truck will be utilized. Industrial trucks are many and can include the following:

  • Various kinds of automatic guided vehicles (AGV)
  • Sideloaders
  • Order pickers
  • Platform trucks
  • Walkie stackers
  • Pallet trucks
  • Pallet jacks
  • Hand trucks

Engineered Systems

To enable transportation and storage a variety of units must work cohesively. These are frequently automated and are referred to as engineered systems. One example of this is an AS/RS, or automated storage and retrieval system. This is a sizable automated organizational structure which involves shelves, aisles, and racks which are accessible by a system of retrieval referred to as a shuttle system. Items are either quickly retrieved for other uses by a fully automated shuttle system which functions quickly, locating the storage item on its own; or a manual shuttle system which requires a worker who picks orders via a mechanized cherry picker. Engineered systems can also include the following:

  • AGV or automatic guided vehicles
  • Robotic delivery systems
  • Conveyor systems

Handling And Storage Equipment

Storage equipment which can be grouped with engineered systems is frequently limited to non-automated examples. When the items are not being transported (or during downtimes) materials are buffered (or held) using storage equipment. In order to build up stock, sometimes long-term storage is required. At other times, during long-term transportation, there is a temporary pause which could also be referred to as a downtime requiring storage equipment. Most storage equipment can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Racks
  • Shelves
  • Pallets

These are used while materials are awaiting consumption or transportation and items are stacked on  them in an organized manner. Many companies are researching the possibility of increasing the efficiency of their storage equipment by new proprietary package designs which call for products and materials of a certain classification to, while being stored in inventory, actually conserve space. Some examples of handling and storage equipment are as follows:

  • Mezzanines
  • Drawers, bins, and shelves
  • Stacking frames
  • Sliding racks, push-back racks, drive-in racks, drive-through racks, pallet racks, and other types of racks

If you want to protect your company’s materials handling equipment, talk to us at A&A Coatings. We will be happy to discuss the most appropriate form of surface protection for your needs.

Related Posts
Request A Quote

Please complete this form and you will be contacted within the same business day.

  • Max. file size: 64 MB.