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5 Material Handling and Conveyor Solutions Ideas

by Olufisayo
Antrix Corporate Solutions Ltd
Conveyor Solutions Ideas

From engineering to production, shipping, and logistics, material handling plays a key role in industrial manufacturing processes. Technological advancement and globalization have given rise to online transactions fueling the demand for well-organized, cost-effective global supply chains and conveyor systems.

Being the fastest growing industry globally, the material handling industry has seen a decline in operations according to research done by IBIS World. The industry is experiencing a 12.8% decline due to the harsh economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, a significant decline in industrial activity and the construction sector is expected to cause a decline in demand for industry merchandise. However, there registered an increase in demand from warehouse facilities for shipping and storage of online goods, owing to a rapid increase in e-commerce trading as a result of COVID-19 effects.

Material handling equipment and machinery that includes conveying machinery, hoists, cranes, forklifts, sheaves, pulleys, engineering trucks, and tractors dissemination are handled by the material handling and equipment distributors industry.

The main market for material handling equipment include manufacturers, building contractors, transporters, government institutions, warehouses, and wholesalers.

You can benefit immensely by choosing appropriate material handling and conveyor equipment. Below are factors you can consider as you make your final selection.

1. Flexibility and Adaptability

As you contemplate your options, ensure that the one you select is adaptable to more than one process and should handle more than one variety of material.

2. Load capacity

Make sure that the machine can adequately handle the load capacity to prevent damage and loss. Also, the equipment should have sufficient energy and speed to move the preferred load without causing any risk of product damage or mishaps.

3. Type of load

The choice of a machine is largely dependent on size, shape weight, brittleness, and type of load. For instance, chain slings are appropriate for moving enormous automobile machine parts and not appropriate for wire rope slings.

4. Site layout

Thoroughly inspect your workstation before investing in any type of machinery. Space is a key factor to consider in choosing material handling equipment.

5. Cost

When it comes to cost, make sure you consider all aspects that include buying price, operating and maintenance expenses, skilled labor costs, and durability. Compare different options available in the market before making a final choice.

Manual or automated material handling equipment is majorly found in manufacturing firms or industries and allows the movement of goods from one place to another. While many industrial firms continue to use manual material handling equipment, the use of automation is on the rise.

There is a need to use advanced lifting devices to improve efficiency while keeping overheads low. Below are some common material handling and conveyor ideas you should consider.

1. Capacity

Getting an appropriate industrial lifting system increases your capacity to utilize space, improve warehouse and storage arrangement.

2. Cost

The main objective of any material handling system is to minimize the cost of moving the load by,

  • Minimizing labor in inspection, packaging, shipping, and storage
  • Minimize waste especially in packaging
  • Lessening possibilities of damage to the load while in transit

3. Waste reduction

A proper analysis of the production processes that include packaging material, load dimensions, operation stages, and timing can greatly help minimize time spent on production, space, and labor.

4. Improve capacity

With rising product demands, there has been an improvement in material handling facilities easing challenges of moving large loads that include engineering hardware, construction merchandise, and machine parts.

For instance, you can utilize unused space and improve layout in the production department by minimizing load movement, increasing overall capacity, and proper utilization of labor.

5. Improve safety

Incorporating manual lifting and handling material is riskier leading to fatal injuries, product damages and costly lost time. Nonetheless, an optimized material handling system can greatly minimize the risk of accidents.

6. Efficiency

An efficient material handling system should increase the general efficiency of the entire production process. By using automated industrial lifting and rigging equipment minimizes time spent loading, off-loading, transporting, and producing the final finished product.

Additionally, an improvement in material supply ensures proper utilization of labor and equipment which ensures minimal labor cost.

7. Better customer service

Proper utilization of material handling systems can lead to an increase in efficiency, better time utilization, lower production costs, and dependable and timely product supply.

8. Better working conditions

Handling heavy loads manually is not only time-consuming, hazardous, and tiresome but also requires an energetic workforce that is willing to endure the hard manual labor. Unfortunately, harsh working conditions result in a decrease in employee morale, greater employee turnover, and a higher need for training new staff.

By automating material handling systems it is easier to handle products of any size, shape, or volume. Additionally, there is an improvement in employee morale, reduction in labor, and increase in productivity.

With complex and challenging industrial lifting processes, you must select the most appropriate method failure which may lead to tragic injuries or damaged merchandise.

Having a comprehensive knowledge of industrial rigging machinery is crucial and mandatory.

Types of material handling equipment

Below are categories of material handling equipment.

  • Tools such as forklifts, fork truck, fork hoist
  • Vehicles such as trucks
  • Accessories – wire rope slings, chain slings, or polyester slings
  • Heavy machines – overhead cranes, lifting hoists

a) Storage and handling equipment

Storage handling equipment is crucial for storage purposes. The use of proper storage is beneficial in space utilization and helps in streamlining the supply process. Common storage equipment includes racks, bins, drawers, interlocking units, and shelves.

b) Transport equipment

Transport equipment is crucial in moving loads and can include industrial trucks, conveyor belts, cranes, lifts, and elevators

c) Automated equipment

Automated guided vehicles are programmed robots that operate without human assistance. They transport loads quickly and safely. Also, there are large automated systems with shelves and racks with movable aisle systems.

Additionally, conveyor systems that have more than one network that can continuously transport large amounts of loads.

d) Bulk material handling lifting equipment

With this equipment, handling and transporting bulk material is done efficiently with minimal labor.

There is a high demand for material handling equipment in industries where they assist in specific functions.

1) Manufacturing industry

Steel industries use material handling equipment during production for moving, cutting, rolling, and packing steel products.

2) Automobile industry

Material handling equipment is used majorly in the assembling process of vehicle manufacture.

3) Shipping industry

It aids movement using overhead bridge cranes or heavy-duty conveyors in loading and offloading processes.

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