This equipment is used to move materials and goods from and in warehouses and factories. The equipment includes all devices and machinery that are included in this process. This could also extend to equipment that is used to move materials and goods from warehouses and factories to the final consumer. This equipment is extremely important for an industry or manufacture to succeed and impacts everything from profit margins to productivity. Material handling equipment is broken down into different categories based on what role each of them plays in the manufacturing process-
- Transportation material handling equipment- this kind of equipment is used to transport goods and materials between locations such as a storage area and a loading dock and involve the use of internal as well as external machinery.
Internal machinery- examples of this type of machinery are conveyor belts, forklift trucks, and hoists that move materials within one particular area. For instance, from an assembly line to a storage room or between production areas
External machinery- this could be shipping containers or commercial trucks that move materials to retail stores and outlets from warehouses
- Position material handling equipment- this type of material handling equipment is used for the main purpose of repositioning certain products and materials like feeders and automated products. This allows for precision orienting of parts to fit into assembly line equipment. Examples of such machinery are transfer and tilt tables that lower or lift goods that are already assembled, or pallets of goods. This may also include hoists or lifts that are used to elevate materials and store them on a warehouse shelf.
- Storage and retrieval material handling equipment- this type of equipment includes everything to do with shelving and racking to store the gods after the production process. This includes certain warehouse racking and shelving systems for larger goods and cabinets and bins for smaller ones. To store liquids, the equipment used could be drums or silos. If the product or material is being stored on the floor or on pallets, then there is no necessity to use any equipment for storage purposes.
- Load formation material handling equipment- this type of equipment includes all things related to the packing of materials in order toget the goods ready to ship including- skids and pallets that are used to stack products, crates and boxes to hold the,, shirk wrapping machines that tightly wrap plastic around a pallet of goods, as well as bulk handling containers for products like oil, grain, and liquids.
- Identification and control material handling equipment- this includes systems that track products as they undergo manufacturing and distribution. This could be through inventory control software programs, bar codes or tags that identify packaging, or portable magnetic stripes or bar code readers.
All these types of material handling equipment are vital for the smooth functioning of a factory or manufacturing plant. It is probable that one, two, or even all these types of material handling equipment are used during the processing of one product.