A Guide to Different Types of Material Handling Solutions

Material handling solutions are industrial devices used to store, move, protect, handle or dispose goods and materials. Along with improving and boosting the performance of workers, they also greatly reduce unfortunate accidents in the warehouse.

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Material handling solutions surround a wide range of machines, appliances, tools, vehicles, storage units and accessories involved throughout various stages of manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal, classified into the following categories:

Storage products

Storage systems are usually hand-operated solutions having simple mechanisms and used for storing, holding or buffering products for a long period of time. Storage machinery offer materials storage facility during “downtimes”, or when they are not being transported. Storage products are also highly useful for keeping surpluses to meet shortage or sudden demand elsewhere. The majority of storage machinery includes shelves, racks, frames and bins.

Transport products

Transport solutions simply refer to the machines that transfer materials from one workplace to another, one end of the facility to the other or even between a docking platform and a storage area. Transport solutions are divided into three sub-categories- cranes, industrial trucks and conveyors.

Unit load formation products

These machines can hold and restrict materials so that no movement occurs during transportation or storage. Unit load formation machinery helps maintain the uprightness of the materials and offers more than one item of the same material to be held by a single unit load. Skids, bags, cartons, pallets, crates, baskets, racks, bins and slip sheets are some common unit load formation solutions.

Positioning machinery

Positioning solutions come in handy for handling materials at a single location, feeding, loading/unloading, or manipulating materials to maintain correct position for subsequent handling, machining, storage or transport. Hoists, manipulators, balancers, turn tables, lift tables, tilt tables and industrial robots are all examples positioning solutions.

Identification and Control solutions

Units like radio frequency tags, bar codes and magnetic strips can be classified as identification and control machinery. They help to keep track of materials, especially in large manufacturing, storage and disposal facilities.

The initial purchase cost of material handling products may be high, but they can prove to be fruitful and valuable investments in future.

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