One of the most significant investments when starting a warehouse management business is the machines used to move and transport the material and products with ease. It means all warehouses need many materials handling equipment to do the job.
These types of tools have different functions. All of these functions belong in one of four major categories. All these categories include a wide range of helpful tools that could make your job at the warehouse even more productive.
Here are the different categories of materials handling equipment and their functions.
Storage And Handling Tools
As the name suggests, the function of all storage and handling equipment is for holding different types of materials while transporting from the supplier or manufacturer until they reach their last stop. If you have the right kind of storage materials handling equipment, you can double up your output on the production floor. It will also help you maximize the storage space in your warehouse since you can pile up the products in a more systematic manner as part of your systematic warehouse management.
Some of the types of storage tools and product handling equipment that you can own include racks like the pallet racks, sliding racks, push-back racks, and drive-through or drive-in racks. You can also invest in stacking frames, drawers and bins, and shelves. You may also spend on mezzanines. These are rising floor systems, which you can install in the middle of the ceiling and the production floor to allow you to have extra storage space that you can dismantle or move as needed.
These are the kinds of materials handling equipment that you can use to store and transport large items or bulk of materials all over the warehouse floor in a more efficient manner. One of the most common examples is the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) that uses shelves and aisles that you can access using a mechanical shuttle system to retrieve items faster.
The conveyor system also belongs to this category, since it can haul heavy items to any areas in the production floor using a flexible chain, live rollers, or belts. Other types of engineered systems include automatic guided vehicles and robotic delivery systems.
Bulk Materials Handling Equipment
Any tools that can deal with handling large bulks of products belong in this category. Warehouse workers use these tools in controlling and transporting the items from one portion of the production floor to the next. If transporting loose materials, workers can use hoppers or drums alongside these tools for more efficiency.
Some of the examples of bulk materials handling equipment include conveyor belts, reclaimers, stackers, bucket elevators, silos, and grain elevators.
Warehouses can benefit from using industrial trucks, so workers no longer need to carry around large items or large batches of items all over the production floor. You can also use these machines to carry or drop heavy objects into the delivery vehicles faster. It is more convenient to use these tools instead of using a conveyor belt if you will only load a single massive item.
Examples of this type of tools include the hand trucks or box carts, a kind of forklift called pallet jack, industrial forklifts called pallet trucks, the pedestrian stacker known as the walkie stackers, platform trucks, side loaders, order pickers, and the automatic guided vehicles.
These are the four major categories of materials handling equipment that makes life on the production floor more efficient. With the help of these tools, warehouse workers will be able to take care of all the items inside the floor without exerting too much effort. All of these will reduce the need for manual labour and shorten the time needed to take one item to the other portion of the floor.