The term ‘material handling’ in warehouse environments refers to the transport of goods with a wide range of vehicles, tools, and storage devices. A warehouse is typically used to store products before transporting them to their final destination. The more easily products can be moved, the more efficient your warehouse can be.
To maximise efficiency, you must have the necessary tools for the work; this will make your employees’ lives simpler and reduce the backbreaking strain they would otherwise be subjected to with insufficient equipment.
As such, investing in top-notch material handling supplies is of the essence. You’ve got the chance to pick from industrial transport and bulk material handling equipment. I’ll highlight each item’s main functionality, so you can determine whether you want to add it to your warehouse efficiency arsenal.
Industrial Warehouse Transport
An industrial transporting vehicle is a type of vehicle used in material handling organisations to transport materials, boxes and all sorts of items around the warehouse. This can be in the form of:
This is a two-wheeled hand-operated trolley with a metallic frame and a toe plate. Hand trucks or dollies are meant to make transporting tiny goods easier. Some are foldable and can be stored flat when not in use.
- Pallet Jacks
To carry products that have been placed on pallets, naturally, you need a pallet jack to transport them around the warehouse. Pallet jacks have prongs that slip beneath the pallet, and the handle is then used to pump the forks up, providing a hydraulic motion that elevates the pallet and allows transportation, making your job so much easier.
A forklift is an essential piece of machinery. The usability of a forklift is critical in any warehouse, factory, or industrial site. It assists in the movement of large pallets, the storage of supplies in the proper locations, and the removal of heavy pallets and products from shelves that cannot be done by hand.
- Walkie Stackers
The next step up from a pallet jack or truck is a walkie-stacker. Except for the motorised stacker, the basic design is the same. The walkie stacker’s ‘truck’ aspect is comparable to the fork alignment and design of a forklift truck. Pallets may be hoisted to the second shelf of a warehouse stacking system and the entire assembly can be transported by hand. They’re great for little goods, interior use, and concrete surfaces. In addition, walkie stackers are less costly than forklift trucks.
- Platform Truck
A platform truck can easily be described as a frame and platform on wheels. When a large number of small items needs to be transported, the platform can be piled by hand or loaded using another piece of material handling equipment. This is appropriate for small-to-medium-sized businesses or as a quick logistical solution for large organisations.
- Order Picker
The order picker is a tiny forklift vehicle bigger than a walkie stacker and as such it can support more weight. Order pickers are normally able to collect and replace piled products from heights ranging from 2 to 10 meters.
In contrast to the front-positioned prongs of a normal forklift, sideloaders load and unload from the machine’s side. Sideloaders work well in tight aisles and doors, although they are less manoeuvrable than forklifts.
The AGV is a mobile ‘robot’ that follows cables, markings, or other floor indications. AGVs can also be guided by lasers, magnets, or cameras. They are frequently used to move items throughout a warehouse in large-scale industrial operations.
Bulk Material Handling Equipment
If your warehouse requires the transfer of a long list of items and materials, bulk movement is the key to efficiency. The more products you can transport at once, the more effectively your warehouse will operate. Here are several pieces of material handling equipment supplies that will help you achieve exactly that.
- Conveyor Belts
Conveyor belts are motor-driven belts that are used as part of a conveyor system. Items that need to be moved are simply placed on one end of the belt, and the motorised system transports them to their destination.
A tiny, hand-propelled or motorised vehicle is used to remove objects from the ground and place them on the shelf. This is a good offer if you want to make the most of your warehouse space by installing a stacking system. They are less expensive to operate than forklifts, and suited for small-to-medium jobs among your other material handling equipment pieces.
A machine at one end of a conveyor system with a revolving scoop. The scoop collects tiny, loose materials and transfers them to the conveyor belt. The products are subsequently moved along the conveyor belt till they reach their destination.
- Bucket Elevators
A bucket elevator, also known as a grain leg, is used to convey tiny, loose objects upward. It is normally motorised, although it may also be hand-cranked. A belt is linked to a succession of tiny buckets. When the buckets are at the bottom of the belt, they sweep up the materials, which are subsequently lifted and dispersed at the top. Bucket elevators may be inclined in some cases.
- Grain Elevators
Grain elevators are structures that house either a bucket elevator or a conveyor. The grain is safely put in the proper storage facility after being picked up from a lower level. This is best suited for large-scale activities.
A hopper is essentially a big funnel that is used to handle tiny, loose particles. The objects are deposited at the top of the hopper, where gravity pulls them down to the bottom, which has a tiny aperture for flow control. The only drawback of hoppers is that they can quickly become clogged and require special maintenance.
Silos are commonly used in the field of agriculture. They are used to store grain or silage (fermented feed) securely. They are also frequently used for bulk storage of coal, cement, wood chips, sawdust, and even food.