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Material Handling Equipment: Types and Utilities

Material Handling Equipment: Types and Utilities


Material handling equipment is the term specifically used for the machine tools and equipment used for controlling, storing, protecting, moving, lifting, shipping, and transporting the products and goods during the whole supply chain process cycle. All the phases of manufacturing, development, shipment, disposal, deployment, and consumption in the Material Handling System do require some sort of material handling equipment.

Classification of Material handling equipment:

Material handling equipment is of various kinds and forms. Based on their utility domains all the equipment are classified into the following 5 basic sorts of categories:

• Storage Equipment

All the material handling equipment that is solely used for protecting and storing the goods and products developed falls under this particular category.

• Unit Load Formation Equipment

Every kind of equipment that facilitates the division, classification, and manufacturing of the products, they are collectively classified as unit load formation equipment.

• Positioning Equipment

The tools and equipment that are used for positioning the product while production and handling other material equipment in their workplaces are classified under positioning equipment.

• Lifting Equipment

All the tools and machines that are required to lift up the heavy loads of goods during production, transportation, and deployment, are gathered under lifting equipment.

• Transporting Equipment

All the equipment classified under the tag of transporting equipment are responsible for the shipment and moving the goods within the warehouse and even outside for disposal and delivery,

Importance of Material Handling Equipment:

Material handling equipment including the small tools to the gigantic automated machines has revolutionized the whole process of product development life cycle, from manufacturing till disposal and consumption. Due to the material handling equipment, the efficiency and productivity of the whole supply chain management workflow have been increased 10 thousand times when compared with the work that was done without tools in the past.

Types of Material handling equipment:

Based on the specified utility in their own particular domain the material handling equipment are divided into the following 4 basic types:

1. Engineered Systems

2. Bulk Material Handling equipment

3. Storage and Handling equipment

4. Material Handling industrial trucks

Engineered Systems:

All the automated equipment i.e. machines and tools that follow a defined set of instructions given to them and perform their tasks as they are designed and programmed to do, all fall under the engineered systems. Common examples of the engineered system include the following:

• Robotic delivery system

• Machine lifting system

• Conveyor system

• Automated guided Vehicles

Bulk Material Handling Equipment:

All such equipment is used to facilitate the open and loose form of products that is present in bulk and possess numerous units. Handling any sort of large quantity of material especially the one that needs to be gathered and dealt together, all equipment used for such thing falls here. Common types of bulk material handling equipment are following:

• Conveyors

• Silos

• Hoppers

• Grain elevators

• Reclaimers

• Stackers

• Bucket Elevators

Storage and Handling Equipment

All the manual handling tools and equipment that are usually operated by human workers and are not or less automated in nature fall under this particular category. The special facility is created as per usage and requirement according to product storage and handling, all such tools are termed as storage and handling equipment.

• Racks

• Shelves

• Bins

• Stacking Frames

• Operating Tools / Assisting Tools

• Mezzanines

Material Handling Industrial trucks:

These are special kinds of transportation and shipment vehicles that are used for specified purposes in the material handling system. Every truck has its own particular duty based on the requirement as per company and product.


• Side loaders

• Order Pickers

• Walkie Stackers

• Platform Trucks

• Pallet Trucks

• Hand Trucks

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