When people unfamiliar with the industry see our name, they often say this:
What is material handling?
Truth be told, the explanation is in the name itself. Material handling is the movement, storage, control and protection of goods and products (or materials) as they go through the process of manufacturing and distribution.
It’s a process that any vendor or manufacturer deals with.
But there’s a difference between doing something, and doing it well. By effectively executing proper material handling, a company can ensure better safety for goods and workers, decrease time spent handling products, increase work flow and efficiency, and ultimately, save a lot of time and money.
Material handling requires a system of order. Like an engine that runs off gears, belts, and pistons, the “material handling machine” has its own parts and pieces needed to keep it running.
Material Handling Equipment
What type of equipment you need depends on what type of material handling you’re dealing with. There are automated material handling systems that run on conveyor belts, lifts, and even robotics. Then there is the more traditional equipment such as forklifts, pallets, duckboards, yard ramps, etc.
Whatever you use, it’s important that everything is up to spec and that proper safety standards are followed. When done poorly, material handling can be a dangerous field.
Materials need to be transported somehow. Whether it’s by truck, plain, train, or boat, it’s important to effectively coordinate your logistics.
But even within the warehouse itself, a certain amount of logistics is required. From getting cargo in the door and on a shelf to off the shelf and into a truck, internal logistics are an important aspect of proper material handling.
There are different systems to work by such as FIFO and LIFO which can be used to keep product fresh and easy to access.
A Constant Flow
Material handling isn’t a stop and go process, but one that is in continuous flux. To keep it going, it often takes not one, but many different businesses working in harmony at the different stages of transport and storage.
By effectively handling your materials, you not only help your own business, but the other businesses working with you.