An efficient material handling system is the key to running a successful manufacturing or logistics project. As material handling equipment is an integral part of so many industries, it is important for factory/warehouse managers to understand how to start, conduct and implement a successful material handling system. For a facility that’s being newly designed and established or going through a revamp, a holistic approach to implement an efficient material handling system is crucial. Let us find out how.
- Layout design
The key steps to starting a successful material handling system is to
- Ensure a good design of the facility layout
- Design your material handling system to fit well with the layout.
The kind of material handling equipment that should be installed in the facility should be determined according to the layout design. For example, if you need an articulating jib for lifting and moving objects, because the articulated jib arms consist of various products with different mounting options. If the facility has low headroom, you could go for an articulating jib lifter instead of an air balancer. Now, due to the low headroom, you could go for the trolley mounted option. These choices should be guided by your layout and the requirements of the product, rather than by cost.
- Systemize the processes
Once the designing part is over, it is important to systemize the processes. A systemized procedure includes built-in strategies for troubleshooting problems and fixing issues with any part of the operation. These procedures also include goals and performance standards that need to be achieved before you scale up. Established protocols like these keep the operation running smoothly with each worker having adequate knowledge of the system. With systemized processes, it is easy to scale up from one level to the next. When considering new material handling technology, make sure your implementation strategy puts your users first and incorporates opportunities to troubleshoot issues as they emerge.
- Efficient usage
Once material handling equipment and systems are in place, an efficient usage of equipment is important to a successful implementation of material handling system. The practices for material handling should be designed to be ergonomic, time-saving and cost-saving. This can be achieved by various ways. One is to reduce total manufacturing time through well-designed material movement and enhancing the flow control of materials. Determine the most appropriate distance that should be covered and use your equipment to shorten it.
Moreover, the proper integration of workforce and material handling equipment is necessary to have a seamless work flow. Employees must be thoroughly trained to use the new equipment in the facility. Another factor to ensure efficient usage of equipment is regular maintenance and inspection. Having a schedule for regular inspection and maintenance of equipment will make sure you don’t have break-downs.
A successful material handling system improves productivity, enhances safety and reduces manufacturing costs. There are numerous kinds of material handling equipment from articulated jib line to conveyor systems. The right equipment for the right use provides all the above mentioned benefits.