Material handling is an indispensable aspect of manufacturing. Many of the steps involved in the manufacturing process rely on material handling equipment. Material handling is essential for many processes of manufacturing whether it is the transport of raw material, processing of goods, or storage of products. Quality material handling equipment is the key to successful material handling that can enhance the efficiency of the manufacturing operation, so let us explore the importance of material handling equipment in manufacturing.
Material handling equipment speeds up the movement of materials and goods through the stages of manufacturing. It eliminates the need of manual labor and, as such, assists with mechanical aids. In manufacturing, speed is of the essence as it dictates the output levels of a facility. Using the right material handling equipment will make the work easier and in turn, improve productivity. For example, an articulating jib arm can easily reach inaccessible areas of the workplace. This makes the process faster and more efficient than if a worker does the job manually. Moreover, with a properly implemented material handling system, the manufacturing process can be streamlined to attain maximum productivity. This helps in:
- Reducing manufacturing cycle time
- Reducing delays
- Increased output.
Ergonomics and safety
The right use of material handling equipment improves the ergonomic conditions of a manufacturing facility. With material handling systems in place, the workers don’t have to perform the tasks of lifting and carrying heavy loads. Worker accidents and injuries are significantly reduced with material handling equipment in the facility which, in turn, reduces the chance of downtime, absenteeism, cost of accidents, and other negative events.
If a manufacturer employs the right material handling equipment in the facility, they can save costs in various ways. First, they can enjoy economies of scale and save costs of manual labor in the long run. Secondly, there are indirect cost savings due to increased efficiency and reduced product damage. Third, they save up on worker compensation claims due to diminished chances of accidents.
Reduced product damage
Material handling equipment is more efficient at handling loads when compared to manual labor. The right kind of equipment will decrease the chance of product damage to a negligible level. This reduces the chances of misplaced items, hassles and product damage. A manufacturer knows how important it is to minimize product damage in order to maintain cost-efficiency.
With material handling equipment meant for storage, a manufacturer can utilize the space in a better way. In fact, storage is not possible without basic equipment like pallet racks, carts, silos, etc. With various kinds of equipment for different uses available in the market, the storage part of manufacturing is made much easier and efficient.
Thus the movement, control of materials and end products throughout the process of manufacturing, disposal, distribution, warehousing, and storage relies on material handling. Therefore, the importance of quality material handling equipment in manufacturing can’t be over-emphasized.