Material handling consists of a range of activities related to the movement, storage, control of materials, and end products. A large number of activities from delivering the raw materials to the end product out of the factory are dependent on material handling equipment.
From a mini air hoist to large cranes, there are various types and applications of material handling equipment. Evidently, material handling is an integral aspect of many industries in the manufacturing sector. Here are some of the industries that rely heavily on material handling equipment:
- Automotive Industry
- Cement Plant Industry
- Aerospace Industry
- Marble Stone Industry
- Steel Industry
- Chemical Plant Industry
- Rolling Mills Industries
- Paper Mill Industry
In this article, we will discuss the applications of material handling in some of the major industries.
The automobile industry has had material handling at its core for a long time in history. Assembly lines heavily relied on lifting equipment for automobile parts. With the advent of automated material handling solutions, the focus shifted to engineered systems in assembly lines. Conveyors and cranes (such as articulated jib crane) are the cornerstones of the automobile industry. Moreover, robots and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) are used to transport material across the factory floor. Lastly, racking systems and shelves are important to store goods in such factories.
Those in construction use almost all kinds of material handling equipment – industrial trucks, engineered systems, and bulk material handling systems. One kind of equipment that can be seen on top of construction sites everywhere from miles away is the crane. The building and construction industry uses a variety of cranes including portable gantry cranes, single or double bridge overhead cranes, jib cranes, low headroom jib cranes, and mobile floor cranes for lifting and moving construction material, concrete blocks, and construction equipment.
The use of industrial trucks such as forklifts, dump trucks, and AGV’s is prevalent in the industry to facilitate the movement of materials within the construction site. Moreover, Automated Vertical Transport System (AVTS) is also used to load, unload, and deliver material on various levels of the construction site.
3PL (Third Party Logistics) Industry
Touted as the bedrock of supply chains worldwide, the 3PL industry is one of the heaviest users of material handling systems. The industry uses various kinds of storage equipment, positioning equipment, and transport equipment. The application of engineered solutions such as Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) is necessary for this industry for receiving, storing, and retrieving products or goods. Pallet racks, stacking frames, shelves, bins, and drawers are also used for storage. For moving goods and heavy loads inside the warehouse, forklifts, small trucks, AGV’s, and carts are heavily used. Different kinds of conveyors such as loading and unloading conveyors, automated modular conveyors, and monorail overhead cranes are used to optimize the order fulfillment process. Moreover, positioning equipment like air hoists and balancers are used for the processing of goods.
In conclusion, the need for highly efficient global supply chains is raising the demand for material handling equipment worldwide. Hence, the applications of material handling are immense in a number of industries.