As industries grew bigger, manufacturing processes got more and more complex giving rise to better systems and equipment for handling, processing, and producing goods and materials. Manual labor for heavy lifting got replaced by suitable equipment, which helped businesses keep pace with the growth of industrialization.
Material handling equipment has various applications like transporting and the positioning and storing of materials. In fact, there is an entire category of material handling equipment dedicated entirely to the transportation industry.
Under that category, there can be several kinds of equipment depending on where the products or materials are being transported such as, within an assembly line, between facilities, on a loading dock, or into storage. For manufacturers, material handling equipment can enhance the transport of raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods within the production floor or to the storage facility. Let’s look at how.
Cranes are used to transport loads over variable (horizontal and vertical) paths within a restricted area. Cranes provide more flexibility in movement than conveyors because they can handle loads that are more varied with respect to their shape and weight. Most cranes utilize trolley-and-tracks for horizontal movement and hoists for vertical movement, although industrial manipulators can be used if precise positioning of the load is required. The most common cranes include the jib, bridge, gantry, and stacker cranes. Jib cranes can further be classified into straight arm jibs and articulating jibs. Articulating jibs are majorly in use now because of their flexibility and versatility of use. They have great reach and can transfer objects with amazing speed. Cranes enhance transport for manufacturers as they are fast and can reach almost any area within the workplace.
Conveyors are used when material is to be moved frequently between specific points over a fixed path and when there is a sufficient flow volume to justify the fixed conveyor investment. They have a fixed path of operation and hence are suitable for transporting material within a fixed area. Conveyors are of different kinds like in-floor, on-floor, overhead, etc. They can also be classified by the type of product being handled; namely unit load conveyors and bulk load conveyors. Conveyors enhance transport as they ensure continuous flow of goods and can speed up the process. Moreover, there are different conveyors for different applications so installing one that suits your product requirements can greatly enhance the transport in the facility.
Other transport equipment
There are numerous other kinds of material handling equipment for the purpose of transporting goods. Industrial trucks are widely used to enable fast and seamless transport of goods over variable paths when there is insufficient (or intermittent) flow volume in which case a conveyor system cannot be used. There are different types of industrial trucks like hand trucks, forklifts and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s). Then there is simpler transport equipment like electric tugs that is a battery powered and pedestrian operated machine capable of either pushing or pulling a significantly heavier load than itself.
To know more about how we can help you enhance transport in your manufacturing facility, contact us on (712) 841-4548.