Safety Equipment & Policies No Warehouse Should be Without

Material Handling Methods for Small Spaces

It can be difficult to manage and maintain a smooth workflow in a warehouse or manufacturing facility where the available space is small and expansion of space is not an option. The workspace often gets cramped with swarming workers, heaps of products, and machinery. This ends up in work delays, injuries and accidents of employees, product damage, and chaos.

This is where material handling systems come in the picture. Material handling methods for small spaces can streamline the workflow and ensure optimum utilization of the available space. In this article, we will discuss the various material handling methods that can be employed for small spaces.

Overhead lifting devices

Overhead lifting devices like overhead cranes and hoists are one of the most effective material handling methods for small spaces. They enable you to better utilize the space in your manufacturing facility or warehouse. These devices lift the product up and then move it; hence why they are generally out of the way from most work processes on the floor. They prove to be a better option than forklifts in small spaces because they take product up and over obstacles, instead of navigating back and forth through aisles. Even the storage of products becomes easy as overhead lifting equipment allow for greater lifting height, vertical storage, and more efficient use of space. Moreover, overhead lifting devices carry a lesser chance of injury to workers in small spaces as compared to forklifts.

Articulating Jib Hoists over Conventional Air Hoists

An articulating jib hoist features a unique design, offering the advantages of a fully functioning articulating jib, integrated with the strength of a hoist to lift and position all types of payloads. With the hoist located behind the second arm, the Articulating Jib Hoist is ideal for low-headroom applications.  This kind of jib hoist can be very useful in small spaces due to its ability to maneuver around work cell obstructions and it can also pick and place heavy objects with ease.  When your layout shows interference with conduit or obstructions coming down from the ceiling, the articulated design allows you to work around these obstructions. The Conco® Articulating Jib Hoist comes in two variants – 500 lbs. and 1000 lbs. respectively.

Articulating Jib Lifters over Air Balancers

An articulating jib lifter is an ergonomic device which is designed for both horizontal and vertical positioning. It has an air balancer built into its second arm.  These articulating jibs are suitable for small spaces because of their ability of reaching into inaccessible areas where headroom limitations preclude the use of a conventional articulating jib and the products requires the stability of a pneumatic balancer.  The articulated design allows for reach in and around obstructions that the conventional jib does not allow. The Conco® Articulating Jib Lifter comes in three variants – 150 lbs, 300 lbs and 665lbs respectively.

Other Material Handling Methods for Small Spaces

Other material handling devices that can help you transport and store materials in small spaces are carts, tugger trains and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s).