Things to Consider When Purchasing Material Handling Equipment

How to Choose the Right Material Handling System

When it comes to material handling, there is a plethora of different material handling machines you can buy, depending on your requirements. In such a massive market, it can be easy to get confused while looking for the right material handling system for you and your facility. That is why we will help you with choosing the right material handling system. Here are the factors that you need to consider while deciding what kind of material handling devices you need to install:

Materials to be handled

Material handling systems are generally categorized by the kind of materials they handle and their function. Depending on the type of product you’re dealing with, you will know where to look for the right equipment. You need to consider factors like

  • Type of your material/product (mechanical, metal, bulk product, etc.)
  • Handling requirements for those materials (transportation, storage, positioning, etc)
  • Weight, size, and shape of the product.
  • The type of movement your equipment needs to perform (vertical, horizontal, pivoting, etc.)
  • Fragility of the product

Type of equipment

When you know exactly what material you’re handling and its handling requirements, you need to decide the types of equipment you need to look from. There are 4 broad categories of material handling systems – storage, engineered systems, industrial trucks, and bulk material handling. Depending on the requirements, you need to select the right type of equipment for your facility.

  • Storing materials consists of equipment such as shelving, racks, pallets, and containers that store materials for long periods of time.
  • Engineered Systems consist of all kinds of transportation and positioning equipment like cranes, conveyors, industrial manipulators, hoists & balancers etc.
  • Bulk material handling comprises equipment that can move, manipulate, and process your materials. This includes trucks, silos, elevators, drums, and conveyors.
  • Industrial Trucks are vehicles such as forklifts and AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) that transport material throughout the facility.

Space and Facility Layout

The next most important thing to be considered it the layout of your facility and the space available for your new material handling devices. You need to determine the necessary dimensions like ceiling height, free floor space, and aisle width to determine the right material handling system. If you need lifting and positioning devices and do not want to occupy your floor space with equipment, you should go with overhead lifting devices such as articulating jibs, air hoists, or pneumatic balancers.


The final factor to be considered is the cost factor. There are certain cost considerations like the initial cost of equipment, operation costs, maintenance costs and cost savings from the equipment. After taking into account these factors, you can determine the cost-effectiveness of the equipment you plan on acquiring. Moreover, you should find out the cost of equipment from more than one supplier to get the best price possible for the project.

Hence, considering these factors is the key for how to choose the right material handling system. This way, you can make an informed decision on an investment that can stay with you for a long term.