Improving Ergonomics and Material Flow at your Workplace | Conco Jibs

Types of Material Handling Equipment

There are numerous different types of material handling equipment in the market that have varying usage and are used in diverse types of industries. Hence, the term ‘material handling equipment’ covers a broad spectrum of tools, appliances and machinery. There are four major categories of handling equipment:

  • Bulk material handling
  • Storage and handling equipment
  • Engineered systems
  • Industrial trucks

Bulk Material Handling

This is the kind of equipment that deals with bulk handling and aids in the storage, control, and transportation of large volumes of material either in bulk or loose form. The equipment is usually used to move loose parts from one area of the production floor to another, with a classic example of such equipment being conveyor belts. It is used to move items from one part of the production process to another. Additional pieces of equipment that fall under this category are conveyors, hoists, balancers, bucket elevators, grain elevators, hoppers, reclaimers, silos, and stackers.

Storage and Handling Equipment

Storage equipment is used to hold or buffer materials when they are not being used, or before they are transported to their next destination. These periods could be long-term or short-term in order to allow a suitable build-up of stock or finished items. They are usually non-automated pieces of equipment. Proper storage equipment is important for any production facility as it can increase efficiency on the production floor and maximize space utilization. The different types of storage and handling equipment include drive-in racks, pallet racks, push-back racks, shelving, sliding racks, shelves, bins, drawers, stacking frames, and mezzanines.

Engineered Systems

Engineered systems refer to material handling equipment units that are typically automated and work in tandem to enable efficient storage and transportation of large materials or large volumes of materials around the production floor. One of the widely used engineered systems equipment is an Automated Storage and Retrieval System, known as AS/RS. It is a large automated organizational structure involving racks, aisles, and shelves. The shuttle system is a mechanized device that resembles a cherry picker. It can either be used by the system operator to select the items or can perform fully automated and computerized functions to quickly locate a storage item’s location and retrieve it for other uses. Other types of engineered systems handling equipment include Inline Lifters, Manipulators, Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV’s), Robotic delivery systems, and conveyor systems.

Industrial Trucks

Industrial trucks refer to the different kinds of transportation items and vehicles used to move materials and products in materials handling. There can be various different kinds of industrial trucks. Such appliances can be steered by human intervention or can be completely automated, following a pre-defined track on the production floor. Some examples of equipment under this category are pallet trucks, Sideloaders, and pallet jacks.

To find out more about different types of material handling equipment, contact Conco at (800) 831-6026.