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need and applications of material handling equipments

Need and Applications of Material handling equipment in different industries

Author - NIHVA Technologies

Date - 28-12-2020

Material Handling in simple terms is the activity of manipulating the material/objects for manufacturing and logistic related activities. Material handling in broader terms consists of loading, unloading, and movement of goods or material within a factory or a warehouse and between two distant destinations with the help of mechanized devices. Material handling involves the storage, protection, and control of materials and goods during manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal. We had discussed loading and unloading cargo in warehouses in our previous blog. In this blog, we will discuss the material handling equipment used in industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical, food, and cold chain.

What is the equipment required for handling materials in different industries?

There are various types of equipment used for handling materials and products. Material handling equipment can be manual, semi-automated, or automated type. These types of equipment increase the efficiency of material handling systems. The main criteria of having material handling (MH) equipment is to prevent any accidents and damage to goods.

Categories of Material handling equipment

There are mainly four categories of material handling equipment. They are:

  1. Storage and handling equipment

    Equipment used to store goods for long periods by utilizing space effectively. Examples are Racks, stacking frames, Shelves, bins, drawers, and mezzanines.
  2. Bulk handling material equipment

    Equipment used to store, transport, and control materials in loose form or bulk. Examples are Conveyors, Scissor Lifts, Goods Lifts, Stackers, Reclaimers, Grain Elevators, Bucket elevators, Hoppers, Silos.
  3. Engineered systems

    Automated equipment that helps in the transportation of large materials and large volumes of materials while efficiently storing the materials. Examples are AS/RS (Automated storage and retrieval systems), Conveyor Systems, Telescopic Conveyor.
  4. Industrial material handling Trucks

    These trucks efficiently lift heavy objects and load or unload them onto or from delivery trucks. They move large materials across the manufacturing area. Examples are Hand trucks, Pallet trucks, Platform trucks, Sideloaders, Walkie Stackers, Order Pickers, and Automated Guided Vehicles(AGV).

These categories of material handling equipment are in use in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, food, and cold chain industries.

Industrial applications of material handling equipment

Manufacturing industry

The manufacturing industry encompasses a variety of industries such as agriculture, steel , Metal industry, coal, machines, etc. Material handling equipment in manufacturing industries is essential, as choosing the right equipment can reduce costs and increase productivity. One of the equipments used in the loading and unloading of materials is telescopic conveyors. They are useful for loading crates, bags, and packages in the manufacturing industries. MHE plays a critical role in the metal processing and manufacturing industry with specifically designed equipment that can withstand heavy loading and high temperatures. These features are extremely useful in processes like smelting and rolling that involve handling of hot metal. Cranes and Fork Lifts are used for stacking and movement of material in scrapyards and storage areas.

telescopic conveyor

Figure 1: Telescopic Conveyor

Hydraulic Scissor Lifts are used to move workers to different heights for repairs and as platforms in construction places. The use of hydraulic scissor lifts is for stacking steel and heavy merchandise.

hydraulic scissor lift

Figure 2: Hydraulic Scissor Lift

In the manufacturing and food industries, Goods lifts are used to transport small goods on to the elevated racks or between floors of a building.

goods lift

Figure 3: Goods Lift

Manufacturing areas such as shop floors, dock areas use overhead sectional doors that are high on quality and easy to operate. NIHVA provides all the essential material handling equipment to the various manufacturing sectors.

Food industry

Food industry is a fast-paced industry with high volume production. Needless to say, materials need to be lifted and moved day in and day out. From receiving raw materials to processing, production, packing, and storage, material handling is an integral part of the food industry operations. Adding to volumes and weight of materials, food materials may be processed, semi-processed, or raw. Optimized material handling is needed for better storage, stock control, the safety of goods and personnel, and reduced processing time. A wide range of material handling equipment is used in the food industry for this purpose. This includes conveyor systems, including telescoping conveyors, fork lifts, scissor lifts, and manipulators. Manipulators are used for more articulate tasks that need higher flexibility.


Figure 4: Manipulator

Pharmaceutical industry

Pharmaceutical and health industries have to follow stringent quality and safety protocols for their products. Pharmaceutical companies are adopting automated warehouse systems to bring in operational efficiency and reduce costs. Drug manufacturers and wholesale distributors have to reduce the risks of recalls, fines, and loss of licenses. With this aspect in mind, specific material handling equipment is used in medical and pharmaceutical warehouses. Telescopic conveyors are suitable for handling cartons, small bottles in pharmaceutical industries. MHE for the pharmaceutical industry is specially designed to deliver the highest standards of hygiene and safety of products. It is worth mentioning that Pharmaceuticals also need cold chain and logistics solutions for maintaining the quality of products throughout the product lifecycle. Telescopic conveyors and goods lifts have been used for material handling for some time. The automatic conveyors help in the transport of products to and from cold storage facilities. Hydraulic scissor lifts are used to build and break down pallets of packages. Goods Lifts are used to store products vertically at a height in cold storage places.

NIHVA promises delivery of goods lifts, fork lifts, scissor lifts that meet all industrial requirements for material handling. The wide range of material handling equipment in its product range, which are useful in different industries. NIHVA has machines customized for food and pharmaceutical industries, where hygiene and safety are of paramount importance.

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