Raw materials are an integral part of any manufacturing and service organisation. Material handling involves the essential operation of moving, packing, and storing products in any form. This process covers everything from preparation for shipment to placing the materials to facilitate their movement. While material handling won’t add any value to the product, it can potentially add to the cost of the item if mismanaged.

It makes sense to control cost and cut time in material handling equipment in today’s competitive environment. Below are fundamental principles of material handling equipment to serve as a guide for an efficient handling process.

Planning Principle

The planning principle is a statement that defines the objectives, desirable alternatives, and functional requirements of the proposed handling methods. Remember that every material handling process or activity must be planned.

For example, the equipment should be placed on proper support rather than the floor. Use a single container and avoid frequent changes during manufacturing. You should also create sufficient storage space within the workplace. Most importantly, you should ensure that your operators are trained to follow the correct method for the movement of materials.

Systems Principle

This principle demands that material movement be fully integrated and coordinated to form a seamless operating system encompassing all handling activities, including reception, production, packaging, and storage.

System principle also covers assembly, inspection, order selection, unification, shipping, transportation, and handling claims. While implementing this principle, you need to consider managing activities integrated into your handling system and ensure that material flow between operations is planned.

Automation Principle

Automating material handling operations is essential for many reasons. It helps improve operational efficiency, improve consistency, enhance predictability, increase responsiveness, and reduce operating costs.

Furthermore, an automated material handling system helps eliminate repetitive and unsafe human labour often associated with manual handling. Undoubtedly, an automated handling system gains safety, efficiency, reliability, and standardisation because it is better integrated and coordinated.

Ergonomic Principle

This principle acknowledges human capabilities and limitations when designing material handling equipment to ensure safe, secure, and effective operations.

Environmental Principle

Material handling operations consume energy. Hence, the environmental principle requires that energy consumption and environmental impact be considered when choosing or designing alternative equipment and material handling systems.

Unit Load Principle

As a general rule of thumb, it’s much quicker and more economical to transport bulky items at a time rather than moving each product individually. However, the unit load principle requires unit loads to be adequately sized and configured to attain the inventory goals and material flow of each phase of the supply chain.

Space Utilization Principle

Every space in your premise represents some value, so you should strive to optimise the available space. You can accomplish this by keeping the work area in a reasonably close position, utilising the height of your building, and employing the concept of economic lot sizes and order quantities.

Safety Principle

This principle suggests methods for safe handling of equipment for improved working conditions. It requires you to provide substantial guards, safety devices, emergency controls, and training for safe operation to operators.

Contact Conveying & Hoisting Solutions

If you’re looking for safe and effective material handling equipment, we’ve got you covered at Conveying & Hoisting Solutions. We are the best and the most trusted conveyor hire in the Sydney area. We offer equipment solutions for hire to a wide range of industries and will be glad to assist you in your equipment selection process. Contact us now to get started.