Material handling equipment is crucial for businesses with large physical inventories. There are many different equipment options available, including platform/pallet trucks, stackers, carts, lifts, conveyors, tables, hoppers, and cranes. Depending on your facility, you may need a combination of several different types of machinery. Whether you're working out of a warehouse, factory floor, packaging facility, or shipping facility, you can benefit from high-quality equipment for moving products and raw materials.
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Any type of equipment used for the movement, storage, or protection of finished products is considered to be a material handling unit. Therefore, they have useful applications throughout the entire product lifecycle, from material sourcing to manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.
There are four major equipment classifications:
Transport equipment is used to move materials or products from one facility location to another; for example, between work stations or from the loading area to storage. There are three types of transport equipment:
- Conveyors: Useful for frequent movement between two fixed points
- Cranes: Used for moving objects intermittently within a fixed radius
- Industrial trucks: Most suitable for moving objects intermittently over variable paths (either powered or manual options are available)
Positioning equipment is suitable for handling materials or goods at a single location. This type of equipment is frequently used for reorienting, loading/unloading, or manipulating materials into the appropriate position for storage, machining, or transport. The use of positioning equipment can drastically increase process efficiency and prevent fatigue or even injuries. Examples of positioning equipment include lift, tilt, and turn tables, balancers, manipulators, and hoists.
Unit Load Formation Equipment
This type of equipment is used to maintain the integrity of materials and packaging during transport or storage. Examples include pallets (skids), slip sheets (a lightweight pallet alternative), bins, tote pans, baskets, crates, bags, or cartons.
Storage equipment is used for holding materials or products in place over a short or long period of time. They are designed to minimize material handling costs by making the material more accessible and by optimizing the usage of space. Storage racks are typically used to allow the stacking of several packages over the same floor space.
How We Can Help
A-Z Supply carries a variety of material handling options for transport, positioning, unit load formation, and storage. Visit our catalog to explore our product line, and contact us if you have any questions about the right handling options for your facility.