In order to have a safe and efficient industrial process, we need to take care of material handling. Irrespective of the level of sophistication of a production facility, the line can only move as fast as raw materials are brought in and finished goods are moved out. This is also important in safety; moving large amounts of goods quickly and efficiently has to be done with a strong emphasis on safety. A dropped load not only causes damage and product loss, but also endangers workers. Highly effective material handling systems and equipment have to be designed and implemented with safety and efficiency as high priorities.
Material handling on the production floor
Managing supplies and inventory takes place in the two major areas of storage of stock and utilizing materials in the production area. After goods come off of the shelf or out of the truck, they have to be utilized in the production process and that requires a unique set of material handling devices. Many times, this comes in the form of cranes, hoist rings, and rigging systems. Many devices for inventory management and transportation are considered catalogue items, meaning that they are standard across supply companies for ease of use. Hence the crucial component in any rigging system is the weakest link. Every single part of an overhead system has to be rated for twice the expected load to ensure nothing fails. This means every component, from rigging down to hoist rings, has to be capable of easily managing a heavy load, even if a partial failure occurs.
These requirements break down into a number of design decisions for effective and safe material handling.
Industrial storage supplies
The bulk of material handling decisions are involved with storage of both raw materials and finished products before final shipment. The most common solution comes down to pallets and pallet racks. These systems are catalogue items to facilitate easy storage and the ability to expand warehousing capabilities. Pallets are so common because they are easy to work with, handle many different types of loads, and are made for stacking when combined with rack systems.
Rack systems are an ideal use of storage space. Long rows and high columns allow every square inch of a warehouse to be utilized from floor to ceiling. Most importantly, these racks allow for safe and secure stacking of pallets. All of the stacked and stored goods can be easily reached with any number of pallet handling devices for quick retrieval.
Additional material handling options
Beyond racks and rigging systems, companies have a plethora of choices when it comes to effective inventory management, storage, and utilization. Just a few of the catalogue items available include drum handling equipment from specialized jacks and hoists to platforms and movers. A wide array of carts can serve nearly any purpose. Caster and wheels can be added to any stable platform to instantly create a mobile cart. Conveyor belts and systems, whether powered or with rollers, are ideal for moving stock down a line. Forklift trucks come in a diverse array of sizes and configurations with enough accessories to allow them to perform nearly any duty. Dock and outdoor equipment is available for handling the loading and unloading of trucks and covered vans.
Irrespective of what the firm is, every device has to be used and maintained properly to ensure safe and efficient storage and transportation of goods and materials. This is how you can ensure your production to be both safe and efficient.