Material Handling is the process of moving products within a storage facility. This involves loading, unloading, palletising and de-palletising, and also includes the distribution, consumption and disposal of manufactured goods. These procedures are carried out to improve customer service and shorten delivery time.
I have compiled some examples below of common equipment and apparatus that are used in Material Handling. They generally fall under six categories: trolleys, ladders and access equipment, lifting and handling equipment, safety equipment, plastics and castor wheels.
Trolleys: Platform Trolleys
Trolleys have many purposes depending on the situation. However, their core function is to transport products and goods.
Platform trolleys, also known as flatbed trolleys, have a robust yet lightweight design making them effective at transporting heavy loads. They have many different features. Some have a quick-release handle and can be conveniently folded for easy storage, like the TSTSS11 Foldable Platform Trolley. Some are rust-proof with a galvanised finish, making them ideal for use in coolrooms, greengrocers and supermarkets, like the TSHTS500S Galvanised Single Deck Platform Trolley. Some are corrosion-resistant and can withstand hot and wet conditions. Finally, some have two handles and are ideal for transporting bulky goods, and thus are suited for use in warehouses, the back of stores and stock rooms, like the TSSW078BG Platform Trolley.
Another type of trolley is the hand trolley, also known as the hand truck. These trolleys are widely used in the Transport and Logistics Industry, as well as in Office and Hospitality environments. Depending on the type of hand trolley, they are commonly used to transport cartons, sacks, drums, kegs, gas bottles and even bigger loads. Like platform trolleys, some hand trolleys are foldable for easy storage, like the SYHTC102 Platform Hand Truck. Additionally, some have extended heights for moving large objects such as big fridges, ATM machines, stacks of tyres and furniture, like the TSDL1600C Super Mover Hand Truck.
Access Equipment: Safety Steps
Safety Steps are designed to help workers reach up to places that just need a step or two. They have easy four-way access and can be stacked for convenient storage and transport.
An example is the Monstar Step, which is lightweight yet strong, making it ideal for industrial use. It is fully fitted with non-slip tape and has a wide base platform, ensuring safety and security are maintained when the Monstar Step is being used. It can support up to 180kg and has moulded rubber stoppers for extra grip on the ground.
Additionally, Monstar Ladders offer a heavy-duty range of safety steps that include the Jumbo Step, TSTSSU Step-Up and TSTSTS Teamstep safety steps. They are made from rotomoulded plastic, making them incredibly durable while still being lightweight. Like the Monstar Step, they are fully fitted with non-slip tape and are stackable for convenient storage.
Lifting and Handling Equipment: Stackers and Lifters
Stackers and Lifters are capable of raising and lowering loads on a platform that slides up and down an attached mast. Reflex Equip has both electric and manual stackers and lifters.
Manual stackers and lifters are manually operated and have suitable castor wheels that make for easy transportation. Some of them, like the TSSFHD10 Walkie Hand Stacker, are operated via foot or hand pump and are precision hydraulic. Some, like the TSMER50 Winch Operated Stacker, have interchangeable load handling attachments and a compact design, allowing the legs to be folded up for easy storage. Some, like the TSDEP90 Mini Aluminium Hand Stacker, have effective brake functions with special designs and have lifting runners with flanged rollers that are operated with a safety winch.
Electric stackers and lifters are battery operated and have rechargeable batteries. The TSEPS0415 Electric Powered Platform Stacker has an electric lift and manual push operation, as well as braked rear wheels for security and a capacity of 400kg. The TSMES150 Powered Lifter Transporter is highly manoeuvrable and is thus ideal for laboratories and clinics, and has an overall load capacity of 150kg. The TSECL1029M Electric Platform Stacker has a built-in charger and a 4-Wheel Design with a sideways tiller for high stability and perfect view.
Safety Equipment: Dangerous Goods Storage Cabinets
Safety equipment includes any apparatus, signs and barriers that maintain awareness of safety in work environments, as well as prevent harm or danger.
Storage Cabinets are used to safely store flammable and combustible substances and liquids. Reflex offers flammable liquids storage cabinets in 3 sizes based on capacities: 100 Litres, 160 Litres and 250 Litres. They are each constructed with 1.2mm double-walled steel with 40mm of insulating air space for fire resistance. There is three-point stainless steel bullet latching, and the shelves on the inside safely direct spills to the back and bottom of the cabinet. Furthermore, the 100 Litre cabinet has 1 adjustable shelf, the 160 Litre cabinet has 2 adjustable shelves and the 250 Litre cabinet has 3 adjustable shelves.
Plastics: Plastic Parts Trays
Plastics encompass plastic crates, storage containers, tubs, buckets and bins that allow for convenient storage.
Plastic Parts Trays are used to store and organise small components, nuts, bolts and more. They come in a variety of sizes and colours and can be useful in keeping track of miscellaneous items. Many plastic parts trays are stackable, such as the NAIH1000 0.5L Plastic Microbin, which can also be attached to louvre panels. Additionally, some trays also include dividers for easy separation, like the NAIH344 Small Spare Parts Storage.
The above six categories and the examples used should elucidate what equipment is used in Material Handling.