No matter what material you’re handling in your warehouse, it’s important to make sure it’s managed carefully. First, you need to understand what you’re storing, how sensitive it is and how often it will need to be moved. Ask yourself what exactly you are keeping in your warehouse. If you are storing foodstuffs, or chemicals, it’s safe to say that you are storing sensitive materials. If the materials in your warehouse need to be moved constantly this will affect the type of equipment you need; on the other hand, material that rarely travels also requires precise handling equipment. Likewise, you will need to pay attention to space and measure the area where you will be handling and storing the materials.
There is a specific type of equipment designed to handle any and all materials. When choosing the right material handling equipment there are ways you can ensure you’re opting for exactly what you need.
Material handling equipment comes in various forms such as:
- Storage equipment: Shelving, racks, pallets and containers are common equipment used to safeguard materials. They come in different sizes and can accommodate pretty much anything. Generally, storage equipment works best for materials that don’t require displacement. For example, if you have materials that need to stay put for long periods of time, storage equipment like shelving, racks, pallets or containers are probably ideal.
- Automated equipment: Engineered systems provide both a way to move equipment and store it. With automated equipment you have the option to maneuver it, creating extra space. With racks, shelving etc., you may not be able to easily move the storage equipment, but with engineered systems, moving materials is a lot easier within a warehouse where every inch of space is valuable.
- Bulk material equipment: This is special equipment that is made to handle large volumes of loose products. These include trucks, silos, drums, grain elevators to conveyors. Bulk material equipment is perfect for handling smaller items. For instance, tiny aggregate items like food (rice, grains etc.) or parts (nails, pins, bolts etc.) require this type of storage since it’s most cost effective.
An important thing to remember about equipment for handling materials is to provide adequate training for your employees. Ensure that each operator knows how to work the equipment safely and materials are handled correctly without causing damage to them.