A warehouse is not just a stockroom but also lays the backbone of many businesses. And handling material is at the core of the operations of warehouse and warehouse management. Endless types, sizes, scales, and nature of materials are housed at these giant storages. All these materials, based on their nature have specific requirements for storage and handling.

A warehouse needs the best equipment from reputed dealers like Asset Plant & Machinery to ensure safe and efficient handling of these goods. To accomplish its operations, a warehouse would need a variety of material handling equipment ranging from a simple shelf to highly sophisticated light-out facilities.

Given the overwhelming types of machines available in the market, it is often difficult to remember and describe each one of those. However, a clearer picture can be sketched by understanding what exactly material handling means.

For years, powered industrial trucks have been an essential piece of warehouse work. A material handling lifts is one of the most frequent examples.

A bookish meaning of material handling, also a simple one, is moving, loading, and unloading goods within a warehouse or factory. And the machines that help in this movement of material are material handling equipment.

Based on the operation and the size of material that can be handled, most of these machines and tools can be classified into four major categories. While the categories are well distinguished some equipment is multipurpose and can lie in overlapping classes.

  • Storage and handling machines

The name of this category is self-explanatory. Storage and handling equipment are used to keep the material while it waits to be transported. The material can be either transported to the production line to be transformed into the final good. Or, final goods are stored until they are transported from stockrooms or wholesalers to the market.

Having the right storage equipment boost accessing efficiency, productivity on the floor, and space utilization. Some commonly used storage equipment includes:

  • Racks, bins, drawers, and shelves
  • Stacking frames
  • Mezzanine floors
  • Engineered equipment

With the rise in technology development and its deep invasion of production and manufacturing, engineered equipment has become common in warehouses. Various specifically engineered machines are used to automate repetitive tasks to make them simple and fast. Engineered material handling equipment includes a group of automation units that improves the efficiency of storage and transportation of material. These are often used in handling large materials or materials in large quantities. Some popular examples of these types of machines are:

  • Automated storage and retrieval systems
  • Conveyor systems
  • Robotic delivery machines
  • Auto guided vehicles
  • Industrial trucks and automotive

Powered industrial trucks have been instrumental in warehouse operations for several years. One of the most common examples is a forklift. These machines are used to move large quantities or massive materials around the floor. These are also used to load and unload material on and from transport trucks and vehicles. Powered industrial trucks find applications in many diverse verticles. Some dominant industrial truck examples are:

  • Hand trucks
  • Palette jacks and trucks
  • Platform trucks and walkie jacks
  • Sideloaders
  • Auto guided vehicles
  • Handling equipment for bulk materials

Handling bulk material is critical and must be done with utmost safety and control. This category includes equipment that can be used to move large material volumes around the production floor. These materials can be in bulk but are often in loose form. Some commonly used equipment for bulk materials are:

  • Conveyor belts
  • Stackers and reclaimers
  • Elevators and silos