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Material Handling Equipment - A Look into the most Common Types

August 02, 2013, 09:28 AM

The importance of material handling equipment cannot be undermined when it comes to industrial purposes. These allow workers to move bulky items with complete ease and security. Their use differs from industry to industry but most of these allow you to handle and store objects in the most convenient manner. Whether it is hoisting lumber with crane or moving items manually, material handling equipment help handle all sorts of objects without causing any physical injuries to workers. Discussed below are some of the most prominent kinds of material handling equipment.


As non-automated material handling equipment, these work on motorized system and are further divided into three categories namely storage equipment, bulk material handling and industrial trucks.

• Storage equipment, as the name goes, is normally used for storing objects and operates on a simple mechanism. Some of the most common types of storage equipment include pallets, frames, shelves, bins etc.

• If we talk about industrial trucks, these are used for transporting different types of load from one place to another. Example of these equipment include pallet trucks, forklift, cranes, platform trucks and similar others.

• Bulk material handling equipment is normally used for storing, handling, and moving objects of all kinds. Furthermore, this equipment also has the ability to handle delicate objects including food and chemicals too. Prominent examples of this equipment are wire rope slings, chain slings, stackers, containers, conveyors and many more.


Computer-aided material handling equipment is new-generation tools that apply latest technologies to handle, store and move materials. Contrary to the conventional material handling equipment, these are highly automated. Take a look at some of these.

• Computer-based conveyor systems are operated with a central computer and have advanced scanners. Mainly used for moving and transporting materials, computer controlled conveyor systems not only save time but also help cut down workplace accidents as there’s no human intervention.  Such material handling equipment is used in assembly-line production units.

• Automated guided vehicles, or AGVs as these are usually called, are used for moving objects between workstations. Guided by either power cables or optical guidance system, AGVs are placed under the floor and are powered individually. Mainly controlled by computers, these are widely used in large-scale industries. Some of the most common AGVs include fork truck, tow-type AGV etc.

• Robotic delivery systems are considered to be one of the most advanced computer-based materials handling equipment. Whether it is storing or transporting materials, robotic delivery systems are versatile and can handle all types of loads. The best part is they can handle multiple loads at a single time with complete ease. Introduced about 30 years back, these equipment are widely used in logistics, warehousing and similar other industries. Some of the main types of robotic delivery systems include UNITX, mechanized cherry picker etc.

Before buying any of these materials handling equipment, figure out your needs carefully. Moreover, don’t forget to follow the safety instructions mentioned by the manufacturer. It helps make your workplace more safe & secured.

Ethel Payne
Kennedy Wire Rope & Sling Company
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