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The Four Main Types of Material Handling Equipment: Which Is Right for Your Warehouse?

What do you think of when you picture material handling equipment? This term covers a broad range of accessories, appliances, vehicles, storage units, and tools used to move materials of all weights and sizes throughout a warehouse. These products are essential in ensuring warehousing operations maintain efficiency and productivity and maximize their revenue.

Material handling equipment typically falls into one of four categories: storage and handling equipment, industrial trucks, engineered systems, and bulk material handling equipment. These categories apply to various needs that one may encounter in a warehouse environment. Every operation has different requirements, and many find that a customized system is the most effective way to ensure peak productivity at their facility.

Below, we’re discussing each type of material handling equipment, so you can choose the best products to add to your warehouse. Let’s take a look!

Storage and Handling Equipment

Storage equipment includes shelves, bins, drawers, stacking frames, and racks. These products are used to hold items when they are not being transported and are beneficial for long-term storage while stock is building up. Here’s a quick overview of how some of the most common types of storage equipment work:

  • Racks are used to free up floor space while ensuring the items they hold remain accessible.
  • Stacking frames save space while protecting fragile items.

Other types of industrial storage equipment are used for smaller products, as well as those that are difficult to organize. These devices are usually not automated and require workers to sort and store them by hand.

Industrial Trucks

Vehicles and transportation items that move materials while they are in the production facility are known as industrial trucks. The tools most used for this purpose are forklifts and hand-operated transportation vehicles. Other industrial trucks that warehouse operations might use are automatic guided vehicles, side loaders, order pickers, platform trucks, walkie stackers, and pallet trucks. Vehicles that must be driven by an operator typically feature forks or a flat surface that slides under pallets and storage platforms. Meanwhile, hand-operated trucks are controlled manually, and workers must stack items on them one at a time.

Engineered Systems

This type of material handling equipment includes automated systems that transport large amounts of products around the warehouse. These may consist of robotic delivery systems, conveyor belts, and automated storage and retrieval equipment. Engineered systems are effective for quickly moving and retrieving items in storage or on an assembly line in a warehouse.

Bulk Material Handling

These material handling tools manage the control and transportation of bulk materials, either as a unit or in loose form. They can be used to handle minerals, metal items, liquids, beverages, foods, and more. Bulk material handling products are often utilized to move loose parts throughout the production floor.

Some of the tools that facilities use for this purpose include silos, hoppers, grain and bucket elevators, reclaimers, stickers, and conveyor belts. These products can be used in tandem or on their own. For example, hoppers often funnel items into their packaging, while conveyor belts and elevators move them around the warehouse.

In Need of High-Quality Material Handling Equipment? A-Lined Can Help

When you find yourself seeking better appliances and tools for material handling in CT, A-Lined Handling Systems is your go-to source. Our company has a long history of providing equipment that keeps production facilities operating at peak efficiency. Plus, we can custom design a system to optimize your space and increase safety and productivity.

For more information about how we can help you with systems handling in your warehouse, contact us today!