3 Interesting Facts About Industrial Material Handling
Industrial material handling may not sound like the most fascinating subject—but you might be surprised. A lot is involved in the process of transporting, storing, protecting, and controlling the collection and distribution of many materials. If you want to learn more, here are three interesting facts about industrial material handling as well as a few other tidbits.
Ergonomics Explores the Interaction Between Humans and Machines
Once upon a time, every part of industry and manufacturing was powered by humans. While they had machines and the means to power them every step of the way, human beings were the biggest providers of energy and movement in the average factory or mill. This led to accidents, exhaustion, and repetitive stress injuries, all of which interfered with productivity. While there have always been efforts to keep people safe while improving results, ergonomics has only been around since the early part of the 20th century. Ergonomics combines physiology with psychology and studies how human beings interact with mechanical and automated systems. The goal is to optimize workflow and reduce injuries and deaths.
Material Handling Is the Most Common Process in the Business World
While different facilities offer various products and services via different processes, material handling is consistent in any type of business. No matter how large or small it is, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company, firm, or mom-and-pop store that doesn’t engage in the transporting, storing, protecting, collection, and distribution of items. Even office spaces have defined rules and procedures for how office supplies and similar materials should be handled to keep workers safe.
The Four Types of Material Handling Equipment
Did you know there are four types of material handling equipment? The first type is storage equipment. This includes shelves, racks, and bins where materials are kept and protected until they’re ready for retrieval. The second type is bulk material equipment which includes silos, hoppers, conveyor belts. Their job is to contain and move copious quantities of loose bulk materials. The third type is trucks that move materials from one place to another, such as handcarts, dollies, and forklifts. The fourth type is automatic guided vehicles, which can be any load-carrying vehicle that doesn’t require a human operator. They all do their part to keep materials moving!