Material movement equipment
Material handling equipment (MHE) is used for the movement and storage of material within a facility or at a site. MHE can be classified into the following five major categories:
- Transport Equipment. Equipment used to move material from one location to another (e.g., between workplaces, between a loading dock and a storage area, etc.). The major subcategories of transport equipment are conveyors, cranes, and industrial trucks. Material can also be transported manually using no equipment.
- Positioning Equipment. Equipment used to handle material at a single location so that it is in the correct position for subsequent handling, machining, transport, or storage. Unlike transport equipment, positioning equipment is usually used for handling at a single workplace. Material can also be positioned manually using no equipment.
- Unit Load Formation Equipment. Equipment used to restrict materials so that they maintain their integrity when handled a single load during transport and for storage. If materials are self-restraining (e.g., a single part or interlocking parts), then they can be formed into a unit load with no equipment.
- Storage Equipment. Equipment used for holding or buffering materials over a period of time. Some storage equipment may include the transport of materials (e.g., the S/R machines of an AS/RS, or storage carousels). If materials are block stacked directly on the floor, then no storage equipment is required.
- Identification and Control Equipment. Equipment used to collect and communicate the information that is used to coordinate the flow of materials within a facility and between a facility and its suppliers and customers. The identification of materials and associated control can be performed manually with no specialized equipment.
| | About MHE Taxonomy |
Basic Material Handling Equipment: An Outline of Categories and Slides, developed by Richard E. Ward, provides a more detailed categorization of material handling equipment.