What do you think when you see tons of material being lifted by a crane? ‘What if it falls?’ This thought cannot escape our mind. There have been many accidental fatalities in the past couple of years due to mishandling of the materials which has injured and in some rare cases even killed the workers. Evolution of transportation and the rise of the heavy industries has made handling such materials even a bigger challenge. From manually handling the material to storing it with complex machines everything comes under the scope of storing and handling.
Using material handling equipment ranging from ropes, pulleys, and drums fitted in the custom built machines for handling such materials are used these days. More than 1/3rd of the workforce suffer through the hazards posed by handling and lifting these materials. The answer to the problem would be minimising the use of manual handling and using the equipment and machines to do the job. Manual work increases the chances of fatalities and muscular or even skeletal injuries. Such material handling equipment not only increases the safety of the workmen but would also increase the productivity and efficiency of the organization.
Many of material handling equipment are manufactured in bulk, but some of the industry specific equipment might also be made custom-made. These may have versatile uses ranging from lifting to retrieving. Forklift or conveyors are some of the commonly known handling equipment which helps in storing and transporting. The hydraulic and electrical systems have made such machines much more capable. The durability of such machines are very important and the parts are made in such a way that the equipment lasts several years.
Most of the industries and factories prefer custom made machines which are specially made to cater to the needs of the particular entity according to the functions, size, and uses. There are multiple types of such machines
- Stackers: Such machines are used to create a stockpile which is done by stocking the material on each other. Such machines have simple lifting and storing mechanisms.
- Hoppers: These can be regarded as feeders. They work in synergy with other machines and feeds the material to them.
- Conveyors: You might have encountered the conveyor belts in airports. Such equipment are made of continuous loops which are interconnected and work on the pulley mechanism. These are generally used to transport heavy raw materials.
- Reclaimers: When you have already stocked the material in storage, you would need to reclaim that material again. Hence such machines help to recover the materials from the created stockpile without disturbing it.
Modern machinery like lift tables and pallet handlers are made on the basis of these basic machinery only. The hoists and cranes are capable of picking hundreds of kilos of material and help to transfer them from one place to another pretty easily. Modern material handling equipment have turned out to be a necessity for the advanced industries.