Material handling operations are an essential part of all manufacturing industries. These jobs often require excessive physical labor and repetitive tasks that wear out workers. It also puts workers at a high risk of various musculoskeletal health disorders which negatively affects the overall workplace ergonomics. But with the right tools, such tasks can become significantly easier.
The use of assistive equipment in material handling also saves time and boosts productivity. Therefore, provision of proper tools for assistance is in the best interest of both employers and employees.
To help you make an informed decision regarding material handling tools, we have compiled a comprehensive list of tips to consider before making the purchase:
1. Nature of the material:
Manufacturing industries use multiple materials for production. Some of these could be sensitive to light, flammable, or at high risk of contamination, etc. To avoid causing damage to the material and its surroundings, consider these factors before choosing a handling tool.
2. Space and functionality:
The space within which the tool is to be used and the kind of action the tool is expected to perform is the next thing to be considered.
To put things into perspective, list down specific details regarding the area such as its length, height and width so you may select an equipment that is best suited to your needs. In terms of functionality, handling tools can be broken down into 3 types:
- Equipment for storing materials: Equipment used for storage is designed to stock material for a long period. This could include containers, pallet racks, shelves, etc.
- Equipment for moving bulk materials: These are used for handling and transportation of large amount of material that is packaged together. For such materials, trucks, heavy duty transporters, drums or conveyors may be used.
- Equipment for repetitive tasks:For handling operations that involve repetitive tasks, automated guided vehicle systems may be used such as automated forklifts, tugger vehicles, etc.
3. Process needs and customization capacity:
Next, you need to consider the process in which the handled materials are being incorporated. Is it a high-speed process? Does it involve mobile parts? This is important because you will select a tool based on these factors.
If you cannot find a tool that meets all of your needs, you may also consider the option of customization. But since not all equipment can be customized, check the customization capacity of equipment under consideration with the vendor.
4. Maintenance cost tracking
A systematic maintenance and cleaning of all tools involved in manufacturing process is crucial to keep them functional and secure. Before selecting an equipment for handling, make sure you know the maintenance costs for the tool. The selected equipment should have replaceable parts. Ensure that the spare parts are also easily available locally to keep downtime to a minimum.
5. Safety of workers:
Safety of your workers should be top priority of employers. Using poor quality equipment for material handling could lead to life threatening accidents.
Whether it’s a heavy load moving equipment or air caster material handling solution, always make sure that the tools being purchased are high quality products that are safe to work with.
The best way to do that is by selecting your tools from a trusted company such as Hovair Systems Mfg. Inc. that has been providing premium quality handling equipment for more than 30 years.
Improve your workplace ergonomics now by choosing tools from our wide range of products available in our product catalog.