Quality materials handling equipment is at the centre of running a successful warehouse or distribution centre. Materials handling equipment, or MHE in short, refers to the tools and machines used to handle, move and store goods and equipment. It can be manual, motorised, or automated. Based on its application, MHE is classified into four categories storage equipment, bulk handling equipment, industrial trucks, and automated systems.
If your goal is to optimise the workflow in your warehouse, join us as we take a closer look at the essential pieces of material handling equipment and how they can increase your efficiency, safety, and productivity.
Pallet Trucks: The Staple of Every Warehouse
Let's start with the staple piece of MHE – the pallet truck. Manual or electric pallet trucks are a common sight in warehouses. Manual versions can handle up to 700kg of weight, while electric ones can take on goods up to 2300 kg.
Keep in mind that most items you need to move weigh less than 1000kg. Even though manual pallet trucks can do the job, using an electric version can make work a whole lot easier, reducing the risk of injuries and operator fatigue.
Pallet Cages: Ensure Safe Storage
Pallet cages aren't just for storing goods on pallet racks; they also reduce manual handling risks. By allowing you to combine items on a pallet and move them without the need for manual carrying, they streamline your operations. Plus, with the gates in our pallet cages being fully removable down to the base level, you won't have to bend over.
Trolleys: Move a Variety of Goods with Ease
Trolleys have been around in warehouses for ages and continue to be one of the most common solutions. Whether it's platform trolleys, logistics cages, picking trolleys, hand trucks, or gas cylinder trolleys, they serve diverse purposes. When choosing a trolley, consider the potential risks and see if you can standardise your processes with a single system rather than using multiple trolleys for specific niche applications.
Conveyors: Use the Fast Lane to Efficiency
Conveyors are a type of automated MHE and come in a wide variety, from basic straight conveyor benches to modular systems with steel rollers or skate wheels. They're the workhorses of warehouses, helping items move faster and safer than manual handling.
Connect them to other automated systems such as picking, ERP and even transport systems and they can drastically improve the flow of your operations.
Lift Tables: Elevate Productivity Levels
Lift tables are not just for traditional workshops. With the power to hoist loads of up to 4000kg on extra-large tables or 2000kg on standard ones, these pieces of MHE have a broad array of uses. They can help you get your load to the perfect height for tasks like loading, unloading, processing, or assembly, reducing risks that may have lurked in your operation.
When considering a lift table, opt for one with single-phase power to keep implementation costs down, unless, of course, you need frequent cycles per hour. For those on a budget, spring-loaded pallet positioners are worth considering, but they are best suited for consistent-weight products.
Drum Handling Equipment: Manage Awkward Drums
Drum handling equipment is a lifesaver when it comes to managing drums in the workplace. It allows operators to lift drums with trolleys or forklift attachments, making loading and unloading a piece of cake. Some models even offer rotation functions to ensure precise positioning. No more wrestling with heavy drums; let the equipment do the heavy lifting for you.
Electric Tow Tugs: Carrying Heavy Items Is a Breeze
Electric tow tugs, or "tractors" as some call them, are perfect for moving heavy equipment and trolley loads. They allow you to attach specialised connections to tailor them precisely for your tasks and make moving equipment effortless. It's like having a handy assistant, always ready to lend a powerful hand.
Forklift Attachments: Lift Heavy Loads with Ease
Forklifts are indispensable for every warehouse, factory or similar site where the processes involve the need to lift heavy loads. To get the most out of forklifts, operators can use several forklift attachments. These include forklift jibs, waste bins, grab attachments, wheel bin tippers, and more.
Forklift jibs, in particular, allow you to lift heavy equipment with ease. Just remember to stay clear when items are being lifted to avoid any unexpected swings.
Stacker Equipment: Replacing Forklifts When Needed
Stackers are a very practical piece of MHE that can take on the role of forklifts when they're not available or in areas where it's not suitable to use them. Operating a stacker is similar to using a pallet jack, you just need to pump the handle to raise the fork tines and pull the lever to lower them. These tools can handle a variety of weights ranging from 150kg to 100kg.
Containit Solutions: Your Partner in Handling and Storage
Containit Solutions is a leading provider of materials handling and industrial storage solutions. We'd love to discuss your next project or improvement opportunity. Contact us today and let's work together to make your operation even more efficient and productive!