A warehouse is predominantly used for storing goods. As a key operations hub for the likes of manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses and customs, it’s fair to say there’s a lot that takes place within a warehouse environment.
However, similar to any type of business, if no logical structure exists with regard to how processes are carried out in a warehouse, then productivity will grind to a halt, or at best be running far below capacity.
One such solution where the transportation of goods within a warehouse is concerned is to use specialist handling equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently.
Here’s an overview of the types of material handling equipment to look out for, along with the importance of such equipment to guide you.
Why Does Warehouse Productivity Matter?
Quite simply, if a warehouse isn’t productive then this will have a direct impact on the profitability of the business.
As an example, imagine a busy retail warehouse that distributes thousands of orders per week. If the items needed for shipment couldn’t be loaded onto the vehicle in time, then the order could miss its slot. The client would then be unhappy, and if it became a regular occurrence could change suppliers as a result.
On the other side of the coin, from a physical perspective if manual labour is required to transport goods or help position them into place, then this runs the risk of serious injury for employees. It will also take far longer to complete the job, which could delay other processes within the warehouse.
How Can Material Handling Equipment Help?
The nature of warehouses is that they are often an extremely busy environment, tightly packed with goods and equipment. Not only do warehouses require logical ordering to maintain efficiently, but the way in which goods are moved around also needs to be subject to careful planning.
Otherwise, not only could the risk of injury to employees be increased, but the overall profitability of the business could suffer too. That’s why material handling equipment should be utilised wherever possible.
Of course, there is always the debate about automating tasks, especially ones which previously were completed by humans. However, the warehouse environment is unique in that many of the tasks that take place, especially relating to manual lifting, can pose several threats to the safety and well-being of employees.
Therefore, any tasks that can be automated with machinery reduce the risk of injury. An added benefit is the cost savings this can bring for businesses.
What Are Examples Of Material Handling Equipment?
Not all material handling equipment is created equal! Depending on the environment of your business, any of the following may suit your operational needs.
Gantries have a similar appearance to a bridge. They are overhead structures with a platform that can be used for heavy fabrication projects as well as in shipping yards. Gantries help to streamline the transportation process by safely lifting items, with users easily able to designate where the items are then placed them back down.
Hoists, Balancers & Winches
It is essential that when lifting any load, the accessory used can safely lift and contain the weight. In addition, some environments may not be powered with electricity, meaning electrical powered tools and equipment cannot assist with the careful move. Therefore, selecting the correct hoists, balancers and winches is a priority.
Monorails are single-track contraptions that make clever use of the space above workstations, to provide seamless handling. Monorails also have the benefit of reducing employee fatigue as well as ensuring the correct load positioning. That is why they are an excellent tool for any warehouse or manufacturing environment striving to improve its productivity.
Workstation cranes also work overhead within a production environment to safely move loads. Workstation cranes are available in a wide range of capacities, meaning warehouses and manufacturers with varying requirements can improve their productivity.
Warehouse Handling Equipment UK
Metreel is a leading supplier of warehouse handling equipment. We’re based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire covering the UK and beyond.
If you would like to find out more about our warehouse handling equipment, or if you’re interested in any other of the services we provide, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010, or drop us an email.
Alternatively, check out the Metreel Brochure to discover our full range of products and services.