Factors to consider in selecting materials handling equipment


There are various material handling systems in use, right from fully manual to the fully automatic ones. However, the selection of a particular system depends on the factors such as:

  1. Volumes to be handled
  2. Productivity
  3. Product characteristics (weight, size, shape)
  4. Nature of the product (hazardous, perishable, crushable)
  5. The selection of material handling equipment’s depends upon the followings:
  6. Nature of product and its portability.
  7. Value of production.
  8. Shape and size of products.
  9. Methods of production.
  10. Sequence of operations.
  11. The production rate of the industrial unit.
  12. Space availability and type of layout used.
  13. Distance to be covered by the material.
  14. Power availability.
  15. Initial cost of installation, operation and maintenance costs.
  16. Depreciation Costs.
  17. Availability and wages of unskilled labour.
  18. Design of material handling equipment its capacity.
  19. Factors Affecting the selection of Material Handling Equipment
  20. The selection of materials handling equipment requires the attaining of proper balance between the production problem, the capabilities of the equipment available, and the human element involved. The ultimate aim is to arrive at the lowest cost per unit of material handled.
  21. Equipment factors to be taken into consideration may well include the following:
  22. Adaptability: the load carrying and movement characteristics of the equipment should fit the materials handling problem.
  23. Flexibility: Where possible the equipment should have flexibility to handle more than one material, referring either to class or size.
  24. Load capacity: Equipment selected should have great enough load-carrying characteristics to do the job effectively, yet should not be too large and result in excessive operating costs.
  25. Power: Enough power should be available to do the job.
  26. Speed: Rapidity of movement of material, within the limits of the production process or plant safety, should be considered
  27. Space requirements: The space required to install or operate materials handling equipment is an important factor in its selection.
  28. Supervision required: As applied to equipment selection, this refers to the degree of automaticity designed into the equipment.
  29. Ease of maintenance: Equipment selected should be easily maintained at reasonable cost.
  30. Environment: Equipment selected must conform to any environment regulations.
  31. Cost: The consideration of the cost of the equipment is an obvious factor in its selection

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