What is Material Handling?
Material handling is a series of operations that help in the movement, protection, repository, and control of products. Proper material handling equipment such as lifts, trucks, pallets, etc., is crucial for an efficient material handling system alongside properly devised plans and a capable staff set.
Material handling is an indispensable part of almost all areas of the supplying industry. However, it is chiefly integral to have a dependable material handling system in food and beverage storage warehousing and distribution.
Warehouse and Material Handling
Warehouse Control System has emerged from the Warehouse Management System, which was incompetent and unsuitable for the technology we have.
An efficient and well-designed material handling system assists in improving business productivity, reduce handling costs, and make inventory management and flow easy to handle. Keeping in mind, it suffices to say that material handling holds tremendous influence in logistics and productive supply chain management.
Over time, material handling technology has advanced, and now industries have loads of options to choose from to store, process, and deliver products.
This advancement has resulted in improved productivity in warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants.
Various types of material handling equipment include:
- Storage handling equipment.
- Engineered systems.
- Industrial trucks.
- Bulk Material Handling Equipment.
Above mentioned equipment work by storing, moving, and handling goods. Some of these systems use material handling software that uses technology such as robotic delivery systems and conveyor belts that are programmed to work without human intervention, thus reducing the workload on staff.
Reduced need for human involvement means a lower risk of theft, damage, and spoilage of material that the workers may do. Also, it saves the company cost of human labor. Food and beverage companies tend to cut a great cost by using the equipment. Human labor in few companies is still used for the packaging process, though.
It also means that more goods are stored in a more standardized manner, meaning it’s more convenient to select and pack inventory for shipments.
An organized and competent Material handling System requires efficiently designed software paired with appropriate machinery to handle, pack and organize goods when a shipment arrives.
Automated tools work better as they improve material handling and efficiency brought by the computer-controlled system.
A Warehouse Management System is also essential as it gives insight into the entire Warehouse operations.
While setting an effective Material Handling system, some of the things that are considered over the planning, space, work, environmental, and other such principles
The food and beverage chain differs significantly from other chains of supply such as pharmaceutical and automotive.
Handling food items is more complicated and demands more time since food items require extra care, making sure they’re being stored at the right temperature and adequately sealed. Thus, food items call for special facilities and tools for handling and transportation.
Typically racks or shelves are used to store products in times of downtime or material when not in use. These are designed vertically in a warehouse to create space to hold more items.
Storage and Handling Equipment are listed as followed:
- Stacking frames.
- Flow racks.
- Pallet racks.
Apart from proper handling, it is also crucial to ensure that strict health and safety standards are followed when food and beverages are handled.
Sometimes the handling of food and beverages may require extra effort with the need for freezers or other temperature-controlled environments to store the goods, which increases the cost.
For handling loose materials and handling a few products such as food, beverages, and some minerals, bulk product handling equipment is used.
Bulk product handling equipment includes:
- Bucket elevators.
- Dump trucks.
- Grain elevators.
- Elevated lift tables.
And so on.
Along with storing items, a storage warehouse should also manage inventory and streamline supply chain processes and operations for increased performance and decreased cost to remain profitable.
Building store-friendly pallets that align with the store layout, ergonomic stations, and robots to build pallets can help keep companies in the competition and keep profits.
Now, to transport these products from the warehouses to the clients, different types of equipment are used.
Some examples are:
- Order pickers.
- Pallet trucks.
- Platform trucks.
- Walkie stalkers.
The environment in Food and Beverage Sector
One of the crucial factors includes the cleanliness of the area where food and beverages are prepared and packed. It is necessary to prevent the sector from any form of contamination. Few things which are required for workers of the food sector are
For maximum efficiency and to stay in the competition with tbe ever advancing sector, it is essential to keep modifying, monitoring, and modifying your material handling system to protect the productivity of the retail warehouse and the health of workers employed in the warehouse.
The material handling process underpins a warehouse’s productivity efforts and can significantly influence business. An efficient Material Handling System is crucial for a smoothly run business. An efficiently run warehouse management system ensures timely delivery of products, satisfied customers, and a content staff that isn’t overworked or exhausted. All in all, it is fit to say that a competent Handling System makes way for a healthy supply chain and can significantly improve product quality, profits and customer satisfaction, and employee contentment.