Material Handling

What is Material Handling:

In Industries Factories Warehouses, “Moving”, “Loading”, and “Unloading” of raw material and goods with the help of some mechanical equipment comes under the umbrella of Material Handling.

Material Handling Equipment

Materials handling equipment are mechanical equipment that are utilized in moving, storing, controlling, and protecting products and materials throughout the cycle processes of manufacturing, distributing, consuming, and disposing.

Some Categories of Material Handling Equipment

  • Bulk material handling
  • Engineered systems
  • Industrial trucks
  • Storage and handling equipment


Bucket and grain elevators

Bucket Elevators are a simple but effective method of elevating free-flowing and semi-free flowing bulk materials. Their inherent simplicity makes them a popular choice for bulk material handling and processing applications. Guttridge bucket elevators operate across the world in a wide variety of markets, from grains, feeds and foods to oilseeds, biomass, waste and minerals.

Conveyor Belts 

A conveyor belt is a material handling system designed to move supplies, materials, and components using an efficient and effortless process that saves on time, energy, and cost. The design of conveyor belts includes two motorized pulleys with the conveyor material looped over them. The pulleys operate at the same speed and move in the same direction to activate the motion of the conveyor belt.

Hoppers and Silos

Hoppers, Bins and Silos are used to store bulk materials. Storage capacities up to 10,000 cubic feet can easily be handled. KWS designs and manufactures hoppers, bins and silos for every market including the wastewater treatment, cement, chemical, mining and aggregate industries for storing many bulk materials.


Walk behind stackers, also known as walkie stackers, are mobile lifting positioners commonly used to stack pallets on top of one another but also have a wide variety of other material handling applications such as work positioning and dock loading. They are used as intermediate handling of products where a traditional sit down or stand-up forklift truck is not economically viable or due to space constraints


A reclaimer is a large machine used in bulk material handling applications. A reclaimer’s function is to recover bulk material such as ores and cereals from a stockpile. A stacker is used to stack the material.


Engineered Systems

Automated guided vehicles

Sometimes called self-guided vehicles or automated guided vehicles are material handling systems or load carriers that travel autonomously throughout a warehouse, distribution center, or manufacturing facility, without an onboard operator or driver

Robotic delivery systems

Robotic material handling and tending systems are commonplace in the industrial sector. Material handling refers to robotic arms moving production parts, typically on or off a conveyor belt or to hold a part in place for production. Machine tending is similar, but more specifically, referring to a robotic arm to load and unload a stationary production machine.

Conveyor systems

A conveyor system is used in many industries as a standard piece of mechanical handling equipment to move goods, products, raw goods, and other materials from one location to another, usually in the same area or building. They are extremely handy for businesses that deal with heavy goods, sharp items, raw materials, and mass-produced products.


Industrial Trucks

Order pickers

An order picker forklift is a piece of equipment used to help operators pick and deliver materials needed for filling out orders. They are designed take the forklift operator up to the rack with or without a load. Commonly, the forks hold a load that is being added to, not being put away. Designed for applications that require an operator to be at the same level as the inventory to pick a specific order, order pickers can help increase efficiency of the users when used in the correct setting


A sideloader does exactly what its title suggests. It loads and unloads from the side of the machine. Instead of the forks being located in front of the equipment like on a standard forklift, a sideloader’s forks are located on its side.

Walkie stackers

A walkie stacker is also known as a pedestrian walk-behind stacker. It is a walk-behind pallet truck with an attached mast for lifting pallets to heights. Walkie stackers come in diverse types for varied applications. So, let’s understand the different types of walkie stackers and their applications.

Hand, platform and pallet trucks

Hand Pallet Trucks, otherwise known as Pallet Jacks and Pallet Forks provide a versatile and efficient non-powered solution for lifting and transporting palletized cargo around warehouses and factories. Pallet Trucks are often found on the back of lorries and vans to assist with managing and offloading palletized goods. As one of the most common tools used in logistics

Pallet jacks

Manual pallet jacks are the most basic type of forklift and are made specifically for horizontal transportation.

They are used to carry wooden pallets of material across warehouses without putting any strain on the person lifting them up or down.

A common use is for moving loads from the loading dock station to the pallet racks or shelving areas to be stored away.

Industrial Trucks

Storage and Handling Equipment

Drive-through or drive-in racks

Drive-in and drive-through pallet racking systems are comprised of uprights and rail beams. The uprights provide vertical support, and the rail beams are used for pallet storage that is extremely dense. In this system, product is stored both back-to-back and floor-to-ceiling. This means that on average, you can store seven times more product when compared to another pallet rack system. Drive-in and drive-through pallet racks can also be connected to a standard pallet rack or customized design.

Push-back racks

Push-Back Racking is a live storage system for the accumulation of pallets, just like the Live Pallet Racking FIFO system but designed for LIFO type load management (the last pallet in, the first pallet out).

Push-back racking for pallets has a single loading and unloading area, at the front of the structure, and the unit loads are stored by pushing the previous ones towards the back of the rack.

Pallet racks

Pallet racking is a single or multi-level storage system that is utilized to support the high stacking of single items or palletized loads. Pallet rack systems are a fundamental component of any distribution, storage, or material handling operation. Pallet racks allow rapid access to stored materials. Pallet rack systems maximize facility space while simplifying inventory requirements


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