Warehouse operations often prove to be a big challenge for developed as well as rapidly growing businesses. For any business handling bulk manufacturing, storage, and distribution, managing a warehouse is very important. Warehouse operations include moving, storing, retrieving, and making inventory of the materials in the warehouse. Sometimes, laborers are not enough for this purpose. Industrial-grade material handling equipment is required to increase the speed, efficiency, and productivity of the warehouse. And in today’s fast-paced work environment, warehouse machinery is not a luxury but a necessity. Many retailers and distributors like SecurT offer warehouse machinery as well as turnkey solutions for proper warehouse management.
There are many different types of machines used in a warehouse for operations like lifting, stacking, transporting, and storage. These machines can increase the productivity and labor output for the business. They can also help the business to stay competitive and in touch with latest technology. Let us look at the different types of material handling equipment often used in a warehouse.
As the name suggests, lifting equipment is used to stack and move materials from one place to another in a warehouse. The three main types of lifting equipment used in most warehouses are forklifts, reach trucks, and order pickers.
Forklifts are the most commonly used lifting equipment for warehousing, construction, and manufacturing purposes. These machines are simple to use and quite versatile. They can be powered by electricity, fuel, propane gas, and diesel which make them most convenient to use. Forklifts come in many types and are used for various purposes from simple lifting to moving and stacking materials. The different types of forklifts include turret trucks, scissor lifts, aerial lifts, personnel lifts, side loaders, and many more.
Forklift accessories are different attachments that allow the forklift trucks to perform varying functions like lift, carry, crane, push, pull, hold, dispense, rotate and clamp the materials with better efficiency. There are many reputed distributors that provide different forklift accessories in Canada and other states in the US. Most of these accessories are attached to the fork of the truck. These include front spotters, side shifts, fork positioners, bale clamps and rotators. However, there are some attachments that need to be towed behind like the salt spreaders, rear spotters, back savers, etc.
2. Reach Trucks
Reach trucks are narrow-aisle stacking trucks designed for unit load handling. They are similar to forklifts but provide the added advantage of working in narrow aisles. They can offer lift heights up to 14 meters. This feature makes these battery-electric powered units the most common lifting equipment used in large warehouses.
3. Order Pickers
Order picking is a vital part of any warehouse, comprising of almost 45% of the operating costs. Order pickers are lifting equipment specially designed to handle this process with ease and precision. They provide inherent features like low step-heights, control handles, and padded platforms. These features help the workers to do more efficient and faster work.
Heavy Material Handling Equipment
For heavy loads you need high-functioning equipment that can easily move, stack, or retrieve the materials. You should know what materials and how much load you are moving and select the machinery accordingly. Heavy-duty pallet jacks and container trucks can lift heavy loads and transport them securely from one place to another. Handling delicate or liquid items requires taking extra care to ensure safe storage and secure transfer of such products. While this was previously a challenging task, modern machines make it very easy. These machines include tanks, silos, pumps, augers, conveyors, and vacuums.
The most productive warehouses are those which have a good management system and efficient storage layout. While a well-organized warehouse can increase productivity and efficiency, a disorganized warehouse is a nightmare to work in! A good warehouse is one where the goods are systematically stored, easily retrieved and simple to rearrange. There are many different shelving and racking equipment available that can achieve this easily without any major accidents or delays. Different racking equipment includes standard palettes, counterbalance racks; double deep, vertical carousel, gravity load, and drive-in racks. You should select the equipment that best suits your space and material needs.
The way you approach warehouse management can greatly impact the outcome of your business. Proper implementation, surveillance, and maintenance of warehouse equipment can easily increase efficiency and profitability of the business.