The handling of materials does not shape, form, process, or change a material or product in any way. It is wholly a service function, yet it directly affects costs and profits. Thus, it is one area that must always be reviewed and improved.
When an industrial material handling system is improved, it will accomplish one - or all - of the following basic objectives:
Increased Productive Capacity involves basic facilities, tools, equipment, and labor. Their capacity is increased by:
Increasing productivity per man-hour
Increasing machine efficiency through reduction of down time
Smoothing out work flow in the plant
Improving production control.
Reduced Waste is an important factor that is often overlooked. This includes everything from reduction of spoilage due to improper storage to upgrading scrap through selective handling. To accomplish this, material handling must:
Maintain proper control over in-stock and out-of-stock handling
Eliminate damage to material by better handling during this process
Be flexible to meet the specific handling requirements of each material.
Improved Working Conditions go hand in hand with increased productivity and accompanying reduced costs. Better material handling can meet this objective by:
Providing safer working conditions
Reducing employee fatigue
Improving personnel comfort
Upgrading employees to more productive work.
Improved Distribution encompasses all the problems of getting the end product to the customer and has a direct effect on the selling price. Material handling's job here is to:
Decrease product damage in handling and shipping
Improve location of storage facilities
Increase efficiency of shipping and receiving.
Reduced Costs mean an over-all cost reduction, not a reduction in one spot and an increase in another. This objective is reached by:
Decreasing and controlling inventories
Utilizing space to better advantage
Reducing astray shipments
Cutting pilferage through planned package handling.
Materials handling embraces all of the basic operations involved in the movement of bulk, packaged, and individual products in a semi-solid or solid state by means of machinery, and within the limits of a business, including:
Dry Bulk Ingredients Receiving/Storage/Handling
Liquid Bulk Ingredients Receiving/Storage/Handling
Discrete Ingredient Warehouse
Packaging Materials Receiving/Storage/Handling
Waste Food, Product, Solids (Paper, etc.), and Metal