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Chapter 1 Introduction to MHS

1. Material Handling Definitions
• Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia: “The
movement of raw materials, semi-finished goods, and
finished articles through various stages of production
and warehousing is called Materials Handling”.
• Material Handling is concerned with the movement,
storage, and control of materials in a process.
• Material Handling and logistics are expensive
operations which comprise of 10% to 80% of the
product cost.
• Materials handling comprises 20% to 35% of the cost
of a manufactured product, more often than not; and
for agricultural products and foodstuffs, they may
sometimes be much higher.
• Material handling is defined by the Materials
Handling Institute (www.mhia.org) as the movement,
storage, control, and protection of materials and
products throughout the process of their manufacture,
distribution, consumption, and disposal.
The five commonly recognized aspects of
material handling are:
* Motion. Parts, materials, and finished products that
must be moved from one location to another should be
moved in an efficient manner and at minimum cost
* Time. Materials must be where they are needed at the
moment they are needed
* Place. Materials must be in the proper location and
positioned for use
* Quantity. The rate of demand varies between the
steps of processing operations. Materials must be
continually delivered to, or removed from, operations in
the correct weights, volumes, or numbers of items
* Space. Storage space, and its efficient utilization, is a
key factor in the overall cost of an operation or process
•Material handling is the art and science of moving,
storing, protecting, and controlling material
–Moving: Required to create time and place utility.
The value of having the material at the right time and
the right place.
–Storing: Provides a buffer between operations,
facilitates the efficient use of people and machines.
–Protecting: Includes the packaging, packing
against damage and theft.
–Controlling: Physical: Orientation, sequence and
space between material.
Status: Real-time awareness of the location,
amount, destination, origin, ownership, and
schedule of material
1. In the first layer we have the man or woman handling
the individual part, workpiece, or unit.
2. In the second layer we have the room, department, or
plant in which handling takes place.
3. In the third layer we have the complete handling
system, composed of a chain of events that could very
well start with the supplier, or the raw material source,
and go through the factory and distribution network to
the ultimate consumer and beyond, to waste disposal
and recycling of any part of the material or object
received by the consumer
1.2 Material handling system equation
• Materials + Moves + Methods = Preferred system
Is to be moved?
Data are available and required?
Alternatives are available?
Are the benefits and disbenefits (costs) for each alternative?
Is the planning horizon for the system?
Should be mechanized/automated?
Should be done manually?
Shouldn’t be done at all?
Other firms have related problems?
Criteria will be used to evaluate alternative designs?
Exceptions can be anticipated?
are the types of material to be moved?
are their characteristics?
are the amounts moved and stored?
Is material handling required?
Do material handling problem exist?
Should material handling equipment be used?
Should material handling responsibility exist in the organization?
Will future change occur?
Can operations be eliminated, combined, simplified?
Can assistance be obtained?
Should material be stored?
is the material coming from? should it come from?
is the material delivered? should it be delivered?
is the material stored? should it be stored?
can material handling tasks be eliminated, combined or simplified?
can you apply mechanization or automation?
Should material be moved?
Should I automate?
Should I eliminate?
Should I expand (contract)?
Should I consult vendors?
Should a post-audit of the system be performed?
is material needed? should it be moved?
is it time to mechanize or automate?
should we conduct a material handling performance
Should material be moved?
Do I analyze the material handling problem?
Do I sell everyone involved?
Do I learn more about material handling?
Do I choose from among the alternatives available?
Do I measure material handling performance?
Should exceptions be accommodated?
is the material moved or stored? should material be
moved or stored? What are the alternative ways of
moving or storing the material?
• much inventory should be maintained?
• is the material tracked? should the material be tracked?
• should the problem be analyzed?
Should be handling material?
Should be involved in designing the system?
Should be involved in evaluating the system?
Should be involved in installing the system?
Should be involved in auditing the system?
Should be invited to submit equipment quotes?
Has faced a similar problem in the past?
should be handling material? What are the required
skills to perform the material handling tasks?
• should be trained to service and maintain the material
handling system?
• should be involved in designing the system?
Operations are necessary?
Problems should be studied first?
Type equipment (if any) should be considered?
Materials should have real-time control?
Alternative is preferred?
material handling operations are necessary?
type of material handling equipment, if any, should be
• material handling system is cost effective?
• alternative is preferred?
• Material handling means providing the
◦right amount
◦of the right material
◦in the right condition
◦at the right place
◦in the right position
◦in the right sequence
◦in the right time
◦for the right price
◦by the right method
1.3 Goals of material handling
◦ Reduce unit costs of production
◦ Maintain or improve product quality, reduce damages,
and provide for protection of materials
◦ Promote safety and improve working conditions
◦ Promote productivity
- material should flow in a straight line
- use gravity, It is free power
- move more material at one time
- mechanize material handling
- automate material handling
◦ Promote increased use of facilities
◦ Control inventory
1.4 Three basic characteristics of
materials handling
1. Picking up the load
2. Transporting the load
3. Setting the load down
• In addition to the three basic characteristics of
materials handling, two opposing elements of
cost must be considered:
- Product mix
- Load size
• The product mix describes the number of different
sizes, shapes, and types of products that must be
handled. Invariably, as the product mix increases, the
cost of handling increases, because of the difficulty of
handling products of several sizes.
For example, if steel drums, cartons, and
nonuniform pallet loads are received across the same
receiving platform, the different methods and type of
equipment used to handle these diverse items will add to
the complexity and cost of handling.
On the other hand, if only cartons of a certain size
are handled, then the problem is simplified; and, handling
equipment can be standardized, keeping costs per unit
handled at a very low level. Thus, we can say that,
"Keeping the product mix low keeps handling costs
• Load size can increase or decrease handling costs,
depending on several factors.
For example, as unit load sizes increase, handling
costs usually decrease. It is less costly to handle a pallet
load of bricks than to use a container to carry them a few
at a time from point to point.
It is less costly, also, to transport a pallet load of
flour sacks than to handle the sacks of flour individually.
Also, it is much more economical, if the scale of the
enterprise permits this, to handle the flour in bulk tank
cars than to pack the flour in sacks and palletize the sacks.
Thus it is a matter of degree; but, generally
speaking, as the load size increases, the cost of handling
decreases, provided the volume of materials handled
justifies the cost of the equipment required to do the
2. The why and How of Handling
• Improve Production Operations
Production effectiveness can be increased by having "The
right quantity of material, at the right place, at the right
time." It is by eliminating or minimizing machine or
operator time that many cost savings may be made,
especially since an orderly flow of work through a plant
increases the morale and productivity of the work force
• lmprove lndirect to Direct Labor Handling Ratios
There is an upward trend in most industry segments that
reflects the growing labor force required to service and
maintain increasingly complex equipment, for example,
numerical controlled machine tools
• Reduce Damage Due to Materials Handling
In-transit movements, either from suppliers to plant,
from plant to plant, or in plant, have a tendency to
increase the level of damage that occurs to the
product being handled.
• Maximize Space Utilization
Materials handling is a vital part of layout planning,
but of equal importance is the materials handling
interdependency that is found in both production
scheduling and inventory control.
• Reduce the Accident Rate and Severity of
3. Material transport Devices
• Material handling equipment includes:
- Transport Equipment: industrial trucks, Automated
Guided Vehicles (AGVs), monorails, conveyors,
cranes and hoists.
- Storage Systems: bulk storage, rack systems,
shelving and bins, drawer storage, automated storage
- Unitizing Equipment: palletizers
- Identification and Tracking systems
3.1 Conveyors
• Conveyors are used when material needs to be move
in a continuous movement over a fixed path.
• Conveyors have very limited access area and a very
high hardware cost and are thus suitable only for very
high-volume operations. Conveyors can be
synchronous or asynchronous.
Sorting Conveyor
3.2 Industrial vehicles -walking
Industrial vehicles -riding
Industrial vehicles –Lift truck
• Very popular, very flexible
• Careful lift truck selection to optimize utilization of
space and labor while maintaining a high safety factor
* Fuel types (electric, gasoline/diesel, LPG Liquid
Propane, fuel cell technology)
*Tire types (cushion or pneumatic)
*Lift capacity and lift height
*Aisle types (wide, narrow, very narrow aisles)
*Truck types
*Attachments / options
Lift truck attachments
3.3 Industrial vehicles –Automated
Guided Vehicles
• Battery-powered, driverless vehicle system
• Destination, path selection, positioning
capabilities can be programmed
• Used to transport material from various loading
locations to unloading locations
• Include intelligent collision avoidance capabilities
• Communication with the vehicle sustained by
* Wires installed on the floor
* Radio signals
The type of AGVSs
• Towing vehicle
• Unit load transporter
• Pallet trucks
• Forklift trucks
• Light-load transporters
• Assembly-line vehicles
3.4 Monorail, hoists and cranes
3.5 Storage and retrieval equipment
3.6 Automated storage and retrieval systems
Small load storage and retrieval
3.7 Automatic identification and
communication equipment
• Automatic identification and recognition
◦Bar coding
◦Optical character recognition
• Automatic paperless communication
◦Radio frequency data terminal
◦Voice headset
◦Light and computer aids
◦Smart card
4. Equipment selection
• Balance between the production problem, the
capabilities of the equipment available, and the human
element involved
• Objective is to arrive at the lowest cost per unit of
material handled
• Depends on:
◦Material to be moved
◦Equipment factors: adaptability, flexibility, load
capacity, power, speed, space requirements, supervision
required, ease of maintenance, environment
• Conveyors:
◦Large capacity over considerable distance
◦Materials or parts can be added
◦Permanent position
◦Various packages, individual items, bulk material
• Trucks:
◦Delivery in batches
◦Portable power supply
◦Load usually on a pallet
• Cranes:
◦Lifting heavy pieces
◦Limited mobility
◦Very expensive
◦Foundation requirements
5. Classification of materials Handling
Material handling is generally classified into two categories,
depending on the form of the material handled
• Bulk solids handling involves the movement and storage
of solids that are flow, such as fine, free-flowing materials
(e.g., wheat flour or sand), pelletized materials (e.g.,
soybeans or soap flakes), or lumpy materials (e.g., coal or
wood bark).
• Unit handling refers to the movement and storage of
items that have been formed into unit loads. A unit load is
a single item, a number of items, or bulk material that is
arranged or restrained so that the load can be stored,
picked up, and moved between two locations as a single
• The handling of liquids and gases is usually
considered to be in the domain of fluid mechanics,
whereas the movement and storage of containers of
liquid or gaseous material properly comes within the
domain of unit material handling.
Factors for consideration in planning material
flow (material characteristics)
Physical state:
Solid, liquid, or gas
Volume, length, width, height
Weight per piece, weight per unit volume
Long and flat, round, square, etc.
Condition: Hot, cold, wet, etc.
Safety risk and risk of damage: Explosive, flammable,
toxic, fragile, etc.
Factors for consideration in planning material
flow (Plant Layout)
Layout type
Typical MH equipment
• Fixed-position
Large product
Cranes, hoists,
size, low production rate
industrials trucks
Variation in product Hand trucks, forklift
and processing, low
trucks, AGVs
and medium production rates
Limited product variety
high product rate
Conveyors for
product flow,
trucks to deliver
components to