Materials Management


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Materials Management Check List


Materials handling is the moving of goods between incoming transport, storage, processes and outgoing transport and controls the set of activities that move production inputs and other goods within plants, warehouses and transportation terminals.


Providing the right amount of material:


  • in the right condition
  • at the right place
  • at the right time
  • in the right position
  • in the right sequence
  • for the right cost
  • by using the right methods.

Materials Handling


The task for the materials handling manager is to find the methods, the routes, the layouts and the right components to minimise handling.


Six main responsibilities of the materials handling manager:



  • packaging utilisation
  • internal transport
  • storage
  • retrieval
  • identification
  • communication.


Material Handling System Design


The design of a material handling system depends upon the type and the characteristics of the materials to be handled.


  • material Handling System Components
  • material handling equipment:
  • utilise equipment
  • material transport equipment
  • storage and retrieval equipment
  • automatic identification and communication equipment.

Material Handling Systems


Utilise equipment:


  • containers, such as cartons, boxes, and bag
  • carriers or support, such as pallets, skids, and plywood
  • stretch wrap
  • shrink-wrap.


Material transport equipment:


  • conveyors (belts and rollers)
  • industrial vehicles, such as pallet trucks, lift trucks, and automated guided vehicles (AGV)
  • monorails
  • hoists
  • cranes.


Storage and retrieval equipment:


  • unit load storage equipment
  • unit load retrieval equipment
  • small load storage and retrieval equipment.

System Components


Automatic identification and communication equipment:


  • bar coding
  • radio frequency tag
  • magnetic stripe
  • smart cards
  • voice headsets
  • machine vision


Suggestions for materials handling:


  • use identification systems, such as bar coding to handle the right material:
  • give a unique part identification number
  • give a unique location identification number
  • handle similar materials, packaging and size of loads at the same time
  • implement improvements in material handling systems which will increase the efficiency of the overall system

Do you know how your materials handling is working for you?

Do your handling processes need a spring clean?


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