Material Handling Tips & Info
September 2009 Material Handling Tips & Information Newsletter
Mobile lift tables are increasing in popularity in many operations for a number of reasons. Using this flexible material handling device must be approached correctly, and with your eyes open. They provide more flexibility, since you can move them where you want them. They’re great for flexible production lines or lean manufacturing lines or work cells where the ability to lift and move something is at a premium – in particular if you need to frequently reconfigure work areas. Obviously, a lift table you can roll to where you need it is highly desirable, but how does that mobility limit you? And when should you choose a stationary lift table over mobile?
Next time you try to figure out where you’re going to put an inbound shipment, and your dock area is stacked with empty pallets, look at your shipping dock doors and the void above them. In many facilities, the copious space between the top of the doors and the ceiling is unused. Multiply each door by that amount of space, and in many operations, we’re talking serious amounts of unused square footage.
If you store records at your facility or own a dedicated records storage facility, the records should be in a large, secure, environmentally sound area on the ground floor. Access to loading dock facilities is advised if the records need to be shipped with any kind of frequency. Regardless of what you choose to do, you have to consider costs, physical structure, security, needed space, safety, and operational concerns.
Many operations utilize pallet or slip-sheet to convey bulked material, whether in manufacturing, work in process, to convey from a palletizer, or in shipping areas. While some applications require these palletized items to only be carried the last few feet of their process, many rely solely on the pallets to carry their product throughout a facility. Today’s processes require a smarter and often unique footprint for these palletized items. However, historically these unique footprints have been difficult for the material handling, namely conveyors, to handle effectively. This paper presents general guidelines for pallet and conveyor types.