Material Handling Solutions
Material handling solutions cover a broad range of manual, semi-automated and automated systems and equipment that can be used at any point in the manufacturing process (like product assembly, packaging, labelling and dispatch).
Effective material handling systems and equipment save money and time through:
- Process Efficiency: Reduced labour, increased productivity and improved efficiency;
- Workforce Safety: Workers protection from hostile environments, dangerous operations, heavy loads, repetitive strain injuries;
- Product Protection: Product damage prevention during transportation and assembly;
- Quality: Improved repeat-ability, accuracy and traceability of product and process.
While the principles and equipment typically used for material handling are the same for most large-scale manufacturing systems, the shop-floor requirements for each industry, product line and client are unique. NGS work with clients to tailor solutions to clients particular needs in order to provide bespoke solutions for improved material handling.
Material Handling Equipment
Any equipment that facilitates the processing and movement of product can be classified as Material handling equipment. Furthermore, shop-floor layouts and the product or manufacturing requirements will determine what equipment is needed.
Material Handling equipment includes:
- Conveyor systems
- Tote-lifters, hoists and cranes
- Pick-and-place robotic systems
- Product Assembly stations
- Labelling workstations
- Product Storage
- Protective guarding for equipment and personnel
NGS specialize in turn-key material handling solutions and work with clients through the design and engineering phase of shop-floor conception right through to the installation and commissioning of these solutions.
Shop-floor Design Principles
Optimised shop-floor design for material handling is a complicated field, but there are basic design principles that should be followed to achieve an effective system.
- Simplification: any unnecessary movement should be eliminated and straight-line movement should be used where possible.
- Ergonomics: the workplace should be designed to minimise the change of repetitive strain injuries and safety should be at the forefront of any design.
- Layout: the layout of shop-floor space should be as efficient with best possible utilisation of available space and with work areas that are organised and free from clutter.
- Automation: in order to ensure repeatability and accuracy, automated material handling processes should be implemented where possible.
- Environment: environmental impact in terms of energy usage, wastage and recycling should be considered throughout the design.
Our Designers and Engineers work closely with our clients’ teams to identify shop-floor and product requirements, in order to design and develop material handling solutions that are optimised to the client’s particular needs.