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Because of many types of materials handling equipment available, the task of selecting the specific
equipment which should be used to handle a particular job is not simple. The factors which will influence
the analyst’s choice of equipment are as follows:
1. Required path of travel
The path of travel which will be followed by materials leaving a particular location
should be put into consideration. There is a tendency to used fixed path equipment for a number
of reasons.

Fixed path equipment which move in a fixed path. Conveyors, monorail devices, chutes
and pulley drive equipment belong to this category. A slight variation in this category is provided
by the overhead crane, which though restricted, can move materials in any manner within a
restricted area by virtue of its design. Overhead cranes have a very good range in terms of hauling
tonnage and are used for handling bulky raw materials, stacking and at times palletizing.
Fixed-Path Equipment is a type of material handling equipment system. It is a material handling
system which consist of draglines and conveyors. It is a highly automated system and very
efficient. It’s a beneficial for system for company with large volume and uniform product design.
Examples of Continuous-Flow, Fixed-Path Equipment are as follows
• Train and railroad truck
• Conveyor system

a. The cost of fixed path equipment is usually lower.

b. Operating costs of fixed-path equipment are usually lower.
c. Fixed-path equipment requires no supervision because it ordinarily involves no manpower.
2. Nature of materials
Another factor that will affect the choice of materials handling equipment is the nature of
the materials to be transported. The materials to be transported are classified into bulk materials
and package materials of solid, liquid, and gas.
Everything that requires constructions made from materials, requires knowledge of how
the different materials will behave and react to one another and their environments.

Without fully understanding the mechanisms of deformation and behaviour there is little
in the way of improvements that can be made to the system.

Most engineering systems nowadays are limited by materials or manufacturing

techniques rather than design and hence there is a growing demand to develop better materials
and tune their properties to incresimgly more specific applications.

3. Physical characteristics of the Building

The analyst will also consider the factor of building characteristics when designing the
materials handling system. The floor load capacity will have some effect on the weight of the
materials handling equipment which can be used in certain areas.
There are properties required to estimate the quality and condition of the material without
any external force. Some of the physical properties of engineering materials are as follows:

o Bulk density
o Porosity
o Durability
o Density

4. Space Requirements of Handling Equipment

It has been mentioned that some equipment require floor space whereas other equipment
require overhead space. Also, some equipment use a certain space continuously whereas other
equipment use it intermittently.
5. Required Handling Capacity
After the analyst decides what kind of equipment should be used to transport materials
between two points, he will take into account what the total handling capacity of the equipment
must be. The output capacity per unit of any type of materials handling equipment is a function of
two things:
a. The load capacity of the equipment it can carry at any given time.
b. The speed at which the equipment can transport materials.