Materials Handling Equipment Selection Factors

The selection of materials handling equipment requires the attaining of proper balance between the production problem, the capabilities of the equipment available, and the human element involved. The ultimate aim is to arrive at the lowest cost per unit of material handled. Equipment factors to be taken into consideration may well includes

  • Adaptability – the load carrying and movement characteristics of the equipment should fit the materials handling problem.
  • Flexibility – Where possible the equipment should have flexibility to handle more than one material, referring either to class or size.
  • Load capacity – Equipment selected should have great enough load-carrying characteristics to do the job effectively, yet should not be too large and result in excessive operating costs.
  • Power – Enough power should be available to do the job.
  • Speed – Rapidity of movement of material, within the limits of the production process or plant safety, should be considered
  • Space requirements – The space required to install or operate materials handling equipment is an important factor in its selection.
  • Supervision required – As applied to equipment selection, this refers to the degree of automaticity designed into the equipment.
  • Ease of maintenance – Equipment selected should be easily maintained at reasonable cost.
  • Environment – Equipment selected must conform to any environment regulations.
  • Cost – The consideration of the cost of the equipment is an obvious factor in its selection.

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