Objectives of Materials Handling

The simplest solution to the materials handling problem- “No movement, no cost” is hardly practicable for a complete manufacturing process. It is basically sound approach when one is attempting to improve a complete production cycle and when the number of handling can be reduced. It is also a good solution in the making of heavy industrial equipment. In the latter situation it is often more feasible to bring the tools and workers to the product than to transport the product to the machine or work area.

In addition to the objective of reducing the overall costs of materials handling by reducing the number of handling involved, the following may be considered as objectives of the engineer in his or her approach to this problem.

  • Lower the unit materials handling costs. It is obvious that if the overall materials handling costs are reduced the unit costs will be reduced. This approach requires the costs of handling be allocated to or identified with the units of product, or its component parts that moved.
  • Reduce the manufacturing cycle time: The total time required to make a product from the receipt of raw materials to the finished goods can be reduced through effective materials handling.
  • Contribute toward a better control of the flow of goods: A principle way in which good materials handling practice can effect savings is by making the control of goods easier- particularly in continuous manufacturing, where all operations are “tied together” by the materials handling plan.
  • Provide for improved working conditions and greater safety in the movement of materials many of the provisions of the occupational Safety and Health Act require adherence to safe handling practices. These must be followed. In addition, it is evident that the safe handling of materials will be reflected in a better industrial accident record.
  • Provide for fewer rejects : Care in the handling of the product will contribute to a better quality level of the goods produced. Products damaged by inefficient handling are all too often a major cost to manufacturer.
  • Achieve decreased storage requirement: Better movement and storage of materials should increase the utilization of storage space.
  • Gain Higher productivity at lower manufacturing cost : Any materials handling system, if it is worth its investments, is design to improve productivity. This improvement should be achieved by moving materials in the fastest, most efficient and economical way possible.

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