Material handling is a time-bound activity that demands careful planning, precision, safe handling and adherence to safety guidelines, especially for heavy loads. Any lifting task done manually is time-consuming and dangerous. However, with the use of the correct lifting gear, material handling becomes easy, safe, and cost-effective.
What is lifting gear?
Lifting gear, also known as lifting equipment, is an all-purpose term for any equipment that is used to lift and lower materials. The various types of lifting gear include chain hoists, electric hoists, hydraulic machines, forklifts, and cranes, among others.
Lifting accessories are used to attach the material to lifting equipment, providing a link between the two. Some popular examples of lifting accessories include chains, hooks, fiber or rope slings, eyebolts, spreader beams etc.
Types of lifting gear
Material handling involves a wide range of tasks such as movement, packing and unpacking, storage, protection, and control of products and materials. You can find manual and automated material handling equipment in almost every industry.
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Manual Material Handling Systems
Manual material handling systems can be defined as the process of handling or moving materials using manual labour. It involves activities such as pushing, pulling, lifting, retrieving, holding of material etc. Although manual, it does involve the use of lifting gear such as forklifts, manual cranes, pallet trucks, slings and hooks, and short-distance conveyors.
These equipment are cost-saving as they avoid heavy initial investment, are easy for the employees to adapt to, and ensure a safe working environment. The drawbacks to manual lifting equipment are that they can be employed for only one process at a time, have a slow speed, are error-prone, and require mandatory safety training to handle equipment and operations without the risk of injuries or death.
Automated Material Handling Systems
Automated material handling systems use advanced technology to build pre-programmed computerized systems that require no manual interference for task completion. They may require manual interference for tasks such as picking, dropping, and pushing. A few examples of automated material handling equipment include scissor lifts, dock levellers, and automatic conveyors.
They are fast, agile, optimise space utilisation, and are easily scalable to handle more than one task at a time. They involve substantial capital investment, but this can be offset with savings on manual labour, increased productivity and order fulfilment. Automated systems require operators with technical skills and necessary training to operate the lifting and handling equipment.
Advantages of using lifting gear services
With technology progressing at a rapid rate, providing new and complex lifting equipment for use, lifting gear services have gained importance in almost all industries. Whether it is investing in new equipment or using lifting gear services near me, the choice depends on business needs.
1. Cost-effective and Easy to Maintain
Lifting material manually requires a lot of physical manpower that involves labour investment and also raises a lot of safety issues. With lifting equipment used to lift heavy objects, productivity and work safety can be maintained. This equipment can be used for several years and does not involve high maintenance costs.
2. Enhanced Capacity and Flexibility
Lifting equipment comes with different accessories, making them quite flexible and scalable to perform a larger variety of material operations. Lifting gear is designed to ensure the least damage to the material while being lifted, and when used appropriately, with precautions can prove to be an investment in the long run.
3. Safe Working Conditions
The manual handling of the material is a hard and slow job that affects the morale of the employees and makes working conditions unsafe. By using lifting gear, handling material irrespective of its size, shape and volume can be executed easily and efficiently.
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The usage of lifting gear ensures higher efficiency, better speed, reduced costs, and reliable and timely handling of material resulting in higher profits for businesses.