Material Handling || Basics || Textile Industry

Material Handling Textile Sphere

When the raw material enters in the industry initially and departs from the industry in the form of finished product, it is handled at all the different stages in between. Say it maybe is simply stored in the godown, shop floor. Basically the material is transported from one place of the industry to another and this is termed as material handling.
Why is material handling an important phenomenon?
It is a specialized activity for the present-day manufacturing units. Nearly, 20-30% of total labour cost is material handling cost and reduction in production cost by saving in material handling cost will be highly beneficial for the factory. This can be done by operation, proper selection, maintenance and layout of material handling process.
Material handling can be thus defined as, “an art and science of moving, sorting and packing of the product in any form.”

Object of material handling:
The prime aim of material handling is to move the desired product from one place to other with no or less efforts ensuring less human handling, waste, cost and production loss with causing any form of accident and damage to the product during the transportation with the stipulated area.

What are the functions of good material handling?
  • The very obvious function is to cut down the movement involved in the production operation.
  • Wherever possible, utilizing gravity for assisting material movements.
  • To design drums or container packages to economize handling and to reduce damage to the material.
  • To ensure that the equipment should not interfere with the production line.
  • To move maximum number of products in one unit.
  • To employ mechanical aid in place of manual labour.

It is suggested to periodically check the material handling equipments so it can be repaired or replaced if required.

What are the principles of material handling?
There are four basic principles involved in the material handling namely the planning principle, operation, equipments and the costing principle. Let us examine each in detail.

The costing principle:
Obviously buying the equipment requires capital. The purchaser need to check a few considerations before buying the equipment, he should ensure that at the time of buying the equipment we should get back the cost of the equipment from the savings made out of the use within the fair time period.

To avoid any type of mishap or accidents, a proper set of rules are prepared which the material handlers are bound to follow while handling or operating the material.

There are wide ranges of options available in the market to choose from. Hence, before buying the equipments one should examine the needs, nature of the material to be handled. This in fact ensures proper handling with efficiency.

Planning principle:
Planning principle is perhaps the significant principle as far as the material handling is concerned. One should consider relation between storage and the movement of the material, effect of material handling on the production cost and one should have proper understanding of methods to gain efficient relationship between costs of production factors.

Factors affecting problems of material handling:

Economic factors:
Economic factors includes the rent of the space, cost of supervision, cost if insurance, cost of power, taxes and insurance, cost of labour, cost of maintenance and repair etc.

Engineering factors:
Engineering factors can be divided into four subgroups namely,
  • Factors related to handling of equipment: This generally includes suitability of the job and the capability as far as the volume of work and working hours are concerned. Power required and the economy of installations.
  • Existing material handling equipment: The efficiency of the material handling can be drawn from various factors such as its performance while dealing with different products.
  • Production process: Production process basically involves method of production, quality of the products and majorly the sequence of operations.
  • Nature of the equipment's: The nature of the material refers to the weight, size, bulk, shape and whether the material is handled by group or a single person. 

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