Exploring the Benefits of Automated Material Handling Systems.

Material handling is a crucial aspect of the manufacturing industry. It involves the movement, storage, protection, and control of materials throughout manufacturing.

With evolving technology and the increasing complexities of the manufacturing process, the need for an efficient and reliable material handling system has become more pronounced than ever before.

This is where automated material handling systems come into play. These systems are revolutionising how materials are handled in industries worldwide.

They offer numerous benefits, such as improved efficiency, enhanced safety, superior quality control, and substantial cost savings. Let’s delve deeper into these benefits and understand their impact on manufacturing.

Automated material handling systems in use at Yaplex in Chesterfield

The Rise of Automated Material Handling Systems

Automated Material Handling Systems (AMHS) use computer-controlled systems and robotic devices to transport materials within a manufacturing facility.

They can include various equipment, including conveyor belts, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), and robots.

These systems have been designed to streamline moving, storing, controlling, and protecting products and materials.

They are designed to handle large volumes of products and materials faster than traditional manual labour, reducing processing time and increasing overall productivity.

Automated material handling systems are especially useful in industries that deal with bulk materials or products that are heavy, hazardous, or require precise handling.

This includes the food industry, where perishable goods must be processed and transported quickly and efficiently.

Yaplex material handling crane being tested

The Efficiency Advantage of Automated Material Handling

One of the most significant benefits of using automated material handling systems is the substantial increase in efficiency.

These systems can handle large volumes of materials faster than manual labour. This ability to process, move, and store products rapidly can improve productivity and increase profits.

Automated systems also offer greater precision and consistency. They can be programmed to perform specific tasks with high levels of precision, ensuring consistent quality and reducing the risk of errors or defects.

This level of precision not only improves the quality of the product but also eliminates the need for rework, leading to less waste and improved efficiency.

 Operate around the clock

Moreover, automated material handling systems can operate around the clock, unlike human workers who require breaks and time off.

This round-the-clock operation can further enhance productivity and efficiency, allowing companies to maximise output.

Large roll being moved at factory safely

Safety Enhancements with Automated Material Handling

In addition to increasing efficiency, automated material handling systems enhance workplace safety. Material handling tasks can often be physically demanding and potentially hazardous. By automating these tasks, companies can reduce the risk of workplace injuries and accidents.

Automated systems can handle heavy loads and operate in hazardous environments, tasks that would otherwise pose a risk to human workers. Automated material handling systems can create a safer working environment by eliminating the need for workers to perform these risky tasks.

Moreover, automated systems are highly reliable and less prone to errors than manual handling. This can further reduce the risk of accidents and improve overall workplace safety.

Crane operator handling machinery

Quality Control Improvements with Automated Material Handling

Automated material handling systems also provide significant advantages in terms of quality control. These systems can perform various quality checks to ensure that only high-quality products are produced and shipped to customers.

Automated systems can be programmed to check for damaged products, identify contaminants, or detect any deviations in the production process that may affect product quality. By using these systems, companies can significantly reduce the risk of product recalls or customer complaints about poor quality.

Moreover, these systems offer real-time data and analytics to help companies continuously improve their quality control processes.

By analysing data on product defects and production errors, companies can identify areas of the production process that need improvement. This allows them to address issues quickly and proactively, leading to continuous quality improvement.

Scrap metal in skips

Cost Savings with Automated Material Handling

Automated material handling systems are also cost-effective solutions. While they may require a significant initial investment, they can lead to substantial cost savings in the long run.

Automated systems can decrease labour costs by reducing manual labour. They also reduce the need for frequent maintenance, saving maintenance costs. Furthermore, improved efficiency and productivity can result in higher profits, providing a positive return on investment.

In addition to these direct cost savings, automated material handling systems can also lead to indirect cost savings.

By improving quality control and reducing errors, these systems can minimise the costs associated with rework, waste, and product recalls.

They can also reduce the costs related to workplace injuries and accidents by creating a safer working environment.

Sacks after bing stacked by material handling automation

Real-World Applications of Automated Material Handling

The benefits of automated material handling systems are not just theoretical. Numerous companies across various industries have successfully implemented these systems and experienced their benefits first-hand.

For example, Nestle, a leading food manufacturing company, implemented an automated storage and retrieval system in their pet food production facility.

This system significantly reduced processing times, increasing output and improving efficiency. It also allowed the company to reduce the workers needed for these tasks, resulting in substantial labour cost savings.

Tangible benefits

Similarly, Tyson Foods, a significant player in the poultry industry, implemented automated deboning systems in their processing plants. These systems significantly improved safety and efficiency by automating a task that was previously done manually and posed a risk to workers.

These and many other examples demonstrate the tangible benefits that automated material handling systems can bring to the manufacturing industry.

By improving efficiency, enhancing safety, controlling quality, and reducing costs, these systems are helping companies stay competitive and thrive in a fast-paced and ever-evolving market.

Yaplex logo on crane

FAQ: Exploring the Benefits of Automated Material Handling Systems

What are the four dimensions of material handling?

The four dimensions of material handling are:

  1. Movement: This involves transporting goods from one location to another within a facility or warehouse.
  2. Time: This is all about efficiency. How quickly can goods be moved from point A to point B?
  3. Quantity refers to the amount of material that can be handled at any given time, often dependent on the equipment used.
  4. Space: This involves efficiently using available space for storage and movement, often optimised by retrieval systems.

What are the benefits of automated material handling systems?

Automated material handling systems offer a plethora of benefits, including:

What are the advantages of semi-automated material handling systems?

Semi-automated material handling systems offer a balanced approach:

What are the advantages & disadvantages of material handling?

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

What types of manual material handling equipment are commonly used?

Common types include forklifts, conveyors, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). These are essential for transporting materials and goods within a warehouse or facility.

How do automated systems impact the environment?

Automated systems are generally more efficient, reducing energy consumption and waste. This makes them a more environment-friendly option in the industry.

How do I choose the right material handling system for my needs?

Consider factors like the type of material, space available, and specific industry requirements. Also, evaluate the system’s capacity to assist your operations and its compatibility with your existing equipment.

Conclusion

Automated material handling systems offer many benefits that significantly enhance the manufacturing process’s efficiency, safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness.

By adopting these systems, manufacturing companies can stay ahead of the curve, meet their customers’ evolving demands, and maintain a competitive edge.

Whether you’re a small business looking to streamline your production process or a large corporation seeking to improve productivity and safety, automated material handling systems can provide a viable and effective solution.

Investing in these systems can take your manufacturing operations to the next level and achieve long-term business success.

Take Your Operations to the Next Level with Yaplex

When it comes to lifting and handling solutions, why settle for less? Yaplex has a decade of industry experience, offering standard and bespoke solutions prioritising quality, safety, and innovation. Our track record speaks for itself, with a client list that boasts names like Rolls Royce and Ford Motor Company.

Whether you’re in automotive, manufacturing, or aerospace, we have the expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to meet your specific needs. Our skilled engineers are ready to provide a tailored solution that seamlessly integrates with your operations.

Contact us today to arrange a personalised demonstration at our Clay Cross facility or to schedule an in-depth consultation at your premises.

 

 



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