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Importance of Optimized Material Handling

Most glass manufacturers utilize a warehouse space where their products are transformed from raw materials into products ready to be shipped to their end customers. Every warehouse contains thousands of parts which require constant movement from one area of the warehouse to another as products are built. Material handling is the art and science of moving, packing and storing objects efficiently throughout the warehouse space.  If you aren’t already optimizing your material handling process, here are some business reasons why you should be!

Prevent Accidents

Handling materials in a warehouse accounts for approximately 21% of permanent disabilities and over 25% of temporary disabilities*.  OSHA has created standards surrounding proper material handling, which are intended to create a safer working environment. For warehouses, the standards include:

1910.176(a): “Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient safe clearances shall be allowed for aisles, at loading docks, through doorways and wherever turns or passage must be made. Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear and in good repair, with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard. Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked.”

1910.176(b): “Storage of material shall not create a hazard. Bags, containers, bundles, etc., stored in tiers shall be stacked, blocked, interlocked and limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse.”

1910.176(c): “Storage areas shall be kept free from accumulation of materials that constitute hazards from tripping, fire, explosion, or pest harborage. Vegetation control will be exercised when necessary.”

By investing in proper storage for your warehouse, you can ensure that space is maximized and any potential employee hazards are effectively managed. Wakefield offers a variety of storage solutions and has helped many clients optimize their space.

Reduce Product Damages

Improper material handling can result in product damage, which ultimately increases your production costs. Imagine your scrap bin cut in half and the amount of time you’d be freeing up just from filling out damage claims! By investing in proper material handling equipment like Wakefield’s tables, conveyors, racks and dollies to move products safely throughout your warehouse, you’ll be saving both time and money.

Improve Efficiency

Various studies made in different industries indicate that the cost of handling alone accounts for about 20-25% of total manufacturing costs*. The goal of an efficient material handling system is to handle products as few times as possible and move them as short a distance as possible. When you design your warehouse, taking care to use the shortest routes possible will reduce your overall production time. Using mechanical material handling equipment, like a tilt table or glass free fall arm, can also help improve your production efficiency by using gravity to assist with moving materials.

How Can Wakefield Equipment Help

Proper material handling systems can:

·        Lower unit materials handling cost

·        Reduce manufacturing cycle time

·        Provide better control of the flow of materials

·        Increase storage capacity

·        Improve productivity at lower manufacturing costs

At Wakefield Equipment, we are well versed in the many different types of material handling systems. From dollies and racks to proper glass storage systems, Wakefield can help optimize your material handling system.



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