Material Handling

Material Handling

Material handling is the movement, storage, and control of materials and products within a manufacturing, warehousing, or other logistics operation. Many companies rely on a wide range of manual and automated equipment and systems to keep products and materials moving through manufacturing and distribution operations.

The efficiency of a company’s material handling processes has a direct impact on other aspects of the business, including:

  • Resource allocation
  • Production planning
  • Flow and process management
  • Inventory management and control
  • Customer delivery
  • After-sales support and service

To maximize efficiency, many companies have invested in warehouse automation technology that eliminates manual tasks and automates and synchronizes the movement of goods through the warehouse.

There is no “one size fits all” for material handling systems. These systems are comprised of warehouse control software and material handling equipment that best suits a company’s products, materials, and operational environment.

The Role of Warehouse Control Software

A warehouse control system (WCS) software platform directs real-time activities within warehouses and distribution centers (DC). Typically integrated with a warehouse management system (WMS), a WCS provides additional controls and functionality to automate and streamline many processes in replenishment, picking, packing, shipping, and other warehouse areas.

Numina Group’s RDS™ Warehouse Execution and Control System (WESWCS) Platform is a Tier-1 real-time warehouse control system with a highly flexible real-time control environment that manages and controls a wide variety of equipment.

The RDS WES-WCS platform can integrate many types of advanced handling equipment and solutions to automate your material handling systems.

Material Handling Technologies

Many different technologies are used in material handling, including:

  • Autonomous mobile robots: Automated guided vehicles that can move independently through a warehouse operation, synchronized to work alongside employees and other equipment.
  • Conveyor systems: Systems that transport materials or products from one location to another using a series of belts, rollers, or other conveyance devices.
  • Goods-to-person systems: Technology that moves, stores, and delivers products to the picker, eliminating walking and movement,
  • Cranes and hoists: Devices that lift, lower, and move heavy materials or products using cables, chains, or other lifting mechanisms.
  • Pallet jacks and forklifts: Devices used to lift and move pallets or other large items within a warehouse or other logistics operation.
  • Automated storage and retrieval systems: Systems used to store and retrieve materials or products within a warehouse or other logistics operation using robots or other automated handling devices.

Supporting Technologies to Maximize Material Handling Efficiency

Efficiency can be maximized by adding the following solutions to streamline workers tasks:

  • Voice picking system – Hands-free voice-directed pick-by-voice technology that guides workers through the most optimized pick path.
  • Print-and-apply labeling – Eliminate excessive manual labor by automating the labeling operation with fast and accurate placement of pack sheets and labels.
  • Print-fold-insert technology – Automatically print, fold, and insert shipping documents into cartons prior to sealing with accuracy and speed.
  • Scan-Weigh-Dimension – In-motion scanning verifies weight and dimension with visual inspection and sorts the cartons to the proper shipping carrier.

Warehouse Automation Design Expertise

As a leading warehouse software developer and independent systems integrator, Numina Group brings over three decades of warehouse design and material handling design, software, and implementation experience to your project.

We can help you create the right lean distribution processes for your operations and turn your warehouse automation design into reality.

Learn More

Video Case Study: Merit Medical Replaces Single Order Paper Picking with Turnkey Warehouse Automation

Blog: Combine Voice Picking and Zone Routing Conveyor Picking to Increase Productivity

Whitepaper: Turn Your DC into a Profit Machine

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