Types of Material Handling Equipment

Material handling is an essential part of any industrial or manufacturing process. It involves the movement, storage, and control of materials in a facility. Material handling equipment (MHE) refers to the mechanized equipment used to facilitate this.

Such machinery can have both manual and automated components and include cranes, conveyors, elevators, jacks, hoists, pallet jacks, and forklifts.


Types of Material Handling Equipment

1) Cranes

These are machines that can raise and lower materials to different heights, making material handling more flexible. They are useful for transporting large objects or moving them between different areas.

Some common types of cranes include overhead, gantry, jib, and monorail cranes.


2) Conveyors

These are machines designed to transport materials in various directions, such as horizontally, vertically, or at an angle. Their purpose is to facilitate the quick and efficient movement of items over long distances.

Types of conveyors include belt, roller, vibratory, screw, chain-driven live roller, magnetics, drag-chain and power-and-free conveyors.


3) Elevators

These are machines that lift and lower materials vertically. They can be used to move items between different floors of a multi-story building, or even from one level to another in an industrial setting.

Some common types of elevators include pneumatic vacuum elevators, belt elevators, and escalators.


4) Jacks

These are machines used to lift and lower heavy objects. They typically come in two varieties – hydraulic jacks and screw jacks – which use different methods for lifting materials.

Hydraulic jacks use a system of pumps and cylinders while screw jacks use a mechanical screw thread mechanism to move the object up or down as needed.


5) Hoists

A hoist is a device used to move large, heavy objects. It can be used to lift and lower materials with the help of chains or ropes.

Hoists come in various sizes and types such as electric chain hoists, air-powered hoists, manual chain hoists, and wire rope hoists.


6) Forklifts

This type of equipment is used to transport heavy materials from one area to another. It typically consists of a lift truck equipped with forks that can be raised and lowered as needed.

They come in many different sizes and configurations, including electric, propane-powered, or diesel-powered models.



Using material handling equipment is crucial in industrial and manufacturing processes to move materials securely and effectively. The mentioned equipment types are among the most frequently utilized, but there are many more available to cater to different facility requirements.

With the right combination of MHE, businesses can optimize their operations and increase efficiency.


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