Anyone who runs a facility or owns a business with an industrial facility is likely well aware of the role that materials handling plays with their company. In essence, materials handling is an umbrella term that applies to moving, protecting, storing and disposing of materials in any of the following operations:

  • Manufacturing
  • Warehousing
  • Consumption
  • Disposal
  • Distribution

To put the importance of this in perspective, without materials handling, no manufacturing or logistics operations would be able to run, and recent statistics show that this is roughly over 20% of the U.S. economy. In addition, there are over 650,000 people in the country that specifically work in materials handling, being in charge of operating some of the machines that help handle these materials. With this in mind, we understand the importance of materials handling, but how exactly do high-quality materials handling factor in, and what can you do to ensure that this is the case at your facility?

High-quality materials handling takes a number of different forms, but let’s start by talking about the equipment, which we alluded to earlier. Depending on the nature and volume of materials used, companies may be reliant on certain equipment in order to effectively transport or use them, for example, certain chemicals. It’s important for companies not only to invest in the most modernized equipment for these purposes but also to invest in proper maintenance for them. Any sort of failure at this leg of the work process could be disastrous for the following reasons:

  • Risk of injury or death for the person operating the equipment and anyone else near the scene of the accident.
  • Loss of raw materials as well as the financial issue things bring.
  • Added scrutiny from regulatory bodies, perhaps enough to impact the future of your facility.

Even if we ignore these more dramatic circumstances, smaller issues can stack up. Say, for example, you invest in test-tube holders that don’t work well at high temperatures. Some may do just fine, but say, 1/20 ends up melting and rendering the product unusable. Multiply that by hundreds or even thousands of times a day, and it’s easy to see where financial troubles could begin.

Materials handling is an essential part of making sure that any sort of facility is running its best in terms of both efficiency and safety. However, it’s not going to always be feasible to hit the benchmarks you need for material handling simply by using a set of best practices. You need to make sure your staff are working properly to handle materials effectively, but also make sure that you are using containers and machinery that is designed to properly contain whatever materials you are working with, whether they are potentially dangerous or not. This can vary from complex equipment to something as simple as trays to hold chemicals.

This importance is why business owners and facility managers need to invest in technology that is both advanced and reliable. Chemtech International is the perfect match—a family-run business with 30 years of experience helping companies around the world with environmental compliance.