In the evaluation of a material handling system, multiple factors should be considered, including the plant's facilities, the machinery, the material handling equipment, and of course, the people involved. Simulation techniques can be effectively used in all the phases of this process in order to understand the behavior of manufacturing systems, from the material handling concept definition throughout the system's final implementation(1).
A great example of material handling system would be the typical shipping dock. The product being shipped is stored on industrial pallet racks. The shipping clerk uses a lift truck to pull a skid of product from the rack and bring it to the ground. The clerk then loads the pallet onto a manual or automatic pallet truck, and rolls the product to his semiautomatic stretch wrap machine. After the pallet is wrapped, it is moved to a floor scale. The next step would be the clerk filling out his shipping documentation on his shipper's desk, and loading the pallet with the use of his dock plate onto a truck. In the above case, the following items are part of the integrated industrial material handling system: Pallet Racks, Lift Truck, Pallet Truck, Stretch Wrap Machine, Floor Scale, Shippers Desk, and Dock Plate. A Plus Warehouse sells and stocks each of these material handling equipments.
The main aim of systematic materials handli ...