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Material Handling Equipment

November 20th, 2013 3:08 am

Ergonomics has become very important in the workplace today. Cutting down on worker fatigue and injuries is a vital part of the profit of every company. The equipment used in the workplace has come a long way in being user friendly.

Material handling equipment is equipment that is specifically designed for mechanically handling packaged or bulky items, generally in a production, shipping or storage facility. The material to be handled, the plant building, and the issues of urgency and safety are a few factors that affect the decision on selecting the right material handling equipment.

Carts are one of the most basic tools that are widely used in material handling. You can now get all types of carts that have taken very important factors into consideration in there design. Some of these include cart height, handle design, caster size, and capacities.

This cart is probably one of the most ergonomically advanced carts. It allows items to be loaded onto it and pushed as a standard cart, then it can be elevated and tilted if needed to create a very ergonomic work environment. Carts can go from the previous advanced cart to a basic ergo handle shelf cart. There are many options in carts that can be ergo friendly, choosing one is really dependent on your specific application.

Another material handling product that adds to an ergonomic friendly work place is the self-dumping hopper. These hoppers are often used as a collection point for trash and other debris. When full they can be picked up by a forklift and simply by pulling a release from the seat of the forklift the hopper will dump and then return to the locked position. This alleviates the fatigue of using a standard tilt truck. Self-dumping hoppers can also come with casters so that a forklift is not needed to move the hopper and it dumps by the user simply pulling a lever and once dumped it will return to the upright locked position.

Another area where ergonomics have began to play a roll in design is the hand dolly. Dollies are not simple two upright handles and two wheels anymore. There are now dollies that have three wheels on each side designed for use on stairs. The wheels rotate around while going up or down stairs to relieve the fatigue workers have by bending over and using heavy force to pull the loaded dolly. Appliance dollies have also come out with ergo designs by adding small wheels that extend out the back of the dolly when it is loaded with an appliance to help the user not strain to support the weight of the appliance.

Things Consider When Buying a Shipping Container

November 20th, 2013 3:07 am

Due to their popularity in the freight industry, shipping containers are cheap and plentiful. But they are not only useful for shipping cargo. By making a few minor adjustments, you can repurpose a cargo container for use as a storage space, a temporary office, or even a house. And since cargo containers can be purchased very cheaply, it is very tempting to use one for your next building project. However, there are few things you should consider before you purchase a shipping container.

First, you will need to consider what size container will best meet your project needs. Cargo containers come in a variety of ISO (International Shipping Organization) sizes. Shipping containers are almost always 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, but they come in varying lengths, such as 10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet. You can figure out the size you need by first considering the purpose of your building project.

Secondly, you should decide whether to buy a used or new shipping container. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. A new cargo container will probably be problem-free and clean, but may cost a little extra money. Used cargo containers can be purchased for about thirty to fifty percent less than new containers, but may have some damage and wear due to their previous use. If the nature of your project requires a pristine and damage-free structure, and you don’t want to make any repairs to bring your container up to code, you should definitely purchase a new container.

The peace of mind that comes with a brand-new container will make up for the markup in price. However, if you are on a tight budget, or intend on making some modifications to your shipping container, a used container might be the way to go. You can save quite a bit of money this way, and if you are going to customize and repair the container anyway, you might as well purchase a used container. However, you will need to diligently inspect your used shipping container for flaws like rust spots, cracks, and holes before you use it. Problems like these may seem minor, but if left unchecked they could result in damage to the items stored inside, or cause structural damage later on if you intend on using it for a home or other type of building.

Lastly, you will need to determine what options and extras you need to have in your shipping container. Many shipping containers come with a variety of options due to the nature of freight they are used to store. You can purchase a shipping container that is wired for electricity, or refrigerated using an HVAC system. If you need easy access to your container, you should consider getting a container with doors at both ends or on one of the sides. For containers intended for storage, look for a container with shelving or partitions pre-installed. Also, make sure that your cargo container has sturdy cam locks on the outside of all doors to keep the items stored inside safe and secure.