5 Best Material Handling Equipment

The material handling equipment sector encompasses a diverse range of tools, vehicles, appliances and accessories that are used at a construction site. We take a look at the five main types…

The economic growth and increased spending on infrastructural and construction activities has played a huge part in providing the necessary boost to the Material Handling Equipment (MHE) sector. As the name suggests, the material handling industry majorly deals with equipment that help in movement, control and protection of materials, goods and products at the construction site and other places. This makes the MHE sector, a critical intermediary in the economy of the country.

Types of material handling equipment
The MHE sector encompasses a diverse range of tools, vehicles, appliances and accessories. However, the 5 main types of material handling equipment that one can spot at any construction site generally include backhoe loaders, cranes, forklifts, dump trucks and front loaders.

• Backhoe loaders: They are excellent engineering and excavation vehicles that consist of a tractor, front shovel and bucket and a small backhoe in the rear end. Backhoe loaders are commonly used for transportation of building materials at any construction site.

• Cranes: They represent another family of material handling equipment that are common on many construction job sites. They are used for lifting and placing things like heavy steel beams, pre-stressed concrete sections for buildings, materials and supplies to the upper stories of a high-rise and a host of other essential jobsite material handling tasks. The various types of cranes include all terrain cranes, rough terrain cranes, truck mounted cranes and lattice boom cranes.

• Forklifts: Often called forklift trucks, they are powerful industrial trucks that are used to lift and transport material by steel forks that are inserted under the load at the construction sites. Generally, forklifts are used to move loads and equipment that is stored on pallets. The most common type of design with forklifts is the counter balance and others include the reach truck and side loader.

• Dump trucks: Commonly known as production trucks, these are used for transporting loose material such as sand, dirt and gravel for construction. The typical dump truck is equipped with a hydraulically operated open-box bed hinged at the rear, with the front being able to be lifted up to allow the contents to fall out on the ground. They are of different types like standard dump truck, transfer dump truck, semi-trailer end dump truck, semi-trailer bottom dump truck, double and triple trailer, side dump trucks and off-road dump trucks and come in different configurations with each one specified to accomplish a specific task in the construction chain.

• Front loaders: Also known as front end loaders, bucket loaders, scoop loaders, the front loaders are kind of tractors that are normally wheeled and use a wide square tilting bucket on the end of movable arms to lift and move material around at the construction site. The loader assembly may be a removable attachment or permanently mounted on the vehicle.

In a nutshell, each different type of MHE has a huge variety of different specifications and as such the whole universe of MHE employed at a construction site is quite big.

Aluminum Coil: An Earth-Friendly Industrial Material

Whether a project calls for aluminum foil (thinner than 0.006 inches in thickness) or aluminum sheet (0.006 inches to 0.070 inches in thickness), aluminum coil is behind the manufacturing process. Aluminum coil is formed by taking one continuous strip of aluminum and coiling it into a roll.

Some of the advantages of aluminum coil is that it is lightweight, heavy duty and able to resist corrosion. By a process called anodizing, whereby the aluminum surface is coated with a protective oxide, that corrosion resistance can be improved even further. As a result, manufacturers who need to increase their productivity and require parts that can withstand the elements rely on aluminum coil to get the job done.

Why might they opt for aluminum coiling over another durable material like steel or copper? At about 33% the density and weight of steel, aluminum renders parts that are much lighter, thereby reducing handling costs and shipping fees. What’s more, is the cost is about 50% that of copper.

In fact, according to the Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, aluminum versus copper has become “The Great Condensing Coil Debate.” In that article published by the industrial news source, while controversy stirs about one versus the other, one thing is clear. Condensing coils made from aluminum have made air conditioning more affordable. “That (aluminum coil) brought the cost of an a/c system down, making it more palatable to consumers and builders.”

But the heating, ventilation and air conditioning sector isn’t the only industry in which aluminum coil is used. The transportation industry, in fact, is the largest user of the product in the United States, accounting for close to 30% of all that is produced in the nation. Indeed, the average car driven in this country contains over 275 pounds of aluminum, and some luxury car makers use aluminum sheeting to make the entire bodies of their vehicles. Perhaps that’s why aluminum has become the most abundantly produced non-iron metal.

In the construction industry, aluminum coil is also being used more and more frequently as trim to cover base materials on homes. Because the aluminum can be anodized with a decorative oxide and comes in a wide variety of colors, it provides a pleasing finishing feature. Best of all, it is easy to install, making it a nice home project for the do it yourselfer. The most typical way in which aluminum coil is put to use in homes is as a trim finish for windows, soffit boarding, siding and roof edging.

Beyond these industrial advantages, aluminum is extremely kind to the environment thanks to its ability to be recycled. That ecological friendliness is further enhanced by aluminum’s ability to be recycled an infinite number of times. In the transportation industry alone, that adds up to substantial benefits to the earth. In concrete terms, the average car is made up for about 7% aluminum, yet aluminum amounts to around 40% of the total material scrap value of the average vehicle at the end of its useful life.

Plastic Gears – Construction, Design and Material Properties of These Industrial Products

Gears are one of several fixed transmission settings in a vehicle used in order to determine power or direction. In industrial product categories, however, the gear is that toothed mechanical part – commonly a wheel or a cylinder – that engages with another toothed part in the transmission of motion from one rotating body to another. In this second definition, there are several materials used in the process. A popular subcategory is known as plastic gears.

Plastic gears are available in a wide array of materials and are constructed in different ways. It may also be designed depending on the industry that makes use of these items. They may be hubless or they may also have pins with or without set screws. They may also be set on a brass insert, a stainless steel hub, aluminum core, Bakelite or nylon. Below are further details about construction, design and materials in the manufacture of these items.

Construction

Plactic gears are produced through two significant processes known as hobbing and shaping. Additionally, though, some molding techniques are also employed in its construction. But then again, these techniques are not relied upon that much because of some disadvantages. Most of the times, molding strategies are not accurate due to mold variations and other inconsistencies. In all these techniques, though, plastic gear fabrication is not as favorable as metal gear processing.

Design – advantages and disadvantages

Despite the disadvantages seen in the manufacture and construction of plastic gears, more industries rely upon these industrial products. Their features have been enhanced through time and they are now designed to meet the requirements of their various applications.

Backing up the different plastic gear designs are some attributes or characteristics in the process. Designing these types of gears is considered a cost effective measure. It is also lightweight, has uniform parts, capable of shock absorption and has low coefficient of friction. Furthermore, it eliminates machining operations.

However, to some extent, the designs have some limitations too. They are relatively less capable of carrying heavy loads and they possess greater instabilities in terms of dimension. They are also affected by chemical products and lubricants.

Properties of different materials used in construction

Plastic gears are produced with different materials including acetal resins and copolymers as well as nylon resins. All of these materials have varied physical and mechanical properties whose strength, dimensional resistance, moisture absorption and fabrication requirements vary from one another. Generally, these materials have the capacity to withstand varied formulations.