MMH - Materials Flow

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What can be done to reduce the amount of times material is moved or handled?

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  • Optimize the movement of materials to eliminate unnecessary manual handling steps. Options include:
    • Combining operation locations.
    • Shortening carrying distances.
    • Monitoring inventory so that stock is not moved more than necessary.
  • Use conveyors, slides, or chutes to link workstations/storage areas or reduce carrying distance.
  • Use an "air" table to help slide packages across a surface.
  • Use vertical or horizontal carousels to rotate materials closer to the worker.
  • Store materials close to where they are needed.
  • Use rollers to eliminate manual lifting and carrying.
  • Use floor rollers while loading or unloading trucks to reduce lifting.
Floor rollers for loading or unloading trucks

  • Use a sliding bed while loading and unloading small trucks to avoid overreaching and carrying in an awkward position.
Sliding bed

  • Eliminate extra loading or unloading steps where possible.
  • Unload as close as possible to the place where material will be needed.
Unload as close as possible

  • Use ramps to avoid lifting and dragging over edges.
Use ramps to avoid lifting and dragging

  • Use containers that allow fluids to pour or empty without lifting the container.
  • Use a siphon or pump to move liquids instead of lifting the container.
Hose from sink to bucket located on a trolley
Bucket located under tap
Emply bucket directly into open grate

  • Use a powered stair climber to reduce effort of carrying of loads, and reduce force needed to move loads up and down stairs.
Powered stair climber

  • Use vacuum lift to eliminate manual lifting and carrying of large packages, containers, boxes and barrels.
Vacuum lift

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2019-06-04