Principles of Material Handling in Production and Operation Management

Following are the principles of material handling:

  1. Planning principle: All handling activities should be planned.
  2. Systems principle: Plan a system integrating as many handling activities as possible and co-ordinating the full scope of operations (receiving, storage, production, inspection, packing, warehousing, supply and transportation).
  3. Space utilisation principle: Make optimum use of cubic space.
  4. Unit load principle: Increase quantity, size, weight of load handled.
  5. Gravity principle: Utilise gravity to move a material wherever practicable.
  6. Material flow principle: Plan an operation sequence and equipment arrangement to optimise material flow.
  7. Simplification principle: Reduce combine or eliminate unnecessary movement and/or equipment.
  8. Safety principle: Provide for safe handling methods and equipment.
  9. Mechanisation principle: Use mechanical or automated material handling equipment.
  10. Standardisation principle: Standardise method, types, size of material handling equipment.
  11. Flexibility principle: Use methods and equipment that can perform a variety of task and applications.
  12. Equipment selection principle: Consider all aspect of material, move and method to be utilised.
  13. Dead weight principle: Reduce the ratio of dead weight to pay load in mobile equipment.
  14. Motion principle: Equipment designed to transport material should be kept in motion.
  15. Idle time principle: Reduce idle time/unproductive time of both MH equipment and man power.
  16. Maintenance principle: Plan for preventive maintenance or scheduled repair of all handling equipment.
  17. Obsolescence principle: Replace obsolete handling methods/equipment when more efficient method/equipment will improve operation.
  18. Capacity principle: Use handling equipment to help achieve its full capacity.
  19. Control principle: Use material handling equipment to improve production control, inventory control and other handling.
  20. Performance principle: Determine efficiency of handling performance in terms of cost per unit handled which is the primary criterion.

Source: KumarAnil, Suresh N. (2009), Production and operations management, New Age International Pvt Ltd; 2nd Ed. edition.

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