Material Flow Control

(For Warehouse Managers)

Material Flow Control is one of the first responsibility for warehouse managers. Well… in this article we will deeply advise you the best way to speed it up 🙂

In any manufacturing process, there is going to be a flow of materials that will follow a certain system to complement the manufacturing process.

Surely, how the material flow control will take place will be a very important function of the manufacturing company because it is going to create the product out of different materials. Those products will finally be sold to create wealth for the company.

To do proper justice to meet various process requirements there are going to be a few effective transport systems for logistics management on the shop floor.

There are a few companies that offer material flow systems as per the planning done by the engineers. They can offer the following equipment to enable the required flow of material.

  • Pallet changers
  • Elevators
  • All-sides centering stations
  • Shuttle cars
  • Drum palletizers.
Pallet system pallet exchanger
Pallet exchanger within the chemical industry

These companies can also help in developing a complete material flow control system so that the pallet changing process can be done automatically from a single source by using conveyor technology.

The pallet changer operating principle starts with the gripping of the pallet and the load. They will be clamped by using a top clamp and 2 moving sidewalls.

After that, the machine’s loading table will be released and the pallet will only be returned to ground level. It will then be released and is also exchanged by a certain waiting pallet truck.

The system can be a bit complex for a certain production process and hence the sequence will be controlled by using PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). Of course, there will also be a certain manual override in case any troubleshooting is needed for each function.

What are the advantages of automatic pallet changing?

Any efficient material flow control system can always offer increased profits to the manufacturing business. Any consulting firm can analyze the material flow on the shop floor of a manufacturing company.

This can help in saving the capital investment cost as well as reduce the cost of storing, transporting, and also handling various materials.

In addition to that, there can also be a reduction in energy usage. Energy waste can be minimized and so is the required floor space. Finally, manufacturing can reduce the overall production time substantially and can allow more efficient resource allocation and work hours.

If you try to look at it on a long-term basis, then any smooth flow of material can always enable sustainable production. It can help in compliance with any future requirements and can offer enough transparency.

Also, it can help in reducing the carbon footprint of the company and also very efficient utilization of various raw materials.

frozen food warehouse
inline pallet changer

What is a material flow control ?

Material flow control is under the responsability of warehouse managers. Engineering an optimal flow will enable manufacturers in waste reduction and can increase production capabilities as per the 3 connected principles:

  1. Planning

The engineered material flow needs a certain specific and intentional outline of the material movement, including accurate data on various components and materials and also identification of each step of the production process.

  1. Communication in material flow control

The seamless operation will need communication and signals. Signals may be in many forms, which include arrows on the floor, barcodes, overhead lighting, colored boxes, and numbered signs.

  1. Tools

Your tool choice will depend on the manufacturing environment. Processes must be examined first and then the equipment should be selected to suit the needs.

Optimize your material flow control

It can be a huge task to create an optimized material flow for facilitating efficiency in any manufacturing workplace. These 4 stages of optimization will enable an easier transformation:

  1. Collect data

In many companies many departments work separately, as a result, many different data get created that can create confusion and also certain errors.

This can be fixed by enabling data access from start to end of the process and collection in a certain central location.

  1. Automate process monitoring

Automated programs can detect any process deviations to ensure your material flow remains uninterrupted.

  1. Visualize current data

By using technology both operators and managers can get relevant and timely views about material flow to complete their tasks efficiently.

  1. Predict and act in the material flow control

Machine learning as well as predictive analytics can enable technology to identify any glitches and can anticipate issues like any bottlenecks or overflows so that corrective action is taken by the employees.

material flow control pallet changer

Manual pallet handling can always be a very labor-intensive operation where repetitive movements are involved as a result, there are higher risks of injuries. 

Various design solutions incorporate many creativities at the basic level which is further managed by advanced technologies to provide a complete solution for material flow control. 

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