material handling conveyor system

Individuals in the manufacturing and storage space know how intricate the system of processes, machinery, human input, and algorithms are. All of these things work together in fascinating ways to ensure continuity of production and output. However, when it comes to material handling, the available equipment and solutions all have incredibly focused roles in handling, transportation, and storage.

Material handling involves getting products and raw materials from one point to another as efficiently as possible. If there are any material handling inefficiencies, then it’s almost impossible for organizations to reap any profits. Therefore, we have compiled some of the most common material handling challenges and how to solve them in this blog. When done properly, the handling of products runs smoothly and utilizes the available storage space to an organization’s maximum potential.

Material Handling Challenges

Analogous Storage System

One of the most common problems in material handling is failing to account for the diverse materials. If there is no flexibility or diversity in your storage, then you will find that you often run out of space. You want a system that can handle a full variety of your materials and storage systems that can hold your specific materials without wasting any space.

Minimal Research

Times are changing and with these changes come new and innovative ways of doing things. A wise man once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.” Ensure that you constantly research new developments rather than relying solely on what you already know. You can engage material handling specialists to help you identify areas of improvement which are often overlooked.


This is one of the biggest challenges that organizations deal with when it comes to material handling. Picture a honeycomb in a beehive, there are usually spaces all over. Honeycombing happens when organizations don’t fully utilize the space in their storage units. This is usually a costly mistake because apart from wasting precious space, it also hinders the seamless movement of personnel.

Lack of Scalability

All organizations that get into business primarily seek to make profits and expand. Despite this, most companies lack an effective long-term plan and end up scrambling in the eventuality that business booms. When business is booming, it means that there’s more effort and more energy needed to meet customer needs. Organizations often set themselves up for disaster by failing to plan and then rushing to try to handle the new demands.

Too Much Contact

For effective material handling, you want your workers to deal with each material for as little time as possible. No matter how skilled your personnel is, the goal is minimizing costs and raising efficiency. The less time your workers spend moving or processing materials that can be automated means more time for them to focus on other jobs that require their skills. In material handling, effective time management is often the difference between making profits or losses.

How to Solve Material Handling Challenges?

Process Automation

In a flowing factory, automation using conveyors is a game changer for process and productivity. Manual labor usually works at a much slower pace than machinery resulting in a lot of money spent and can even risk the health of your employees every so often. Richards-Wilcox conveyors are built with redundancy and repetitive decision-making in mind to ensure efficiency and ease of use. Our conveyors are cost-effective and seamlessly integrate into your production line. In addition, the set-up is completely customizable to whatever material type you handle.

Consistent Processing Speed

Another way to overcome the challenges of material handling is to ensure a steady speed of processing goods and materials in your entire system. If one of your systems or processes is too fast or too slow then you will notice problems with overflow or backups. This can cost you precious time and even lead to delayed deliveries. Our conveyors ensure a consistent speed throughout to enable the handling to move like clockwork.

Efficient Use of Space

Most organizations don’t plan their storage arrangements or try out different layouts. As a result, they often settle for sub-optimal storage systems with a lot of wasted space. With proper planning and equipment, organizations can utilize all the space from the floor to the ceiling. Overhead space can also be used to move materials using overhead conveyors. Just ensure that it’s completely safe because falling materials can be dangerous.

Frequent Inspections and Maintenance

A large part of handling challenges in material handling is conducting preventative maintenance. Frequently inspect your systems and machines and fix any problems you come across before they become big issues. These inspections and maintenance can help you avoid breakdowns that halt the entire operation and often cost a lot to repair.


The way an organization’s material handling system operates can be the difference between making profits and incurring losses. Richards-Wilcox Conveyor is a master of conveyor systems engineering. We specialize in engineering systems and creating custom material handling solutions.

Our conveyors are ideal for various material handling equipment situations. If you would like to streamline your material handling and ensure maximum efficiency, contact Richards-Wilcox Conveyor today!