Glossary


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31) Material Handling

Material Handling is the movement, storage, control and protection of materials, goods and products throughout the process of manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal.  The focus is on the methods, mechanical equipment, systems and related controls used to achieve these functions. See also, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Third Party Logistics. Note that all of referenced terms are highly interrelated and their definitions are frequently intermingled.

32) System Integrator

A System Integrator is a company that possesses the resources required to provide a full set of engineering services needed to take a project from the problem definition stage all the way through to implementation and system acceptance by the end user. In some cases, but not always, a company that defines itself as a system integrator may also manufacture equipment and controls. A system integrator will also assume financial responsibility for system performance. See also Consultant and/or Integrated Systems & Controls.

33) Loading dock door

The openings in the loading dock area to the outside of a building. Loading dock doors are an important topic in planning and constructing a building. The rapidity of loading dock door opening is a consideration where some control of ambient temperature and humidity are required and often doors of this type are equipped to open automatically as a moving object approaches the door.

34) Lifting beam

A solid or fabricated metal or wooden beam, suspended from a hoist/crane or from forks of a forklift, designed to provide multiple lifting points.  The lifting beam enables the user to attach the load at more than one point therein securing and controlling the load's movement.

35) Tugger AGV

A tugger AGV is a powered, wheel based transport vehicle that is capable of pulling one or more non powered vehicles (with loads) behind it in a train. AGVs operate under computer control without the need for human operators or drivers. See also AGVS .

36) Automatic data capture

The technologies that support the identification and direct collection of data into a computer system or other micro-processor-controlled device without using a keyboard.  Such technologies include bar code, radio frequency data communication, radio frequency identification and other emerging technologies.

37) Shop floor scheduling

A system that prioritizes and schedules work for the shop floor and communicates the progress of this work regarding the schedules and plans that have been made.  Shop floor planning is necessary to ensure that quantities that are expected to be completed on time are and also that the resources (labor, materials, machinery and equipment) are used to best effect in on-time delivery, inventory minimization and cost control.

38) Vertical reciprocating conveyor

A conveyor that moves perpendicular to the floor and provides intermittent operation of a single load-carrying platform or cage which travels up and down on steel rails or guideways. There are many configurations of vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) including those with a single mast, single rail, double mast, double rail and even models which offer incline travel versus strict vertical travel. There are also numerous platform configurations ranging from a simple flat steel surface to a powered roller conveyor deck with controls that are integrated with the controls of powered feed and take away conveyor lines at the different levels.

39) Manipulator

A stationary (does not mean that nothing moves) movement assist device that is often equipped with end effectors for handling different types of loads. End effectors include all forms of grippers, forks, barrel grabs, etc. Manipulators counteract the weight of the load, rendering it almost weightless by way of hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders, or simply by way of counter weights and the exercising of very limited manual control. Most manipulators require manual actuation and control and are therefore manual assist devices. They are mounted to the floor, wall or ceiling. In some cases, manipulators are mounted to a fixed base plate and the entire unit can be moved via a trolley, cart or frok lift truck.

40) Fixed Aisle Storage & Retrieval

Fixed Aisle (F/A) Storage & Retrieval Systems consist of one or more long, narrow aisles framed on both sides by a steel (and sometime extruded aluminum) storage rack structure into and from which loads are automatically stored and retrieved under computer control. The storage/retrieval function in each aisle can be performed a variety of ways.  However, the most  common was is by a machine that consists of a floor running, traveling structural frame or vertical mast that guides and supports a hoisting carriage on which loads are carried. One or more shuttles or insertion/extraction devices on the hosted carriage manipulates loads into and out of adjacent or opposing storage rack positions. All three machine motions; horizontal (down aisle), vertical and shuttle action are independently and automatically controlled. See also Carousels , Unit Load AS/RS , Mini-Load AS/RS and/or Micro Load AS/RS .

41) AS/RS

AS/RS is becoming a generic term that today refers to a variety of means under computer control for automatically depositing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations. See also  Carousels . Although both of these technologies have roots that go back some 40 to 50 years, it is only since the late 1990s that AS/RS has been used to refer to more than crane and aisle applications.

42) Minimum pressure accumulation conveyor

Conveyor minimum pressure accumulation is when product is accumulated and the driving force is not removed. It is called minimum pressure because the pressure of the driving force is kept to a minimum. Pressure will build up as more product accumulates, but can be overcome with controls designed specifically for the application. The advantage to minimum pressure conveyor is a higher discharge or single load release rate than with zero pressure accumulation.

43) Carousel

Carousels are a technology used to store items for eventual picking or retrieval. There are two primary types of carousels and one related technology, all of which operate under some form of computer control. Since the late 1990s, carousels have been placed under the more general category of AS/RS. See also Horizontal Carousels , Vertical Carousels ,  Vertical Lift Modules and/or AS/RS .

44) Automatic Storage & Retrieval Systems

AS/RS is becoming a generic term that today refers to a variety of means under computer control for automatically depositing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations. See also  Carousels . Although both of these technologies have roots that go back some 40 to 50 years, it is only since the late 1990s that AS/RS has been used to refer to more than crane and aisle applications.

45) Unit Load AGV

A unit load AGV is a powered, wheel based transport vehicle that carries a discrete load, such as an individual item (e.g. a large roll of paper, coil of steel or automobile engine) or items contained on a pallet or in a tote or similar temporary storage medium. AGVs operate under computer control without the need for human operators or drivers. See also AGVS .