Glossary


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46) Pneumatic tube system

Also referred to as a vacuum tube system. In all but the simplest of applications, the pneumatic/vacuum tube system however, such as at drive through banks, these systems are capable of very complex networks (upwards of 1000 origin/destination stations) involving branching, switching or merging. The computer control in modern systems make these systems very flexible. The carrying units appear much like a projectile that has to be opened so that the load to be transported can be placed inside. There are units installed where carriers approach 12 inches in diameter and are capable of carrying fairly large parts. The speed of a pneumatic/vacuum system averages 1500 fpm.

47) Shelving

A storage system designed to accept and store non-palletized loads, placed thereon, either manually, semi-automatically or automatically such as by an automated retrieval mechanism. In its basic open form, shelving is comprised of upright posts, the desired number of formed steel sheet panels which constitute horizontal shelves, and end and back braces. Sheet steel back and side panels may be substituted for bracing to form enclosed shelving units.

48) Reach truck

Industrial trucks equipped with a telescoping fork arrangement that permits the stacking of loads double deep. For storage depths greater than two, there is at least one example in Europe where the fork unit mechanically disengages from the mast allowing it to run into the rack on narrow rails under its own power which is derived from the truck via an umbilical cord. Applications like this can be considered a very special case of a drive-in type storage rack.

49) Drive in rack

This type of rack utilizes upright frames, rails, and ties to allow a vehicle to enter a storage rack structure from one side only and pick up or deliver pallets on continuous rails.  Drive-in rack is used to address repetitive products and serves to take advantage of cubic space available for storage, when such unit loads do not lend themselves to block stacking.

50) Platform conveyor

Another form of the conventional poternoster (See definition for Poternoster) is the platform conveyor that consists of multiple, equally spaced battens which form rigid horizontal surfaces in one direction (up and down) but behave like the front of a roll top desk on the return. Platform conveyor is an effective means of moving a continuous flow of pallets or other unit loads between levels. Another variation of the posternoster concept, which permits both vertical and horizontal movement of load, consists of freely swinging platforms suspended between two parallel chains.

51) Pallet stacking frame

A load securing device that often can take the place of containers or bins. This device consists on iron posts and connecting frame members resting on the four corners of a pallet creating an open container in appearance with a certain amount of load retention ability. The frames are removable for storage, but when in use, the loaded pallets can be block stacked on the floor. This is a particular advantage for unit loads that would not stack safely without the rigid frame. There are other attachments such as special metal frames and welded wire gates, but none of these allow for pallet stacking.

52) Honeycombing

1. The practice of removing merchandise in pallet load quantities where the space is not exhausted in an orderly fashion. This results in inefficiencies due to the fact that the received merchandise may not be efficiently stored in the space which is created by the honey-combing. 2. The storing or withdrawal or supplies in a manner that results in vacant space that is not usable for storage of other items. 3.  Creation of unoccupied space resulting from withdrawal of unit loads.  This is one of the major hidden costs of warehousing.

53) Vertical Carousels

As a storage device, a vertical carousel provides for closed loop automatically controlled rotation of the basic storage unit, which in this case may be a shelf that can be subdivided into multiple bin locations. However, a shelf or a given vertical position need not be divided in order to handle large items such as a bolt of fabric or a roll of carpet. Because storage is vertical, such systems are popular when conserving floor space. Although automatic insertion and extraction of individual items or loads is possible, it is not as common as it is with horizontal carousel applications. See also Horizontal Carousels and/or AS/RS .

54) AGVS

An Automatic Guided Vehicle System, or AGVS consists of one or more computer controlled wheel based load carriers (normally battery powered) that runs on the plant floor (or if outdoors on a paved area) without the need for an onboard operator or driver. AGVs have defined paths or areas within which or over which they can navigate. Navigation is achieved by any one of several means, including following a path defined by buried inductive wires, surface mounted magnetic or optical strips; or alternatively by way of inertial or laser guidance. See also SGV , Self Guided Vehicle , Unit Load AGV , and/or Tugger AGV .

55) Automatic Guided Vehicle System

An Automatic Guided Vehicle System, or AGVS consists of one or more computer controlled wheel based load carriers (normally battery powered) that runs on the plant floor (or if outdoors on a paved area) without the need for an onboard operator or driver. AGVs have defined paths or areas within which or over which they can navigate. Navigation is achieved by any one of several means, including following a path defined by buried inductive wires, surface mounted magnetic or optical strips; or alternatively by way of inertial or laser guidance. See also SGV , Self Guided Vehicle , Unit Load AGV , and/or  Tugger AGV .

56) Chain conveyor

A form of powered conveyor used to transport heavy unit loads such as pallets and industrial containers. These conveyors can be single or double chain strand in configuration. This chain is not only the driving force but it is also the part which comes in direct contact with the load and provides friction which pulls the load forward. In some cases, free rollers on either side of or between the chain provide additional support to the load. Short sections of double strand chain conveyors are a common means of transferring loads at right angle to/from another straight section of roller conveyor.

57) 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.

58) Palletizer

Palletizers are special machines capable of building a complete unit load on a pallet. Although the most common application is for cases, some palletizers can also handle sacks and bags. A less common palletizer application would be for special products such as sheet stock. There are two general methods employed for automatically building a full pallet. One makes use of a fixed position or overhead gantry robot with end effectors suited to the individual loads, such as vacuum lifts or a gripper. The other method employs more complex mechanisms for forming pallet layers off line, one at a time, and then shifting or transferring each successive layer onto the pallet as it is lowered via a lift/lower table.

59) 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 .

60) Material Handling Principles

A principle is a general rule, fundamental, or other statement of an observed truth. Over time certain fundamental truths of material handling have been found to exist. The "principles" of material handling are often useful in analyzing, planning and managing material handling activities and systems. At the very least they form a basic foundation upon which one can begin building expertise in material handling. These principles, that serve as a starting point to identifying potential problems and assessing need, are: 1. Planning 2. Standardization 3. Work 4. Ergonomic 5. Unit Load 6. Space Utilization 7. System 8. Automation 9. Environment 10. Life Cycle Cost To receive a complete explanation for each of these :"Principles", contact the Material Handling Institute at (704) 676-1190 and ask for the document, "The Ten Principles of Material Handling".