Glossary


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1) Portable rack

Self contained steel rack units made up of bases and/or decks and posts.  Portable rack may be welded or collapsible units either having a knockdown feature which can be a space saver when units are not in use.

2) Pallet

Generally constructed of plastic, metal or wood, a pallet is a piece of transportation/movement equipment utilized in the movement of unit loads. Usually "fork-liftable" in that it is designed to accept forks between the top and bottom platforms of the unit. A portable, horizontal, rigid platform used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling and transporting goods as a unit load, often equipped with a superstructure.

3) Pick and place industrial robot

The "pick and place" industrial robot is used to feed or disengage parts or tools to or from a machine, or to transfer parts from one machine to another. A variation of a "pick and place" robot is used to build and undo unit loads on a pallet.

4) Plastic pallet

A device used for moving and storing freight.  It is used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling, and transporting goods as a unit load.  Commonly, it is about four feet square and is so constructed to facilitate the placement of a lift truck's forks between the levels of a platform so it may be moved easily.

5) Record shelving

A shelving storage system to store files and records. The units are sized at the time of order to "fit" the parameters of the files and records to be stored. These shelving systems are generally closed on three sides and may have retractable or swing up and down opening covers, all to provide security, protection and cleanliness.

6) Records shelving

A shelving storage system to store files and records. The units are sized at the time of order to "fit" the parameters of the files and records to be stored. These shelving systems are generally closed on three sides and may have retractable or swing up and down opening covers, all to provide security, protection and cleanliness. May also be known as "Archive shelving".

7) Poternoster

A type of vertical conveyor that provides for continuous operation of multiple, equally spaced, load-carrying units fixed to chains that move continuously in an endless loop. With such a system the loading and unloading, usually automatic, occurs while the conveyor is running, resulting in greater throughput and an even flow of loads. This type of vertical conveyor is common in Europe

8) 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.

9) 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.

10) 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.

11) 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.

12) 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.

13) 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".