Reference Library

The Twenty Principles of Material Handling

1. Orientation Principle
Study the system relationships thoroughly prior to preliminary planning in order to identify existing methods and problems, physical and economic constraints, and to establish future requirements and goals.

2. Planning Principle
Establish a plan to include basic requirements, desirable options, and the consideration of contingencies for all material handling and storage activities.

3. Systems Principle
Integrate those handling and storage activities which are economically viable into a coordinated system of operation including receiving, inspection, storage, production, assembly, packaging, warehousing, shipping and transportation.

4. Unit Load Principle
Handle product in as large a unit load as practical.

5. Space Utilization Principle
Make effective utilization of all cubic space.

6. Standardization Principle
Standardize handling methods and equipment wherever possible.

7. Ergonomic Principle
Recognize human capabilities and limitations by designing material handling equipment and procedures for effective interaction with the people using the system.

8. Energy Principle
Include energy consumption of the material handling systems and material handling procedures when making comparisons or preparing economic justifications.

9. Ecology Principle
Minimize adverse effects on the environment when selecting material handling equipment and procedures.

10. Mechanization Principle
Mechanize the handling process where feasible to increase efficiency and economy in the handling of materials.

11. Flexibility Principle
Use methods and equipment which can perform a variety of tasks under a variety of operating conditions.

12. Simplification Principle
Simplify handling by eliminating, reducing, or combining unnecessary movements and/or equipment.

13. Gravity Principle
Utilize gravity to move material wherever possible, while respecting limitations concerning safety, product damage and loss.

14. Safety Principle
Provide safe material handling equipment and methods which follow existing safety codes and
regulations in addition to accrued experience.

15. Computerization Principle
Consider computerization in material handling and storage systems, when circumstances warrant, for improved material and information control.

16. System Flow Principle
Integrate data flow with the physical material flow in handling and storage.

17. Layout Principle
Prepare an operational sequence and equipment layout for all viable system solutions, then select the alternative system which best integrates efficiency and effectiveness.

18. Cost Principle
Compare the economic justification of alternate solutions in equipment and methods on the basis of economic effectiveness as measured by expense per unit handled.

19. Maintenance Principle
Prepare a plan for preventive maintenance and scheduled repairs on all material handling equipment.

20. Obsolescence Principle
Prepare a long range and economically sound policy for replacement of obsolete equipment and methods with special consideration to after-tax life cycle costs.