Devices used for handling materials in an industrial distribution activity. The equipment moves products as discrete articles, in suitable containers, or as solid bulk materials which are relatively free-flowing.
Many different types of machines result from combinations and permutations of the following factors: (1) The route over which the product is moved may be fixed or variable; (2) the path of travel may be horizontal, inclined, declined, or vertical; (3) motion may be imparted to the product manually, by the force of gravity, by air pressure, by vacuum, by vibration, or by power-actuated components of the machine; (4) the motion may be continuous or intermittent (reciprocating); and (5) the product may be supported or carried suspended during the handling operation. Based upon their most common characteristics, materials-handling machines can be grouped into six broad categories, listed in the following cross references. See Bulk-handling machines, Elevating machines, Hoisting machines, Monorail