History of forklifts

Material handling machinery is mainly used to carry out material handling, transportation, lifting, stacking and storage of machinery inside enterprises (including terminals, stockyards, mines and commercial warehouses). It generally includes lifting machinery, conveyors, loading and unloading machinery, handling vehicles and storage equipment; it is customary not to include transportation vehicles such as automobiles, railway vehicles, airplanes and ships, and pipelines for conveying gases and liquids.


The application of material handling machinery is of great significance in production, mainly because the amount of material handling is very large. In some steel joint enterprises, the total amount of raw materials, fuels, semi-finished products, finished products and scraps that need to be transported for each ton of steel produced. Often more than 50 tons; in addition to the high cost of material handling, the cost of industrial materials used for material handling often accounts for about 25% of the cost of the product; material handling takes up a lot of labor, in the less mechanized enterprises, the porters often account for More than 15% of the total number of workers; when heavy loads that cannot be carried by manpower and operations in areas with high temperatures or radioactive materials, they must be transported by machinery. Therefore, in the production, the material handling system should be given enough attention, and advanced and applicable material handling machinery should be used as much as possible to reduce labor intensity, reduce product damage, protect workers' health, improve labor productivity and product quality, and reduce production costs.

In the daily life, some simple and light material handling machines, such as various trolleys, are often used. At the beginning, humans carried by hand, carrying and carrying materials, and gradually used animal power, and created simple machinery such as levers, shackles, pulleys and trolleys.

Modern material handling machinery began in the 19th century. Around the 1930s, steam engine-driven lifting appliances and conveyors appeared; in the late 19th century, material handling machinery developed rapidly due to the application of internal combustion engines; in 1917, there was a forklift that could both lift and move. Computer-controlled material handling machinery systems have emerged to move materials into highly automated operations.

Material handling machinery can be roughly divided into five categories: lifting machinery, conveyors, loading and unloading machinery, handling vehicles and storage equipment. Generally speaking, lifting machinery is used for lifting and transporting, but the handling distance is short, its mechanism is intermittent movement; the conveyor can continuously transport materials, the transportation route is generally fixed, mostly used to transport bulk materials; loading and unloading The machine can pick up the material and load and unload the material. The handling vehicle can flexibly arrange the transportation route, and the economic transportation distance is long. It can be used indoors or outdoors, and has running wheels. The storage equipment is a device for stacking, taking and storing materials in the warehouse, including the silo device, the elevated warehouse and the Feeder, etc. With the development of the industry, many machines have many functions and uses. For example, a forklift is a handling vehicle that can be used for loading and unloading, and can also lift heavy objects.

Material handling machinery is for production. Its design and selection should be subject to the needs of the production process, but the creation of new material handling machinery often leads to changes and improvements in the production process. For example, the emergence of the bucket wheel stacker and reclaimer has formed a handling system for the automated large-scale bulk material field with the bucket wheel stacker and reclaimer as the heart, the belt conveyor as the blood vessel, and the electronic computer as the nerve center, thus changing the port, The layout of bulk materials in mines and thermal power plants; workshops that use forklifts instead of bridge cranes for handling operations can simplify plant structure and reduce capital costs.

In the second half of the 20th century, unitized transportation was greatly developed. The standardization of containers and the promotion of intermodal transportation simplified the loading and unloading of water and land transportation, and caused the layout of stations and ports and the changes in the structure of railway vehicles and ships.

The material handling machine can directly and automatically transfer the semi-finished products of the previous process to the next process, and combine many processes in the upper and lower processes into one system to form a rhythmic production; it can also clean and dry the materials at the same time during the handling process. , painting, sorting, storage, inspection and metering, etc., which can reduce the number of loading and unloading, shorten the production cycle and save equipment investment.

In many production and operation processes, material handling machinery is no longer a separate machine, but an integral part of the entire process. When researching and selecting material handling machinery, it is necessary to understand not only the characteristics of the materials, the purpose and requirements of the transportation, but also whether the environment is disturbed and polluted during operation. It must also be considered in combination with the entire production or operation process, so that the handling machinery and its front, After the various machinery is closely linked to become a system to reduce loading and unloading links and increase economic efficiency.

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