Sunday, 10 April 2016

A common approach to the design of material handling systems is to consider material handling as a cost to be minimized. This approach may be the most appropriate in many situations because, while material handling can add real value to a product, it is usually difficult to identify and quantify the benefits associated with material handling; it is much easier to identify and quantify the costs of material handling (e.g., the cost of material handling equipment, the cost of indirect material handling labor, etc.). Once the design of a production process (exclusive of material handling considerations) is completed, alternate material handling designs are generated, each of which satisfies the material handling requirements of the production process. The least cost material handling design is then selected.
The appropriateness of the use of material handling cost as the sole criterion to select a material handling design depends on the degree to which the other aspects of the production process are able to be changed. If a completely new facility and production process is being designed, then the total cost of production is the most appropriate criterion to use in selecting a material handling—the lowest cost material handling may not result in the lowest total cost of production. If it is too costly to even consider changing the basic layout of a facility and the production process, then material handling cost is the only criterion that need be considered. In practice, it is difficult to consider all of the components of total production cost simultaneously, even if a new facility and production process is being designed. Aspects of the design that have the largest impact on total cost are at some point fixed and become constraints with respect to the remaining aspects of the design

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