Material handling is the foundation of every efficient, safe industrial process. No matter the level of sophistication of a production facility, the line can only move as fast as raw materials are brought in and finished goods are moved out. This also plays a major role in safety; moving large amounts of goods quickly and efficiently has to be done with a strong emphasis on safety. A dropped load not only causes damage and product loss, but also endangers workers. Highly effective material handling systems and equipment, right down to individual hoist rings, have to be designed and implemented with safety and efficiency as high priorities.
Managing supplies and inventory takes place in the two major areas of storage of stock and utilizing materials in the production area. After goods come off of the shelf or out of the truck, they have to be utilized in the production process and that requires a unique set of material handling devices. Many times, this comes in the form of cranes, hoist rings, and rigging systems. Many devices for inventory management and transportation are considered catalogue items, meaning that they are standard across supply companies for ease of use.
The crucial component in any rigging system is the weakest link. Every single part of an overhead system has to be rated for twice the expected load to ensure nothing fails. This means every component, from rigging down to hoist rings, has to be capable of easily managing a heavy load, even if a partial failure occurs.
These requirements break down into a number of design decisions for effective and safe material handling. One such decision comes into play for choosing hoist rings. Fixed hoist rings offer a greater rated load, but swivel mount fixed rings offer more maneuverability and a better range of motion for loading goods onto the production line. Materials of construction are also a key design decision. For example, in a corrosive chemical environment, the use of carbon steel hoist rings would be disastrous; it would be better to utilize stainless steel or heavy duty polymers in this situation.