After reading this article you will learn about the devices used for handling materials in various industries.

1. Small Industry:

In small industries mostly manual handling devices are used to move the materials inside the plant. For such purposes, materials are moved by unskilled labour from one department to the other in containers carried by them in hands or in trays, handcarts wheel barrows etc.

Materials inside the shop can be moved by the operators themselves while working on different machines till the work on the job is fully completed for that particular shop.

2. Thermal Power Plant:

In thermal power plant, the main items to be handled are coal and ash.


Coal can be transported from the source of supply to the stockyard either by rail or road. Then, from the stockyard it is pushed to coal handling plant by trolleys automatically operated or locomotive may be employed. Further from coal handling plant coal is moved to Boiler Bun­ker through a Belt Conveyor. From Bunker coal is fed in the hopper through a Belt Conveyor, and from hopper it is fed on grate by gravity.

Ash is moved to a distant place with belt conveyor. Further Bucket elevator raises the ash to hopper from where it can be moved outside the plant with the help of trolleys or trucks or wagons. It depends on the quantity to be handled.

In addition, overhead cranes are installed in almost every plant such as Turbine House, Boiler House, Water treatment plant, Pump House, Repair Shop etc.

3. Big Automobile Repair Shop:

In a big automobile repair shop both manual and me­chanical handling devices are used. “Fork Lift Truck” is very common for elevating and moving the heavy parts such as complete engine assembly, engine block, gear box etc.


Motor trucks are employed for inter-department transporting of heavy components. Overhead cranes are used in Machine Shop, Engine Shop, Assembly Shop, Degreasing Plant etc. Recovery Van may be used for moving breakdown vehicles.

4. Big Steel Plant:

In a big steel plant almost all types of handling devices are employed. Locomotive is used to carry ladles of molten pig from blast furnaces to steel shop or open hearth furnaces.

They are used to pull the hot ingots of steel to rolling mills for production of various steel sections. They are employed for bringing in iron ore and other huge materials. Belt conveyor is employed to transport coke from coke oven to blast oven to blast furnace. Belt conveyor is also used for transporting sand in huge casting foundry shop.

Roller conveyor is used in rolling mills to move the hot billets of iron along the bed to various processes. Huge cranes are employed to transport machinery and iron ore for storing and processing. Overhead cranes are installed almost in every shop.