According to George Hageman, the important “Engineering and Economic” factors to be considered in every materials handling installation can be classified as: 1. Factors related to Plant and Operating Methods 2. Factors depending on Materials or Parts Handled 3. Factors relating to the Handling Equipment 4. Money Factors 5. Other Factors.

1. Factors Related to Plant and Operating Methods:

(i) Are the present manufacturing or operating method permanent or temporary?

(ii) How long will the present building remain in service?

(iii) Is the general plant layout the best for manufacturing and handling requirements?


(iv) Is the sequence of operations that which gives greatest efficiency?

(v) What processes and departments must be tied together?

(vi) If trucks or floor types of equipment are to be used, are aisles and passage ways ample for conveniences in handling speed, safety and non-interference with produc­tion? Are the floors made of water-resistant materials? Are they level and smooth? Will they withstand the loads?

(vii) If overhead systems are contemplated, is the building structure strong enough to hold them and are clearances sufficient for their installation?

2. Factor Depending on the Materials or Parts Handled:


(i) Kinds or nature of materials or parts handled:

(a) Bulk or units.

(b) Large or small,

(c) Heavy or light.


(d) Shape.

(e) Rough or fragile.

(ii) Handled separately or in containers.

(iii) Quantities handled.


(iv) Continuous or intermittent flow.

(v) Under processing while moving.

(vi) Distances over which transported.

3. Factors Relating to the Handling Equipment:

(i) Kind or kinds suitable for the job.


(ii) Capacity of equipment.

(iii) Hours it will be in service daily.

(iv) Size of equipment.

(v) Space required for operation of Fork lift trucks (this factor covers, aisles, passage ways, elevators, platform and other equipment’s).


(vi) Flexibility (According to loads etc.).

(vii) Adoptability to other service.

(viii) Power requirements.

(ix) Ease of operation.


(x) Speed of operation.

(xi) Durability.

(xii) Relationship to other handling equipment in use or contemplated.

(xiii) Auxiliary equipment which is required or (economical to install loading platforms, etc.).

4. Money Factors:

(i) Initial cost of equipment.

(ii) Cost of installation, re-arrangement, and alterations to present equipment, buildings etc.


(iii) Cost of maintenance, repairs, supplies etc.

(iv) Cost of power.

(vi) Rate of obsolescence.

(v) Rate of depreciation.

(vii) Probable salvage value when finally described.

(viii) Cost of labour to operate.


(ix) Cost of necessary auxiliary equipment (such as charging equipment for truck batteries etc.).

(x) Taxes and Investment.

(xi) Interest on Investment.

(xii) License fees (for trucks that may operate on highways).

(xiii) Rent of space (also garage rent for trucks).

(xiv) Cost of supervision.


(xv) Savings that the equipment will bring about in direct labour cost (number of men released for other work).

(xvi) Saving in labour burden (supervision, etc.)

(xvii) Increased production brought about.

(xviii) Savings in fixed charges on equipment displaced.

(xix) Unamortized value of equipment displaced.

5. Other Factors for Consideration:

The usual manufacturing cycle consists more in moving than making the things. Hence, full attention must be paid in fitting the internal transport system in the manufacturing plants so that they constitute a single unit.


If it is insufficient it may cause delays and reduce efficiency, which results to increase the cost of manufacture. Hence, this problem should be given good thought and materials handling devices should not be used unless it is quite sure that these will be cheaper than the manual means.

The selection of the materials handling devices depends upon the following factors:

1. Type of product and perishability.

2. Volume of production.

3. Size and shape of products.

4. Methods of manufacture.


5. Sequence of processes.

6. The production rate of the plant.

7. Space available.

8. The distance to be covered.

9. Number of times materials are to be handled.

10. Possibility of future expansion, if any.

11. The type of container, if any.

12. The power available.

13. First cost of installation, operation and maintenance.

14. The location of assembly, testing and shipment.

15. The availability and charges of unskilled labour.

16. Maintenance and depreciation rates.

17. Design of the equipment, capacity, strength and rigidity.

From the above, it is clear that the selection of materials handling devices depends on so many factors, and it is not possible to make any recommendations without considering some practical problem.