Factories and the manufacturing industry rely on a wide range of equipment to allow them to operate efficiently, quickly, and safely. The manufacturing industry has helped to change the world of production since its inception during the industrial revolution in the United Kingdom during the late 18th century. The mass-produced goods that consumers buy are a product of the mechanized processes that take place in factories and industries across the world. Without modern industrial equipment, it is a fact that humankind could not produce the volume of goods that is available for mass market consumption. In short, every factory needs a variety of equipment to allow the manufacturing process to take place and goods to be produced to a sufficient standard efficiently. In this article, three types of common factory equipment are discussed.
Machining tools are used in manufacturing processes to change the shape of a piece of the raw material into a finished product or a component that will be used in the final product. Machining tools are commonplace in many factories and there is an immense variety of them. For example, a lathe is used as a turning tool to rotate the material as it is being cut and finished. In modern manufacturing processes such as the production of cars, laser cutting machinery is used to produce components in the finished vehicle such as the doors and bodywork. These laser tools have the benefit of being able to cut sheet metal with an extremely high degree of precision which is imperative in car production. One of the benefits of this is that it removes some risk of human error.
A common sight in many factories and manufacturing plants is the forklift truck. These vehicles have been in operation since 1917 when the first counterbalanced lift truck was produced in Kentucky USA and was called the “Tructractor.” The first electric-powered truck with true forks used to lift goods was produced in 1923 and resembles more closely the modern vehicles of today. Some modern factories tend to use forklift trucks regularly and therefore own these vehicles. However, firms that use them only occasionally (for example when they receive routine shipments of heavy raw materials) are likely to investigate the possibility of forklift hire for these vehicles. This is because the unit costs of forklift trucks can be of considerable expense, and it makes better financial sense to rent these vehicles as and when they are required.
In factories or manufacturing plants that need to lift and move exceptionally heavy materials, they tend to use overhead cranes. These cranes can effectively unload high-weight materials out of the back of trucks, move bulky materials and components down the production line of a factory, or be used to assist in shipping finished goods into storage or transportation areas. In larger factories where specific tasks are needed with cranes, these items of equipment may likely be custom designed to fulfil the needs of the manufacturing process or stage of production.