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Material handling involves using mechanical equipment to move and store materials at manufacturing and logistics sites. "Material handling equipment" includes belt conveyors, transportation robots, elevators, cranes, sorting machines and automatic warehouses.
Material handling is an important process that supports factory automation (FA) and logistics operations. Nowadays, material handling equipment is indispensable at manufacturing sites, as exemplified by assembly-line operations using belt conveyors and transportation of materials using transportation robots. On the frontline of logistics, automatic warehouses that systematically control storage, reception and shipment of materials are becoming widespread, promoting enhancement of storage efficiency and cost reductions through saving labor.