Mechanical Lifting and Handling Equipment (Industrial Report) - UK - February 2014
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For the purposes of this report, mechanical lifting and handling equipment are defined as mechanical aids for lifting and moving heavy objects. The industry is often referred to as ‘mechanical handling’ or as ‘materials handling’.
Traditionally, mechanical lifting and handling equipment has played a significant role in a large number of industries in the UK. The sector developed as a result of demand from heavy industries for equipment for the purposes of moving, lifting and handling raw materials and finished products. Industries involved with this type of equipment in particular have included iron and steel production, handling of coal and ore, heavy engineering and transportation. Moreover, the integration of mechanical lifting and handling equipment into other industries, specifically manufacturing, construction, distribution and transportation sectors has been extensive particularly during the 1980s and 1990s. This has partially been encouraged by the decline in the traditional end-use sectors as well as by the significant developments in other industry sectors, which require large-scale production processes, central warehousing and bulk transportation of goods. Furthermore, the efficiency of the postal and courier services, together with package handling sectors, has benefited from the increasingly sophisticated variety of mechanical lifting and handling equipment available.
Over the last two decades, mechanical lifting and handling equipment has increasingly incorporated various types of electronic controls and computer logistics, and with these, the equipment can be programmed to regulate or monitor specific operations or, indeed, to handle the total operations.
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