The collective experience and knowledge of many materials-handling experts has been organized into a framework of generalized principles.The principles are basic and can be used universally.

They include:
1. Integrate as many handling activities, such as receiving, storage, production, and inspection, as is practical

into a coordinated system.

2. Arrange operation sequence and equipment layout so as to optimize materials flow.

3. Simplify handling by reducing, eliminating, or combining unnecessary movement and/or equipment.

4. Use gravity to move material wherever practical.

5. Make optimum use of the building cube.

6. Increase the quantity, size, and weight of the load handled.

7. Use mechanized or automated handling equipment whenever it can be economically or safely justified.

8. Select handling equipment on the basis of lowest overall cost when considering the material to be handled, the move to be made, and the methods to be utilized.

9. Standardize methods as well as types and sizes of handling equipment.

10. Use methods and equipment that perform a variety of tasks and applications.

11. Plan preventive maintenance, and schedule regular repairs on all handling equipment.

12. Determine the effectiveness of handling performance in terms of expense per unit handled.

13. Move materials in as direct a path as possible, minimizing backtracking.

14. Deliver materials directly to work areas whenever practical, and plan the minimum of material in the area.

15. Move the greatest weight or bulk the shortest distance.

16. Provide alternative plans in case of a breakdown.

17. Use the appropriate level of proven technology and systems.

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