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Types of Bulk Material Handling Equipment

February 23, 2024

Bulk material handling is a critical job in many industrial settings. From ports and terminals to coal-fired power plants, efficient movement of materials is an integral step of any project. The right bulk material handling equipment can make all the difference for a business that relies on completing tasks quickly and effectively.

Understanding the type of equipment that suits your particular application the most and meets all of your needs can significantly increase productivity while facilitating cost savings over time. If you’re looking for practical bulk material handling equipment, let’s explore the various types available and how they can help streamline operations.

What is Bulk Material Handling?

Bulk material handling refers to the engineering process of designing and developing a system that can rapidly and securely handle products, such as powders, granules, and free-flowing substances. These equipment, devices, and systems are used to move materials from one location to another, often in large quantities, to save time and cut labor costs.

Benefits of bulk material handling:

  • Increased throughput
  • Optimized product line efficiency
  • Enhanced process control capabilities
  • Better flowability
  • Elevate safety and health in the workplace

Bulk material handling equipment varies, and they are all used to handle, move, store, and process bulk materials. Multiple demanding industries that handle these materials rely on bulk material handling for a more simplified workflow.

Types of Bulk Material Handling Equipment

The type of bulk material handling equipment you need will depend on your application and its design. With many options available, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the different equipment available to determine which suits your project best.

The most common are as follows:

  • Railcar Unloading Systems: A railcar unloading system’s main feature is the railcar, which can turn 180 degrees to empty its contents into a pit. These are designed for long-lasting and reliable industrial performance while handling large quantities of material at a high throughput rate.
  • Railcar Movers and Positioners: Railcar movers and positioners offer safe loading and unloading operations in short distances more effectively and at a faster rate without needing a locomotive.
  • Barge Unloading Systems: The primary purpose of a barge unloading system is to empty a barge in a streamlined manner without compromising the safety of the workers or the environment.
  • Stackers and Reclaimers: Stackers and reclaimers are operated together to reclaim and stack bulk materials in stockyards, ports, and mines.

Common Applications of Bulk Material Handling

Bulk material handling equipment can be found in diverse industries for a specific function. Besides manufacturing, construction, and marine, many other demanding sectors incorporate bulk material handling in their stringent operations.

Some industries and their respective applications that require bulk material handling include:

  • Mining: Mining operations can benefit from a railcar unloading system to efficiently unload minerals and other materials to another container.
  • Agriculture: Barge unloading systems are standard in agricultural projects where large volumes of fertilizers are unloaded from a barge into a storage facility or silo.
  • Oil and Gas: Numerous oil and gas facilities that handle large amounts of crude oil benefit from railcar movers and positioners for easy repositioning and unloading of these dangerous substances.
  • Ports and Terminals: Stackers and reclaimers are predominantly utilized in ports and terminals to speed up loading and unloading cargo from ships.

Meticulously Engineered Custom Systems from Professional Manufacturers

Regardless of your project’s complexity, choosing a company to design and construct your customized bulk material handling equipment for a unique application is imperative to your business’ success. Fortunately, Heyl & Patterson provides superior-quality bulk material handling solutions for a broad range of industries.

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities and solutions. Our team is ready to develop a cost-effective outcome based on your project’s requirements and needs.

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