The size of material handling industry in India is Rs.15,000 crore growing by 15-20 per cent a year

Changes in material handling process can help companies save a minimum 10 per cent of their materials that go waste or get lost during transit, said experts.

To improve cost-efficiency and bottom lines, organisations must provide due importance to material handling, a neglected area, they said.

“Currently, material wastage is to the tune of 10 per cent in any plant. It is rampant in coal and iron ore. This is due to contamination, pilferage or spillage during transit. If companies can plug this, the benefit will be enormous,” said Babak Mukhopadhyay, General Manager & Head Material Handling Systems, L&T Construction, on the sidelines of an industry event, Powder & Bulk Solids India 2013, here.

“Manufacturing and mining sector is 1.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and the benefit will be huge if companies can adopt the right kind of operation and equipment for material handling,” Mr. Mukhopadhyay added.

Normally, companies provide least priority to material handling but blame it for any crisis.

Experts said now time had come to get rid of age old practices in material handling and companies must embrace modern technology and make use of special conveyer systems.

As consumption goes up, there would be more demand of minerals, energy and water. So emphasis should be given on energy-efficient systems that can consume less water while handling of material, they said. The need of the hour was to optimise the processes and it was critical during the current turbulent times, they added.

Material handling plays a crucial role in the development of infrastructure to help meet time and cost.

“The development of the infrastructural sector has been and will continue to be a priority for the government. This, in turn, necessitates the attention on production, storage, and transport of materials, said VK Agarwal, IIT-Delhi.

The size of material handling industry in India is Rs.15,000 crore growing by 15-20 per cent a year.

Growing competition, stress on quality and tightening of environmental norms have put additional pressure on all industry sectors, including chemical, plastics, pharmaceutical, food and on all raw materials handling industries, such as mining, coal-fired power generation and dry handling bulk ports.

And the right kind of material handling equipment can make all the difference.

Though sectors such as port and power and steel mills were embracing modern technology, material handling in foodgrains and fertilizers remained an area of concern, said experts.

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