In the fast-paced realm of manufacturing, the quest for efficiency knows no bounds. Welcome to the world of automated material handling systems, the driving force behind streamlined material transport. These systems seamlessly move materials within manufacturing spaces, optimizing processes across departments, floors, or even separate buildings. Let’s embark on a journey into the realm of AMHS, where technology and innovation unite to redefine material handling.

What are the functions of  automated material handling systems?

Automated Material Handling Systems (AMHS) are integral to modern manufacturing, carrying out several essential functions:

a.   Material Tracking: AMHSs rely on carrier and material tracking systems to monitor materials’ location within the manufacturing facility. This ensures real-time visibility and control over material flow.

b.  Detection and Pickup: When an operator places material at a designated “pick-up” point, the AMHS’s sensors detect the presence of the material and initiate the handling process.

c.   Material Identification: Utilizing various technologies like RFID, barcoding, or OCR, the automated material handling systems identify the material and determine its intended destination within the manufacturing process.

d.  Routing: The AMHS determines the most efficient route for transporting the material to its next destination based on the data received from the Material Execution System.

e. Transportation: Depending on the design, AMHSs employ conveyors, vertical elevators, or autonomous vehicles to move materials swiftly and accurately to their intended location.

f. Minimized Human Interaction: Ideally, in a fully-implemented AMHS, human interaction with carriers, transport systems, or materials is minimized. The AMHS autonomously manages material identification, routing, and delivery to the appropriate tool or workstation.

What are the benefits of Automated Material Handling Systems?

a.   Improved Cycle Times: AMHS eliminates the need for materials to wait for manual transportation by operators. By taking ownership of this task, automated material handling systems ensure materials move seamlessly between manufacturing steps, making cycle times more predictable and aiding in precise due date estimations.

b.  Efficient Material Location: Integrated carrier and material tracking systems enable AMHS to constantly monitor material locations. This technology is invaluable for quickly locating materials that might be missing due to damaged or disabled identifiers, particularly in high-volume manufacturing scenarios.

c.   Labour Optimization: When materials must traverse considerable distances within a facility, labour costs can accumulate. AMHS minimizes this expense by autonomously moving materials to their next destinations based on process flow information from the Manufacturing Execution System. Operators place carriers on the transport system, allowing them to focus on their primary tasks without leaving their designated workstations

d.  Contamination Reduction: Certain manufacturing environments, like semiconductor production, are sensitive to airborne particles that can contaminate products. Human movement can stir up these particles. By reducing unnecessary material movement, automated material handling systems contribute to maintaining controlled environments and compliance with contamination standards.

e.   Regulatory Compliance: AMHS proves invaluable in compliance with labour regulations, particularly in countries like the United States.These regulations often set maximum weight limits for manual lifting. AMHS takes on the heavy lifting tasks, ensuring compliance and reducing the risk of employee injuries. Additionally, AMHS operates tirelessly, without breaks or vacations, and is less prone to mishandling valuable materials.

What are the various divisions of Automated Material Handling Systems?

a.   Conveyors: Conveyors form the backbone of AMHS, facilitating the smooth movement of materials along predefined paths. They are versatile and come in various types, such as belt conveyors, roller conveyors, and chain conveyors, each tailored to specific needs.

b.  Lifters: Lifters are integral for vertical material transport within manufacturing facilities. They efficiently move materials between different levels, optimizing space utilization.

c.   Shuttle Cars: Shuttle cars offer a flexible and efficient solution for horizontal material transport. They can move materials laterally across a manufacturing floor, facilitating swift and controlled material flow.

d.  Rail Guided Vehicles (RGV): RGVs are a reliable choice for automated material transport along predefined tracks. They are often used in large-scale manufacturing facilities where a fixed route is advantageous.

e.   Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV): AGVs are versatile and autonomous vehicles equipped with sensors and navigation systems. They are highly adaptable, capable of transporting materials based on real-time data and changing requirements.

f.   Sorting Systems: Sorting systems are crucial for organizing and redirecting materials to their designated destinations within the manufacturing process. They ensure that materials are efficiently distributed to the right areas.

How to Automate Your Material Handling Application?

Automating material handling involves key components:

1. Transport Equipment:

Choose equipment like controllers, conveyors, wheels, and robots to move items efficiently.

2. Handling Software:

Employ handling software to manage material movement. Decide on identification methods, like barcodes or colour coding. Common tracking systems include barcodes, RFID, NFC, and UWB for accurate monitoring.

3. Machine Vision Sensor:

Select the right hardware for product recognition. 2D machine vision systems work well for various tasks, especially when height and true shape details aren’t crucial.

Integrate these components to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and improve accuracy in your material handling system. Tailor the solution to meet your specific needs.

What are the  Features of an Automated Material Handling System?

Automated Material Handling Systems (AMHS) offer several noteworthy features that enhance efficiency and agility:

a.   Speed and Scalability: AMHSs are known for their speed, scalability, and agility. They can quickly adapt to changing needs and are capable of handling multiple tasks simultaneously.

b.  Diverse Components: Components of an automated material handling systems encompass controllers, conveyors, wheels, casters, and automated storage and retrieval systems, among others. These work cohesively to facilitate seamless material handling.

c. Routing and Identification: AMHSs are purpose-built to manage the routing, identification, and delivery of materials to the appropriate machine or system. They are equally adept at removing and placing materials in different load ports.

d. Visibility and Accessibility: The effectiveness of AMHS relies on ensuring that material information is visible and accessible across all systems used by operational staff.

e. Material Tracking: These systems employ material and carrier tracking systems to pinpoint materials at pickup points. They then navigate to their designated destinations, ensuring efficient and reliable material transportation.

In today’s rapidly evolving industrial landscape, the significance of automated material handling systems (AMHS) cannot be overstated. These innovative systems have revolutionized the way materials are transported within manufacturing facilities, enabling companies to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and productivity. Let’s delve deeper into the multifaceted world of AMHS and explore the additional advantages they bring to the table.

One of the key advantages of AMHS is their contribution to sustainability. In an era where environmental concerns are paramount, these systems play a crucial role in reducing a company’s carbon footprint. By optimizing material flow and minimizing unnecessary movements, AMHS help conserve energy and reduce emissions associated with material transport. This aligns perfectly with global initiatives for greener and more sustainable manufacturing practices.

Moreover, AMHS can be seamlessly integrated with other smart manufacturing technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This integration enables real-time data collection and analysis, allowing for predictive maintenance and proactive decision-making. Manufacturers can identify potential issues before they escalate, reducing downtime and ensuring continuous production.


Material handling systems have evolved into dynamic and indispensable tools for modern industries. Their speed, scalability, and ability to adapt to diverse tasks make them pivotal in enhancing operational efficiency. With components like controllers, conveyors, and automated storage systems, these systems streamline material handling processes. Companies like Godrej Köerber have been at the forefront of innovation in this field, continually pushing the boundaries of what material handling systems can achieve. Their dedication to excellence and cutting-edge solutions has transformed the landscape of industrial logistics. As industries continue to evolve and demand more agile and efficient solutions, material handling systems will remain at the heart of these advancements, driving productivity and competitiveness in an ever-changing world.

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