Material handling is a domain where new challenges seem to arise on an almost daily basis. Those experienced in the field invariably have stories to tell where arrangements that once seemed perfectly satisfactory eventually turn out to be anything but. Simple changes in humidity or the composition of materials to be handled can result in the near-uselessness of what had formerly been highly effective equipment and transportation. In many cases, though, designing a system that will capably handle a range of challenging conditions can prevent unforeseen problems from cropping up later on.

The reason for this is that most material handling issues can be traced back to a couple of basic problems. While substances like grain, powders, and particulate mixtures can be successfully moved from one place to another with the proper precautions, they are all susceptible to certain behaviors that can inhibit their free flow.

One of the most common of these, for example, is a style of flow whereby central materials tend to move freely, while material on the outer edges of a transition zone bunches up and halts. These funnel-shaped flow patterns can quickly prove to be costly, with material that is left behind compacting into increasingly recalcitrant forms. That can lead to anything from spoilage to outright breakdown of equipment that is suddenly exposed to a glut of overly dense material, and is therefore a problem to be avoided at all costs.

While this is a dangerous situation that can arise without notice, the fact is that it can easily be avoided. Pneumatic vibrators that persistently shake material as it enters problematic areas can prevent such buildup from occurring at all. Pneumatic Vibs produced by companies like Deca Inc. also tend to be flexible and affordable enough that they can be installed in any kind of production line, without overly interfering with budgets or arrangements that mostly already work.

In practice, then, what matters most when it comes to material handling is thinking about problems that might arise in the future and doing something about them ahead of time. An ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure is just as much the case in the field of material handling as anywhere else.