Material handling systems are used for everything that happens after a product is manufactured: the movement, storage, and control of products and materials from the manufacturing plant, through warehousing and distribution, to the end user. Material handling systems generally include a combination of manual, automated, and autonomous solutions. Dock workers, for instance, manually unload a truck, while an automated fixed-camera machine vision system scans the pallet bar code as it passes through the shipping doors, and an autonomous forklift carries the pallet from the staging area to final rack and storage.

The Four Basic Types of Material Handling Systems

Edgewater Automation has extensive expertise with all four primary types of material handling systems, including engineered systems, industrial trucking, storage, and bulk materials.

Engineered systems such as robotic palletizers, conveyors, sortation equipment, dimensioners, automated ID systems, and more are Edgewater Automation’s bread and butter. Our network of leading material handling systems service and component suppliers means that we can help guide your next engineered material handling system to achieve the performance you need without additional costs that you don’t.

Industrial trucks include forklifts, lift assists, side loaders, pallet jacks, and more, while storage systems refer to warehouse racking and storage areas. Finally, bulk material handling systems are used widely in process industries, including food and beverage, and those that require custom containers.


Parts-Feeding solutions help manufacturers to sort, guide, and position component parts for subsequent handling and assembly into subassemblies and final products. Standard automation solutions for parts-feeding applications include vibratory feeds, which use physical movement to separate and singulate parts through a chute, transfer buffer, or other delivery