Understanding Bulk Material Handling

From conveyor belts and screw conveyors to stackers and bucket elevators, bulk handling systems come into play in a variety of industries. To put it simply, bulk handling systems are utilized in any field in which a large quantity of dry material needs moved from one place to another. From the sugar in your breakfast cereal to the polymers in your car’s tires and even the gravel used to build the road itself, bulk handling has an impact on countless facets of our daily lives.

To better understand the impact of bulk handling in modern society, let’s take a look at some of the many fields which rely to these systems as part of their operation.

Ore and Minerals

The raw materials used to create steel for construction and manufacturing comes from unrefined ore mined deep within the earth. The same is true for the minerals needed to produce microprocessors used in smartphones and other devices. Without material handling systems to move them, the raw materials for all of our modern technology would be about as useful as a rock in the ground.

Sand and Gravel

More than just the stuff in your driveway or your kid’s sandbox, gravel and sand are important construction materials needed to ensure proper grade and drainage for roadways and structures. These materials are among the most common goods moved by various bulk handling solutions.


Americans consume about 11 million metric tons of sugar each year. To bring a spoonful of sugar from its raw cane form to your cup of coffee, the commodity must first undertake multiple trips across numerous material handling platforms.


As an alternative to sugar, corn finds its way into most of the sweets enjoyed in the US in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Corn is also utilized in the petroleum industry, with a portion of the gas found at every pump made up of some percentage of corn ethanol. Corn and other grains are also essential in the diet of animals raised for human consumption, not to mention as the raw ingredients in most beer and liquor produced around the world. With so many goods coming from a single commodity, it’s easy to see the many ways in which bulk material handling impacts our lives.

At UMD, we understand your bulk handling needs. A heavy-duty bulk material handling system built by UMD is engineered to withstand the rugged use and wear that the industry demands. Built to your custom specifications, our Bulk Handling systems are designed with you in mind, assuring that the system will work efficiently for your application.

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