Education Resources

CICMHE offers a variety of educational resources related to material handling. These resources are designed for us by educators, students, industry practitioners, or others desiring resources to support material handling equipment and systems education.

Facility Layout, Material Handling, Production/Manufacturing, Product Flow Analysis, Bottleneck Identification, Capacity Analysis, Warehousing Systems
Advanced Additives
Download Supporting Drawing
AGVS, Design documentation
AGVS Procurement
Equipment selection and balancing of an automotive assembly line
Automobile Plant
Process flow analysis, Facility design, Lease or Buy decision making
Common Conduit
Power-and-free conveyor system design for an assembly line
Conveyor Line
Manufacturing and material handling operations improvements
Fortune Filling
Distribution center customization area design
L.L. Bean Distribution: The Monogramming Department
Manufacturing and material handling operations improvements
M Porting Detailed Layout: Operations Improvements
Gantry cranes, Capacity analysis
Material Handling & Storage Strategies for Containerized Shipping
Design of an IT system using Auto-ID
Material Tracking: IT system using Auto-ID in a Food Factory
Warehouse justification, AS/RS, Material handling
Optimizing Material Handling System Costs
Consolidating two facilities, Facility layout
Plant Consolidation
RFID, Reusable container tracking
Quad in Agribusiness: RFID, Reusable Container Tracking
Warehousing Systems, Product Flow Analysis, Facility Layout, Equipment Selection, Material Handling, Capacity Analysis
Sneaky Sneakers: Warehousing Systems
Download Empty Facility Drawing
Assembly line design, Warehouse design, Facility layout, Material handling
Sonic Speakers: Warehouse Design
Download Supporting Drawing
Warehouse operations improvements
Twenty Short Case Problems in Materials Handling
Assembly line design, Warehouse design, Facility layout, Material handling
Vital Vitamins: Warehouse Design
Download Supporting Drawing
Overhead Material Handling Lecture Material

The Overhead Alliance of MHI has provided lecture material to increase awareness of the overhead material handling industry and related products. Overhead lifting solutions provide opportunities to improve efficiency, increase productivity, enhance safety, and reduce environmental impact. New technology has made overhead lifting solutions easier and more productive to use than ever before.

The material was developed in cooperation with the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) to promote overhead lifting technologies through lecture materials that can be incorporated in academic coursework. The lecture material is available in PowerPoint or PDF format at the following site: (under Lecture Material).

In addition, the Overhead Alliance also provides an interactive lifting experience that includes bridge cranes, jib cranes, and a hoist and monorail system. This software is available at the same site: (under Interactive Lifting Experience).
Flow dominance measure for facility design & Excel versions of CORELAP & ALDEP

This Lecture Resource provides the derivation for the flow dominance measure. It was developed by Uday Venkatadri. The flow dominance measure is used by facilities designers to decide whether a given from-to matrix (process to process flow matrix) has a few dominant flows or nearly all equal flows.

Developed by Ashish Saraswat and Uday Venkatadri. Instructions on how to use are provided in CORELAP.doc.

Developed by Ashish Saraswat and Uday Venkatadri. Instructions on how to use are provided in ALDEP.doc.

Developing an Initial Layout

This lecture resource covers the basics of creating an initial block layout design of a facility. The slide set initially presents From-To, Flow-Between and Relationship charts. It then introduces adjacency and layout scoring and the construction of activity and space relationship diagrams. The CORELAP algorithm is then introduced along with an example for selecting and placing departments. A heuristic procedure for developing a layout is then presented. Finally, a general procedure for graph based layout construction is presented and discussed.

This module was developed by Dr. Jose Ventura.

Basic Models for Facility Location

This lecture resource covers basic models and efficient techniques for facility location. The slide set first introduces the problem of facility location along with the broader topic of logistics management. It then presents appropriate distance measures and a classification of planar facility location problems based on these measures. Four types of planar single facility location models are studied in detail. These models consider two different objective functions (minimizing the total travel distance and minimizing the maximum travel distance) and two distance measures (rectilinear distance and Euclidean distance). Lastly, the planar multi-facility location problem with rectilinear distance and the objective of minimizing the total travel distance is studied. Examples and solutions for all five location problems considered in this module are also provided.

This module was developed by Dr. Jose Ventura.

Determining Type and Number of Automated Guided Vehicles Required in a System

This model introduces the vehicle calculation problem in automated material handling systems. The presentation starts by introducing the major factors which affect this problem such as unit load size, flow path network and P/D station location and how they relate to each other. The model then introduces the basic vehicle calculation formula which is based on quantifying the different states the vehicles may be in. Next the model presents and classifies the different calculation methods according to simple versus complex methods, one dimensional versus multi dimensional methods and analytical based versus simulation base methods. Finally the model presents a numerical example and solution.

This Module was developed by Dr. David Sinreich

Automatic Identification and Data Capture

This lecture resource provides an introduction to Automatic Identification (AutoID). It covers linear bar codes (Universal Product Code (UPC), Interleaved 2 of 5, Code 39, and Code 128), 2D barcodes (PDF417, DataMatrix, Maxicode), and bar code readers. Also included are magnetic stripe cards, smart cards, RFID, contact memory, and voice identification. Sample applications of AutoItechnologies are described.

This Module was developed by: Dr. Deb Medeiros

Flow Analysis Techniques

This module covers flow analysis techniques that are helpful for the efficient design of a facility. The slide set initially provides some of the factors that affect material flow and examines various types of flow patterns. It then presents different procedures for measuring and planning flow. Five general types of layout types are introduced, and advantages and disadvantages of each type are given. A relevant flow dominance measure to determine the most appropriate type of layout for a facility is described. At the end, special attention is given to the group layout, and techniques to construct part families and machine cells are described.


J.A. Tompkins, J.A. White, Y.A. Bozer, E.H. Frazelle, J.M.A. Tanchoco and J. Trevino, Facilities Planning, 2nd Edition, Wiley, New York, 1996.

R.L. Francis, L.F. McGinnis, and J.A. White, Facility Layout and Location, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1992.

This module was developed by Dr. Jose Ventura


This Lecture Resource explains the basics of RFID, how the system works, and compares RFID to bar codes. It discusses limitations of the technology and the cost. The operational frequencies are given, as well as a description of active and passive tags. The electronic product code is explained. The presentation gives a brief history of RFID and numerous applications. Importantly, it discusses the current controversy (circa July 16, 2005) concerning the technology. Please send updates to the author at

This Lecture Resource was developed by: Jerry Banks

Supply Chain Execution: Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

This lecture resource on Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) provides an overview of WMS purpose, features and functions. It begins with a short overview of Supply Chain Execution (SCE) systems and the role of WMS within an entire suite of SCE applications. The presentation then concentrates on the information flows and data that are vital to successful implementation. Finally, costs, justification, important measures and trends are presented.

This module was developed by: Brett Peters

Warehouse Equipment

This lecture serves as an introduction to all types of warehouse equipment, including racking, retrieval vehicles, operator-to-stock systems, stock-to-operator systems, dock door devices, and automatic ID technology.

This module was developed by: Spyros Reveliotis

Warehouse Design and Control

This lecture covers warehouse design and control at a high level. The author begins with a review of basic warehouse operations, then covers the warehouse design methodology proposed by Yoon & Sharp (1996). A few slides cover warehouse activity profiling, then the final portion presents Rouwenhorst's (2000) strategic, tactical, and operational design and control methodology.

This module was developed by: Spyros Reveliotis

Designing a Fast Pick Area

How to configure a fast-pick area in a warehouse. The lecture covers Bartholdi & Hackman's theoretical fluid model, which shows how to determine (1) which items to include in a fast pick area, and (2) in what quantities. The author also presents a similar model for case picking from pallets, including the Law of "None, One, or All."

This module was developed by: Spyros Reveliotis

Storage Configuration

This lecture covers several topics in configuring storage areas, including the concepts of random, dedicated, and class-based storage. The author gives several related models and shows how to locate I/O points, how to size random and dedicated storage areas, and how to compute optimal lane depth for randomized block stacking lanes.

This module was developed by: Spyros Reveliotis

Order Picking

This lecture covers analytical models for order picking, including constructing picking tours and batching orders. The author covers the pick sequencing algorithm of Bartholdi and Platzmann and the order batching procedure of De Koster. He also includes an addendum of Ratliff and Rosenthal's special case polynomial-time algorithm for constructing picking tours. Slides include many graphics and illustrations!

This module was developed by: Spyros Reveliotis

Split-Case Sorting

This lecture resource is provided as an accompaniment to the paper by Eric Johnson and Russell Meller on Split-Case Sorting Systems (M&SOM, 2002). Split-case sorting systems are used by many large retailers (, L. L. Bean, Sears, etc.) to efficiently handle high volumes of small orders. The presentation covers the main points of the paper, including a model for the throughput of the system. There is a good deal of material to introduce split-case sorting systems for those not familiar with them. The material is most suitable for graduate students in industrial engineering or logistics (although the general results are appropriate for undergraduate students as well).

This module was developed by: Eric Johnson and Russell Meller

The classroom modules provide a self-contained set of materials on selected topics related to material handling. These modules are intended to be used in a classroom environment. The modules can be used "as-is" or can be modified to suit the needs of the user.

Please note that the modules are to be used for educational purposes only and are not to be used by any entity for profit. The copyright notice should be retained in all modifications. Downloading a module signifies your agreement with these restrictions.

Interested in developing and submitting a classroom module? Click here for complete guidelines on how to prepare a classroom module.

Email with questions or comments about this web site.

Introduction to Order Profiling

Here is an overview of what files are included in the Order Profiling ZIP file:

  1. CM_OFC_Order_Profiling_Intro.doc
  2. CM_OFC_Order_Profiling_Intro.ppt
  3. CM_OFC_Order_Profiling_Homework.doc
  4. CM_OFC_Order_Profiling_HW_Data.xls

This classroom module demonstrates the relationship between historical order data and the order profiles that are used to design/modify distribution centers by providing PowerPoint presentation resources and homework exercises for the classroom.

To effectively design a distribution center, it is important to have a clear picture of what is needed from the facility. This includes information about the products that will be stored in the facility and the orders that need to be filled by the facility. To create a picture of the orders that distribution center will be filling, the problem is usually not a lack of data, but too much undigested data. A distribution center can quickly accumulate hundreds of thousands of orders in a historical database, which can be overwhelming. Designers can then use the combined profiles to select the appropriate equipment for storage and picking and to set up the layout of the facility.

The classroom module describes how the relevant order data is summarized to generate various order profiles. Then, examples of how those profiles would be used are discussed, including some of the design decisions that would be made based on the shape of the profile.

The module does not discuss in detail how to design a distribution center based on the order profiles. There are many factors that need to be taken into account when developing a design and this level of detail is beyond the scope of this module. However, after using this classroom module, students should be capable of creating basic profiles and discussing the facility’s operation requirements with the distribution center designer.

A file containing answers to the homework questions will be provided by CICMHE to qualified instructors by request to . Please reference this module in your email and provide a link to your faculty webpage or other proof of instructor status.

This module was developed by Dr. Dale Masel through support provided by the Order Fulfillment Solutions industry group and was approved by CICMHE in September 2008.

Number of AGVs: An Experiential Learning Based Exercise

By using this module, students will learn about automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and AGV Systems (AGVS). In particular, after being introduced to AGV technology, the students will be presented with analytical models to determine the number of AGVs needed in an AGVS. A computerized decision-support tool that implements the analytical models can then be used to reinforce the models and/or to solve large problems. A case study is included for application of the models and decision-support tool.

The lecture resources can be used over two 75-minute lecture periods to introduce AGVS and the analytical models to determine the number of AGVs in a system. The computerized tool and case study can be introduced in a third lecture (and can be modified only to consider the AGV aspect of the case). Each part of the case should take approximately a week or one week and a half for the students to complete.

Here is an overview of what files are included in the AGV ZIP file:

  1. AGV Overview Presentation: AGV Presentation.ppt
  2. AGV Overview Presentation Handouts: AGV Presentation.pdf
  3. AGV Overview Video: AGVS_HI.wmv
  4. Overview to Determining the Number of AGVs in a System: AGV_Example.pdf
  5. Models to Determine the Number of AGVs in a System: numveh.pdf
  6. AGV Decision-Support Tool: AGVDST.xls
  7. AGV-DST Overview Presentation: AGV DST.ppt
  8. AGV-DST Overview Presentation Handouts: AGV DST Pres.pdf
  9. AGV-DST Training Manual: AGVDST_Manual.pdf
  10. Case Study - "Teen Fashion Center: Automated Material Handling": Case.ppt
  11. Case Study - Instructor's Analysis for AS/RS: ASRS Model.xls
  12. Case Study - Instructor's Analysis for AGV: AGV Analysis.xls

This module was developed by Dr. Russell Meller and Dr. Brett Peters and approved by CICMHE in April 2005.

Material Handling Costing

In this module, students will use rules-of-thumb to provide an estimate of how much a material handling system will cost. Two competing material handling systems with different design philosophies and capabilities will be used to highlight how alternatives can be evaluated.

The goals of this module are: 1) to give some appreciation to the students with respect to how much material handling equipment costs; and 2) provide them with a framework for making decisions between competing material handling systems.

The module is based on material from the Design Plans and Ideas section of Modern Materials Handling, © 1996-2001 and Gross & Associates, "Rules of Thumb," © 1999 document.

This module consists of a 16 slide presentation and various supporting files. The links below allow you to download the PowerPoint files and supporting documents for presentation and viewing offline.

Material Handling Costing PowerPoint Presentation
Manual plan layout
Semi-automated plan layout
Costing Spreadsheet
Instructor's Guidelines
Instructor's Powerpoint Presentation Notes
Student Handouts

This module was developed by Dr. Russell D. Meller.

This page contains a description of various material handling and logistics textbooks that have been used to support classroom teaching.

Layout and Material Handling:
  • Facilities Planning, 3e, Tompkins, White, Bozer, and Tanchoco, Wiley, New York, 2003.
  • Facilities Design, Heragu, PWS Publishing, Boston, MA, 1997.
  • Facility Design: Manufacturing Engineering, 2e, Konz, Holcomb Hathaway, Scottsdale, AZ, 1994.
  • Modeling and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems, Askin and Standridge, Wiley, New York, 1993.
  • Manufacturing Facilities: Location, Planning, and Design, 2e, Sule, PWS Publishing Company, Boston, MA, 1994.
  • Manufacturing Facilities Design and Material Handling, 2e, Meyers and Stephens, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2000.
  • Warehouse & Distribution Science, Bartholdi & Hackman, 2003. Available free of charge at
Layout and Location:
  • Facility Layout and Location: An Analytical Approach, 2e, Francis, McGinnis, and White, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1992.
Material Handling Taxonomy

A tool developed by MHI and CICMHE that standardizes various Material Handling technologies. Provides line drawings of equipment and techniques in appropriate classes for the rapid integration into laboratories and lectures.

Bucket Brigades

The source for information on bucket brigade order picking and assembly. Includes general information, a Java simulation, and links to an in-class game.

Material Handling Cost Estimating

This site has "Rules of Thumb" cost estimating software and access to white papers on Material Handling design and case studies.

More Barcoding Information

Another great resource for Automatic Identification & Data Collection (AIDC) solutions.

Warehouse and Distribution Science textbook and materials

A draft copy of a graduate warehousing course textbook. Supplementary material includes exercises, class projects, a case study, and data sets.

MInteractive Warehouse - Routing Analysis

The interactive warehouse gives an online demonstration of routing methods for order picking in warehouses.

Worker Centric Warehouses: A Manifesto

Worker-Centric Warehousing (WCW) puts the worker at the center of the design and asks, “What should the warehouse look like?” The goal is not to throw cost and productivity out the window, but rather to discover, and in some cases simply to communicate what is already known about, attributes of the distribution workplace that are most satisfying and appealing to workers. The long-term vision is to transform warehouses in the distribution industry into great places to work.

Equipment Guidelines

This document provides an overview of different types of material handling equipment. It contains typical operating specifications for the equipment and some general guidelines about possible application areas. It is intended as an introductory document that provides some basic information about different categories of material handling equipment.

Download 10 Principles Document Download 10 Principles Presentation

This document describes the 10 principles of material handling. These principles provide guidelines to consider when designing material handling systems. The document provides a concise overview of best practices for handling system design.

College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) of MHI has developed a list of certificates and certifications that are currently offered by academic institutions as well as professional societies in the US in the field of material handling, logistics, and supply chain. The certificates and certifications are targeted for professionals who are interested in enhancing their technical skills and backgrounds in the fields of material handling, logistics, and supply chain, instead of attending a degree program as a full time graduate student. As the list contains programs available throughout the country, interested professional can select a program that will be most suitable based on their technical interests and geographical location. Each program in the list provides a link to their program, where people can find more details on the program such as costs, schedule, duration, and technical contents.

List of Certificates on MH, Logistics, and Supply Chain