A showcase lineup of Combilift forklifts outside combilift ireland in partnership with masterlift

The Evolution of Material Handling: A Look at Combilift’s Innovative Solutions

Over the years, material handling has changed significantly due to improvements in technology and the demand for increased efficiency.

Combilift, a business known for its adaptable and creative handling solutions, is one of the industry’s leading inventors.

This blog will explore the development of material handling and how Combilift’s products have transformed the sector, especially in Ireland.

Introduction to Material Handling

Material handling involves the movement, protection, storage, and control of materials & products. These tasks are performed during the manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal processes.

The goal for any business is to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance safety for each process.

Early Methods of Material Handling

  • Manual Labour: The earliest form of material handling relied heavily on manual labour, with workers using basic tools and equipment. This is timely, costly and performed at an increased safety risk and strain on staff.
  • Simple Machines: The introduction of simple machines like pulleys, levers, and basic carts helped to alleviate some of the physical burden on workers.

Manual Handling

Industrial Revolution

  • Mechanisation: The Industrial Revolution brought significant mechanisation, with the advent of steam-powered and later electrically powered machinery.
  • Conveyor Systems: Early conveyor systems began to emerge, streamlining the movement of materials within factories, and reducing physical demands.


Modern Material Handling

Today’s material handling is characterised by advanced technology and automation, enhancing productivity and safety.

Automation and Robotics

  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs): AGVs have transformed warehouses by automating repetitive tasks. Amazon has uses AGVs across their fulfilment & sort centres and has linked their success in same/next day delivery to it.
  • Robotic Arms: These are used for precise handling in manufacturing processes. This has been seen to limit stress on staff and allow them to work in a safer and more ergonomic environment.


Smart Warehousing

  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT devices allow for real-time tracking and management of inventory.
  • Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): These systems optimise the storage and retrieval of goods.


Combilift: Pioneering Innovative Solutions

Combilift has been at the forefront of material handling innovation, offering solutions that address modern logistics and warehousing challenges.

The Birth of Combilift

Founded in 1998 in Ireland, Combilift has grown to become a global leader in the material handling sector. The company’s commitment to innovation is evident in its diverse range of products, designed to maximise efficiency and safety.

Combilift’s Key Innovations

Multidirectional Forklifts: Combilift’s multidirectional forklifts can move in all directions, making them ideal for handling long loads in narrow aisles.

  1. Combi WR Stacker: the first purpose-built pedestrian reach stacker with the ability to operate with large loads in a VNA aisle of just 2.1m
  2. Combi-CB: A compact multi-directional counterbalance forklift, the Combi-CB is versatile and ideal for handling mixed loads.
  3. Combi CS Stacker: Equipped with a patented multi-position tiller arm the Combi-CS offers safer operation, maximum operator visibility and narrow aisle performance.
  4. Aisle-Master Articulated Forklifts: These forklifts are designed to work in very narrow aisles, maximizing warehouse space.

Benefits of Combilift’s Solutions

  • Space Optimisation: Combilift’s products are designed to maximise storage space, allowing for higher-density storage.
  • Increased Safety: The design of Combilift’s machinery prioritises operator safety and reduces the risk of accidents.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: With features like multidirectional movement and narrow aisle operation, Combilift’s solutions streamline operations and reduce handling time.


Masterlift Ireland and Combilift

Masterlift Ireland, as a leading forklift supplier, has integrated Combilift’s innovative solutions to enhance its service offerings.


  • Assessment: Masterlift Ireland conducts thorough assessments of client needs to recommend the best forklift solutions.
  • Customisation: Solutions are often tailored to meet specific operational and workspace requirements.
  • Training: Comprehensive training programs ensure operators can effectively and safely use the new equipment.


  • Improved Efficiency: Clients report significant improvements in warehouse efficiency and throughput.
  • Cost Savings: Optimised space and reduced handling times contribute to substantial cost savings.
  • Enhanced Safety: Clients have experienced fewer workplace accidents and injuries.



The Future of Material Handling

As technology continues to advance, the material handling industry will likely see further innovations. Trends to watch include:

Automation and AI

  • Machine Learning: AI-driven systems will enhance decision-making and predictive maintenance.
  • Advanced Robotics: Robots will become more capable, of handling a broader range of tasks.

Sustainable Solutions

  • Electric Vehicles: There will be a shift towards more electric and hybrid material handling equipment. As seen by our battery-powered forklifts available at Masterlift.
  • Eco-Friendly Practices: Companies will adopt more sustainable practices, including recycling and energy-efficient systems.



The evolution of material handling reflects the industry’s ongoing quest for greater efficiency, safety, and sustainability.

Combilift’s innovative solutions have played a crucial role in this evolution, offering advanced technologies that meet the complex demands of modern logistics and warehousing.

As a leading supplier, Masterlift Ireland continues to leverage these innovations to provide top-tier solutions to its clients, ensuring they remain at the forefront of the industry.

By staying informed about the latest advancements and continuously adapting to new technologies, businesses can optimise their operations and maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving material handling landscape.

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