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3 Common Processes You Can Automate with AGVs

July 07, 2021
“Automate it.” Every industrial engineer is familiar with this phrase, whether it comes from executives or industry demand. Today’s businesses are always looking to make their processes more efficient and flexible, and automation can be one of the best tools to achieve these goals in light of business growth and market changes. Reaping the most benefit from a modernized system isn’t easy and requires careful planning. Achieving operational goals of increased productivity and decreased waste within your budget, are a significant challenge. No two automated material handling solutions are ever the same. Each company and industry sector may require different solutions based on their specific objectives, parameters and constraints.

4 Ways Warehouse Industrial Robots Can Maximize Your ROI

June 30, 2021
In order to maximize your return on investment (ROI) for a robotic system, it is vital that you optimize the tasks that the robot is assigned. If the rate at which the robot handles product does not completely utilize the robot’s capabilities, you just might be leaving opportunities on the table. Analyzing the tasks, rates and capabilities can help not only maximize the robotic system but also help reduce the need for ancillary equipment and additional investments, creating a more streamline operation.

International Women in Engineering Day: Engineering Heroes

International Women in Engineering Day is celebrated all across the globe on June 23. This year’s theme, set by The Women’s Engineering Society is Engineering Heroes – celebrating “the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, who recognize a problem, then dare to be part of the solution; who undertake everyday ‘heroics’ as much as emergency ones.” Here at Bastian Solutions, from project engineering to account management, human resources, controls and consulting, among a number of other roles, we’ve witnessed women in various positions in the last year – a pandemic – come together in a time of crisis to provide guidance and resources. They’ve pulled together to keep us safe and others have helped plan, develop and execute intricate automated solutions for customers. On several different fronts, they’ve fostered innovation and ingenuity to successfully undertake the challenges.
Posted in General Blogs

Rethinking DC Packing Automation for E-fulfillment

June 16, 2021
Pick, pack and ship is fairly straightforward but with increasing pressures to process orders faster and faster, these tasks can give your company a competitive edge. When I’m looking at a customer’s distribution center, there are certain indicators I look for to try to find improvement opportunities. For a company that processes ecommerce orders, pick totes are at the top of that list. While they’re sometimes necessary, they’re often a red flag for underlying operational inefficiencies. However, these inefficiencies are easily remedied through a combination of process flow updates and new automation. These projects often have a fantastic ROI, paying back the initial investment in one to two years. To top it off, they’re easy choices for our customers to implement.

Accurately Visualize Robotic Systems with Computer Simulations

June 09, 2021
As industrial robotic technology has improved over the years, so has related simulation software. So much so, that a majority of the upfront programming for a robotic system is typically now completed in simulation software first before being implemented in a physical robot. The sophisticated software programs used for robotic simulations replicate real world robotic conditions within a 3D virtual environment. These tools allow for detailed customization providing a reliably clear view of how a robot will operate before its built and integrated. This gives customers peace of mind of how their investment will support their operations.

4 Types of DC Automation Maintenance for Less Operation Downtime

June 02, 2021
If you look up the word maintenance on the internet, you will find a lot of different variations in definition – from how often to service equipment to what degree of maintenance – and terminology. The bottom line is that the need of a maintenance plan cannot be ignored. The most common types of maintenance in the material handling industry can be put into four distinct categories. These maintenance activities include Reactive, Preventive, Predictive or Reliability Centered Maintenance practices. No matter if you have just a small conveyor system or a multimillion dollar fully automated distribution center you will have to perform maintenance activities to keep the equipment running. For each method, there are pros and cons.

4 Steps for Evaluating and Deciding on DC Automation

May 26, 2021
If your distribution center has grown in both SKUs and order volume or your typical order has shifted from retail to more ecommerce sales resulting in larger requests for smaller orders; it’s possible your picking productivity isn’t where it should be. You might also be struggling to find the labor to push orders out the door quickly and meet your service level agreements. These are just some of challenges that companies, both large and small, around the globe are facing as they adapt to market changes and shift fulfillment operations to cater to the latest ecommerce demands.

AutoStore: Designing Future-Proof Automation Technology

May 19, 2021
Scalability and flexibility are no doubt the focus of today and the future in distribution and production. Utilizing bins, bots and ports, the AutoStore goods to person technology brings a grid-based approach that allows customers to shrink their storage space exponentially while increasing their capacity for smarter, faster operations. Working together since 2013, last year Bastian Solutions expanded its portfolio of global partners with AutoStore to further support customers wherever they may be, providing them increased capacity, flexibility and accuracy.

Fostering Innovation in Supply Chain & Logistics

One of the biggest benefits and challenges of being a supply chain and material handling independent integrator is that we work with a variety of industries and clients, from the latest technology in aerospace to streamlining manufacturing and leveraging new trends in ecommerce. Today, companies around the world are shifting their operations to meet the needs of market challenges – acceleration of ecommerce, microfulfillment adaptation. But, with that too comes a need for maintained quality and reliability. That’s a tough, yet necessary balance to strike. How do you achieve it? It’s pretty well understood that innovation isn’t something that you can just make happen. New ideas take time and nurturing.
Posted in General Blogs

Making the Most of Automation for Food and Beverage Manufacturing

May 05, 2021
No two automation projects are the same. What makes a project unique? The size of the project, complexity of the operation, deployed technologies, or new installation at greenfield facility versus a modernization or expansion of an existing, brownfield site. Adding automation technology for food and beverage manufacturers, however, adds a different challenge and a different set of variables that are important to consider as you plan, implement, and leverage the new tools. At Bastian Solutions, one of our core values is to “keep growing,” and we do this by implementing Kaizen principles. One detail that is constant in all of these projects is learning how to do it better and keeping that in mind for new projects. Adding advanced technologies to a distribution or manufacturing operation can certainly create efficiencies. With food and beverage, I’ve found that there are four key focus areas that can help manufacturers truly make the most of automating their processes.

Scallog: Creating a Resilient Solution for the Future of Warehouse Logistics

April 28, 2021
Dynamic and easily scalable, goods to person technologies have risen to the forefront of order fulfillment conversation amid rapid ecommerce growth. Answering the challenge of automation for various industry applications and operation sizes, Scallog’s order fulfillment system adds a mobile robotic solution to the mix. Announced late last year, Bastian Solutions, an independent integrator, has added Scallog’s technology to our growing portfolio of automation capabilities. We talked to Olivier Rochet, founder and president of Scallog, for a deeper insight on the technology and future of DC automation development. This French robotic automation system manufacturer, already installed in six countries, offers a goods to person technology based on robots that move shelves around the warehouse.

Even Turnkey Automation Solutions Require Effective Training

April 21, 2021
You’re planning on implementing a new turnkey system for your business. Just like the name implies, implementation should be as easy as turning a key, right? Not quite. When it comes time to deploy a new system, there are always challenges in making it work. New systems have to operate within well-established organizational contexts and employees have to adapt to use new tools and procedures. Any new skill needs to be learned. It's no different when you’ve invested in a system to improve your business. Even with a "turnkey" system, training is an essential component of a successful change management process.
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