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Smarter Robotic Each Picking, Now Powered by AI

March 10, 2021
Robots have been around for a while now and some may now consider them a commodity. They take inputs – product dimensions, pick and place locations – and produce outputs – finished pallets, unloaded or loaded machines. The inputs and outputs are controlled and consistent. What happens when the inputs and outputs can’t be controlled? Are you out of luck? Not anymore! Bastian Solutions has implemented robotic systems that allow robots to see, reason, and act to unknown inputs and produce desired outputs.

3 Lessons on Navigating Complex Multi-Site Automation Projects

March 03, 2021
The word “complexity” usually garners feelings of fear or hesitation. At Bastian Solutions however, when customers inquire about complex multi-site projects, we view these as exciting and engaging opportunities. Amidst the pandemic, there has been a sudden rise in ecommerce. It is estimated that U.S. ecommerce sales in the third quarter of 2020 was $209 billion, which was an increase of 37% from sales over the same time period in 2019. With this rise in consumer demand, there has been an increased demand for quick, complex supply chain solutions.
Posted in General Blogs

Retrofits and Cutovers: What to Know Before Modernizing Your Automation System

February 10, 2021
For any companies who has been a part of a retrofit or cutover project, you may be familiar with the challenges of taking on a project during a live operation. At Bastian Solutions, we see a lot of live operation projects every year – enhancements or modernizations of existing operations. These kinds of projects are considerably more difficult than projects that are performed in a greenfield (brand new building) or brownfield (existing building) site that aren’t operational today.
Posted in General Blogs

Supply Chain Returns: Strategically Handling the Post-Holiday Rush

January 13, 2021
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season now over, many would think that retailers and manufacturers could catch their breath and start to focus on the next season. However, all retailers and online businesses know that there is one more hurdle to cross before closing out this season and that means processing returns! Here are 3 Key Thoughts for Strategically Managing Returns.
Posted in General Blogs

Drones en la Cadena de Suministro

December 09, 2020
Era sólo cuestión de tiempo para que los proveedores logísticos, los integradores y las diferentes empresas multinacionales empezaran a buscar maneras de aprovechar esta tecnología.

Multi-Site Project Implementations: Consistency Drives Efficiency

November 18, 2020
As the global effects of COVID-19 continue to play out, demand for contactless shopping via eCommerce is increasing putting pressure on fulfillment. Businesses are scrambling to identify opportunities to increase supply across their distribution networks. Many are seeking support from automation systems integrators (conveyor, robotics, software, controls) across several fulfillment sites at once. While multi-site implementations can be challenging, when executed successfully they can achieve greater results than single-site implementations.

Pandemic Accelerated Growth: 5 Ways AGVs and AMRs are an Asset to Your Operations

November 12, 2020
Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are transforming the way manufacturing and distribution centers operate. They are easier than ever to integrate into your operations and are currently seeing a significant boost in adoption.

Black Friday Prep: Peak Season Trends

November 06, 2020
Although 2020 has been an unpredictable year with unprecedented commerce demands, this year worldwide ecommerce sales have already increased by 18% more than last year. That’s $3.5 trillion USD, according to Shopify. And, it’s expected to nearly double by 2023 to more than $6.5 trillion. Chances are that planning was already underway to shift processes to accommodate for the expected growth in ecommerce before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, the state of the world during the pandemic greatly shortened the time frame in which updates and changes needed to be made. Companies everywhere scrambled to quickly pivot based on their unique situations.

Microfulfillment Part 2: Pros and Cons

July 29, 2020
The term “microfulfillment center” has quickly become one of the top buzzwords in material handling. But what is it and is investing in it the right decision for your supply chain?

How Automation is Helping During a Pandemic

May 14, 2020
Because of COVID-19, many manufacturing companies are finding themselves needing to change operating procedures. Here's how automation is helping one company make much-needed PPE.

Automation in Software Development

April 23, 2020
Automation in software can be a very powerful thing, when done correctly. Here are some tips on how to analyze whether automating a process is the right decision.

Robot EoAT Tool Changers: How & Where They Are Used

April 07, 2020
On any given production line, workers pick up different specialized tools to complete different tasks. End of arm tool changers allow robots to do the same.
Posted in System Automation

Building the Business Case for Distribution Center Automation

February 06, 2020
While there is often a compelling ROI for automating your DC operations, there are several other key factors that should also be considered when building your business case.

Automation is Here to Stay (and Improve Your Life)

November 21, 2019
I often get asked about automation’s effects on employment. Here are some lessons from history that show how the implementation of automation improved the quality of our lives by changing the kinds of jobs available.

Tackling Returns: An Online Clothing Retailer Changes the Game

September 10, 2019
Dealing with returns and reverse logistics can be a struggle for ecommerce order fulfillment - especially in the retail and consumer goods industries. Here's how we helped one client improve their returns process.
Posted in System Automation

Finding the Right Solution: Supercapacitors vs. Batteries

August 28, 2019
When making a decision, it’s important to fully consider the benefits and disadvantages of each available option. Here's how we decided between supercapacitors and batteries when developing our warehouse robots.

Automation's Effect on Flexibility

July 31, 2019
When exploring automated solutions, it’s important to consider not just the benefits, but the overall impact each will have on your operations - including their effects on flexibility.
Tags: automation
Posted in System Automation

Drones in Supply Chain

July 09, 2019
Drones are becoming increasingly popular in multiple industries, but will they ever become an essential tool for warehouse management and logistics?

4 Signs It's Time to Replace That Outdated Conveyor System

April 30, 2019
Conveyor systems can last a long time, but even the best maintained systems only last so long. Here are 4 signs that it's time to replace your outdated conveyor system.

Technological Advancements Enabling the Growth of Robotic Picking

April 04, 2019
In the very near future, robotic picking will become mainstream, facilitating a 24/7 picking and order fulfillment environment. Improvements in a few existing technologies have helped pave the way.

3 Advanced Features of the ZiPline Shoe Sorter

April 02, 2019
From day one, the main design criteria for our ZiPline shoe sorter was maximum uptime with industry-leading crash avoidance. That’s why we developed the best slat, shoe, and end offload in the industry.

Palletizing and Depalletizing with Cobots

March 28, 2019
Palletizing and depalletizing with collaborative robots just made a huge step forward. These easy-to-integrate solutions can handle a range of product sizes and styles while eliminating the need for safety fencing and requiring minimal floor space.
Posted in System Automation

7 Energy Considerations for Material Handling Automation

March 11, 2019
Automation can provide a wealth of benefits with the right system. Don't overlook these 7 energy-related questions when selecting which automation technologies are best for your operation. Read: 7 Energy Considerations for Material Handling Automation
Posted in System Automation

Labor Management’s Role in Automation

February 21, 2019
While effective labor management is vital in any operation, it’s critical to not lose sight of its importance as the supply chain and material handling industry moves further down the path of automation. Read: Labor Management’s Role in Automation
Posted in System Automation

Trends Driving the Case for Distribution Center Automation

January 31, 2019
An overview of the economic and technological trends that are increasing demand (and ROI) for distribution center automation. Read: Trends Driving the Case for Distribution Center Automation

Integrating Conveyor into a Part Press Operation

January 25, 2019
When trying to determine the best automated solution for a manufacturing application, it’s important to ask the right questions. Read: Integrating Conveyor into a Part Press Operation

AutoStore Black Line : Reponses a vos questions (French)

January 15, 2019
Qu'est-ce qui différencie le nouvel AutoStore Black Line? Nous avons préparé un Q&R pour que vous puissiez découvrir les nouveautés et savoir si cela vous convient.
Posted in System Automation

AutoStore Black Line: Your Questions Answered

January 15, 2019
What's different about the new AutoStore Black Line? We've put together a Q&A so you can learn what's new and if it's right for you. Read: AutoStore Black Line: Your Questions Answered
Posted in System Automation

Which Products Should Go into a Goods-To-Person System?

January 03, 2019
Considering a goods-to-person system, but not sure which one to choose or what to put inside? Start by analyzing your data. Read: Which Products Should Go into a Goods-To-Person System?

Lessons From the Amazon Effect

December 19, 2018
How the retail and material handling industries have evolved to service increasing e-commerce demand. Read: Lessons From the Amazon Effect

5 Questions to Ask When Considering AGVs

November 30, 2018
Wondering whether automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are the right solution for your material handling problem? These 5 questions will help. Read: 5 Questions to Ask When Considering AGVs

5 Advantages of a Cobot from Universal Robots

October 30, 2018
Do you want to automate a process in your facility without breaking the bank? Here are 5 advantages of cobots. Read: 5 Advantages of a Cobot from Universal Robots

A Guide to Testing Your Warehouse Execution System (WES)

October 16, 2018
A WES is a powerful tool that can help a wide range of warehouse DCs. Here’s what’s required to properly test and implement a warehouse execution system.. Read: A Guide to Testing Your Warehouse Execution System (WES)

Automated Picking Technologies for Omni-Channel Fulfillment

October 11, 2018
There are many automation technologies available to improve omni-channel fulfillment – but which are right for your operation? Read: Automated Picking Technologies for Omni-Channel Fulfillment

How Industrial Automation Helped Detroit Recover

October 04, 2018
With the perseverance of its manufacturing industry and the help of innovations like industrial automation, Detroit has made an impressive comeback. Read: How Industrial Automation Helped Detroit Recover

5 Cobot Applications for Distribution Centers

August 22, 2018
From picking, packing, palletizing and beyond, here are some distribution center applications that can benefit from using cobots, or collaborative robots. Read: 5 Cobot Applications for Distribution Centers

Increase Revenue with Automatic Stretch Wrapping

July 26, 2018
You spend millions of dollars to get your product to the customer as fast as possible. So why let outdated wrapping procedures slow you down? Read: Increase Revenue with Automatic Stretch Wrapping

5 Key Steps to Your Next Material Handling System Modification

June 20, 2018
In today's fast-paced, demand-driven world, material handling system modifications are almost guaranteed and required to keep up with competition. To ensure a smooth project and successful go-live, whether a brand new system or modification, follow these five steps. Read: 5 Key Steps to Your Next Material Handling System Modification

Adopting Automation and Change Management: What to Expect and How to be Prepared

May 23, 2018
Whether its automating the picking process with goods-to-person (GTP) technology or the pack-and-ship process with tapers and print and apply, the path to a successful automation implementation can be seamless and smooth for some organizations, but also, prolonged and strenuous for others. Read: Adopting Automation and Change Management

New Brew of Software for Beverage Distribution

May 16, 2018
Consumers are getting more tech savvy when it comes to purchasing goods. The common trend is to be faster, more accurate, and provide decision-making information on-demand. The wine and spirits industry is no different, which is why smart distributors are investing in new hardware and software. Read: New Brew of Software for Beverage Distribution

Understanding OSHA Safety Standards for Conveyor

May 09, 2018
Conveyor equipment can be dangerous if not used in the proper manner and with necessary safety precautions in place. To prevent injuries and accidents, OSHA has outlined several conveyor safety standards, which we'll review and expand upon. Read: Understanding OSHA Safety Standards for Conveyor

3 Key Factors in Goods-to-Person Throughput Design

March 30, 2018
From a mechanical standpoint, a goods-to-person system certainly can attain the tote delivery rate advertised on a vendor’s website.  However, these advertised rates do not consider the primary determinant for the throughput rate that is actually realized at a goods-to-person work station – the pick cycle time.  Read: Key Factors in Goods-to-Person Throughput Design

The Highway to Success – Enhancing the Value of the Workforce through Automation

February 28, 2018
Last year, MHI published its “Material Handling & Logistics US Roadmap 2.0”. The Roadmap explains how changing trends in the workforce, technology, consumers and logistics infrastructure will impact material handling and logistics through 2030. One of the biggest changes we see occurring is the relationship between the workforce and technology. Read: Enhancing the Value of the Workforce Through Automation

Industrial Real Estate Considerations for Goods-to-Person Technologies

February 21, 2018
Just as the internet has been an enabler for e-commerce, today’s modern goods-to-person (GTP) automation technologies have been an enabler for e-commerce order fulfillment, especially when those orders are delivered on the promise of next-day or same-day delivery. Continue Reading: GTP Tech Impacts Building Design

Mini-Load ASRS: What is it & why does Australia need it?

January 24, 2018
ASRS is the short way of saying “Automated Storage and Retrieval System.” Although these systems have been around for several years, many in warehousing facilities have not heard of it, and those who have might not exactly understand what it is or how it could benefit their operations. Read: Mini-Load ASRS in Australia
Posted in System Automation

6 Considerations when Integrating Cold Room Conveyor

December 21, 2017
Many of us think about winterizing our car or home, but your conveyor system also needs protection from cold temperatures. In this article, we will discuss six areas to consider when installing conveyor and other material handling equipment in cold rooms or freezers. Read: 6 Considerations when Integrating Cold Room Conveyor

Collaborative Robots Part 2: Benefits and Expanding Capabilities

November 16, 2017
Industrial robots play a large part in the automation of industrial environments, but collaborative robots are expanding the realm of possibility. In part two of our series, we’re discussing the benefits of collaborative robots, and why that makes them a growing piece of today's modern manufacturing and distribution puzzle. Read: Collaborative Robot Benefits

Beyond Conveyor: The Evolution of Material Handling Technology

August 24, 2017
Whenever asked about my job, most questions revolve around conveyor and racking, but I can’t help but wonder why the scope of the industry ends there, or at least the perception of it. Today's material handling technology is impressive and more advanced than ever before. Read: The Evolution of Material Handling Technology

Is Your Warehouse Traffic Resembling a Busy Interstate?

June 22, 2017
Self-driving cars are the future of our roads, but manufacturing and distribution centers have been using autonomous vehicles for years. Are AGVs right for you? Read: AGVs Assist with Warehouse Traffic
Posted in System Automation

A Review of the Distribution Automation Landscape in Mexico

June 16, 2017
We all know and believe that automation is the future (and in some cases, the present), but what’s different for Mexico and LATAM (Latin America) in general? Why is it so difficult to take that first step to automate material handling processes in those countries? Read: A Review of the Distribution Automation Landscape in Mexico

4 Questions to Ask Before Selecting Goods-to-Person Solutions

May 16, 2017
Over the past few years, the phrase “goods to person” has become mainstream. As distribution facilities look to service customers more quickly, optimize warehouse space, and improve accuracy of order fulfillment, goods-to-person technologies have become a realistic option to accomplish these goals. Read: 4 Questions to Ask Before Selecting Goods-to-Person Solutions
Posted in System Automation

An Engineering Consultant’s View of ProMat

April 27, 2017
ProMat and Automate offered the perfect platform to see an amazing array of technologies and speak with developers first hand. For any company looking to automate, there were plenty of solutions to review and discuss. Read: A Consultant's View of ProMat

Augmented Reality (AR): The Future of Supply Chains?

March 24, 2017
Augmented reality and virtual reality are new technologies being applied to the ever evolving supply chain. Integrating these devices with warehouse software, picking processes, and robotics could be the future of distribution and manufacturing operations. Read: Augmented Reality (AR): The Future of Supply Chains?

Can 3D Printing be Additive to the Supply Chain?

February 14, 2017
From prosthesis, to robotics, food, and even guns, 3D printing has been making headlines in recent years. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has been around longer than most think. Read: Can 3D Printing be Additive to the Supply Chain?

Project Management: A Tool for a Successful Automation Implementation

February 09, 2017
Project management is a critical piece to any successful automation system implementation. From the development stage to go live, the project manager must ensure all is going as planned and as the customer needs it. Here is an overview of what a good project manager should cover. Read: Project Management for Successful Automation Implementation

Taking Ownership of Your New Automation System

December 07, 2016
A customer who is ready and willing to take ownership of their new automation system is more likely to be successful Continue Reading: Taking Ownership of Your New Automation System

Your First ZiPline Conveyor and the Basics of Owning It

November 08, 2016
You are now the proud owner of a ZiPline conveyor, and maybe you are starting to wonder what exactly the next step is. Possibly this is the first conveyor you have ever purchased to which I will be the first to say congratulations on taking the efficiency of your operations seriously and making a bold step to transition to an automated facility. This is likely a little scary, a little exciting, and a little costly compared to previous modes of operation, but don’t worry, you’re in good hands. Read: Your First ZiPline Conveyor and the Basics of Owning It

Bringing an Independent Systems Integrator to the European Market

October 25, 2016
With a large population that possesses a more-than-comfortable purchasing power, Europe creates a space where goods must move a lot, which makes automated solutions in both production and distribution a necessity. Read: Bringing an Independent Systems Integrator to the European Market

What if Selecting your Material Handling Integrator was like Electing your Next President

October 11, 2016
Like a presidential election, selecting an automation partner is based on understanding what the candidate is trying to accomplish, their experience, and their trustworthiness. Thankfully, material handling integrators do not have to be elected, but just for fun, we explored what it would be like if they were. Read: Electing a Material Handling Integrator

Ergonomic Benefits of Industrial Robotics

November 05, 2015
Hundreds of thousands of people have to deal with risky work environments, dodging workplace injuries, and making it home to their families every day. There are industry shifts, however, that are seeking to reduce the need for utilizing human labor in these inherently risky operations and shifting them to safer tasks in the facility. Read: Ergonomic Benefits of Robotics

3 Steps to a Great Turnkey Material Handling System

August 20, 2015
A turn-key material handling solution is the complete design, build, and installation of material handling equipment. This type of solution allows you to work with one company to ensure your project exceeds expectations from start to finish. Here's what you should expect during the three phases of your turnkey project... Read: 3 Steps to a Great Turnkey Material Handling System

ROI Factors in a Material Handling Automation Project

April 08, 2015
Introducing automation into a business can be a large and intimidating project. A good deal of time and money are generally invested up front in order make the project successful. However, there are several benefits automation can bring about that help justify these expenses. Read more: Material Handling Automation ROI Factors

Unforeseen Benefits of Adding Robot Labor to the Workplace

December 17, 2014
Robotic automation is becoming more commonplace in the manufacturing realm, with general industry and automotive parts suppliers leading the way. Modernizing factories throughout the Americas, the expected benefits have contributed to an increased number of robot installations, but the unexpected benefits have rapidly accelerated the pace of those installs. Read: The Unforeseen Benefits of Robot Labor

Introduction to Industrial Robots: What You Need to Know

October 10, 2014
If you work with robots every day like I do, it feels almost second nature when selecting the right one for any given application. There are plenty of people, though, who when they hear robot think of Terminator or I-Robot. Industrial robots are a little different than the aforementioned Hollywood versions, so if you are interested in using robots to improve your business, it helps to understand your options. Read: Intro to Industrial Robots

The Top 3 PC-Based Software Features for Industrial Controls Programming

September 18, 2014
When programming controllers for an industrial automation project, I base my platform (PLC, PAC, or PC) on a variety of project details, one of which is the software that drives the platform. Here is a review of the 3 top features I look for on the software side of a platform decision... Read: Top 3 Software Features

Senior Design Projects are a Great Way to Test Ideas and Give Back to Schools

January 08, 2013
While brainstorming robot on a rail (ROAR) solutions, my co-workers and I wondered how we could create a similar technology, while maintaining focus on our current projects. That's when the idea of working with a senior design group came to mind, so I contacted my alma mater to get started... Read More >>

Choosing Between a Robotics Integrator or Manufacturer

June 13, 2011
I've been in the industrial robotics industry for nearly a decade and during my career, I've had the opportunity to work for both integrators and for a manufacturer of industrial robotic arms. One of the questions that I've had many clients ask me over the years is whether they should buy a robotic solution directly from the manufacturer or from an integrator. Read More >>
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