The Material Handling Blog

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Manufacturing Renaissance in the U.S.?

July 26, 2012
It wasn’t all that long ago U.S. manufacturing prowess was the envy of the world, but then numerous U.S.-based companies decided to move their manufacturing operations abroad due to world competition and cost constraints. In recent years, however, a fascinating and somewhat silent trend has developed; U.S.-based manufacturing is making an exciting and notable comeback . Continue Reading >>

Catching Equipment Problems in the Blink of an Eye

July 19, 2012
Everyone has seen at least one high-speed video before. Most of them involve a bullet going through something, causing the object to explode in slow-motion. I assure you there is more to high-speed video than things blowing up. In industries with high-speed equipment, it can mean the difference between an impossible to spot problem and one that is clear as day. Continue Reading >>

Using LEGOs to Help Build Creativity & Problem Solving Skills for Your Children

May 03, 2012
Many of us played with LEGOs when we were younger, and they are still pretty common today. However, if you haven’t kept up with what all LEGO offers in the recent years, you might be quite surprised. There are a few product lines that many people may not be familiar with that offer a tremendous amount of engagement and critical thinking for children and young adults. Continue Reading >>

Saving a Troubled Project (and Re-gaining the Customer's Confidence)

April 26, 2012
We've all been there...working on that project, which never seems to go right. The project has passed hands multiple times. There is miscommunication between the customer, salesman, and the engineers. Every new idea you attempt doesn't seem to work as expected, and when you finally find a solution that works, it decides to stop working when the customer is watching. While no one enjoys being in these positions, at one time or another every company will experience one. And the question is how do you save face? Continue Reading >>

Is Leasing an Option for Automating Your Distribution Center?

March 01, 2012
Recently, I had a discussion with a friend who works with one of our integration partners, and during our discussion we came up on the topic of leasing as an option for capital equipment. For anyone who doesn't know, capital equipment is typically a larger, higher priced item with a lifespan of more than one year. It is an asset and an investment for the company purchasing, or in this case, leasing it. After doing a little research, I found out that leasing capital equipment is actually a very common practice for all sorts of companies, large and small. This makes sense because there are many benefits to doing so... Continue Reading >>

The Pros and Cons of Implementing a Robotic Mixed Pallet Building System

October 14, 2011
The topic of robotic, or automatic, mixed pallet building has come up quite a bit recently, so I thought I'd share some of the benefits and challenges that go along with it. To give you some background, a few years ago companies started building rainbow packs, which are basically a box or bag of products that contain smaller quantities of different flavors or product lines. This allows consumers to sample a variety of items without buying large quantities of each. So what does all of that have to do with robotic mixed pallet building? Well, the concept of rainbow packs actually stemmed from the advent of mixed pallet building first used by the material handling and logistics industries. 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 >>

Benefits of Single Sourcing Your Manufacturing Automation Partner

March 22, 2011
With the summer project season just around the corner many industrial manufacturing companies are shoring up plans for their big projects. I recently had the pleasure to walk a manufacturing plant from front to back and back to front again in search of automated material handling opportunities. It certainly was a shocking experience because in this case, the client went naked! While this client was the expert on their systems and operations, a trained eye in material handling-- especially robotic --was a welcome investment of their time.

Overview of WestPack 2011

February 17, 2011
Bastian Material Handling and our sister company, ASAP Automation , recently had the opportunity to exhibit at WestPack in Anaheim, CA, February 8 through 10. For those of you who don't know, WestPack is one of the premier trade shows in the U.S., and the only trade show on the West Coast that addresses the material handling industry. All-in-all, the event showcases packaging and processing machinery, materials, and associated technologies from companies throughout the U.S. Read More >>

7 Industrial Robotics Hazards and How to Avoid Them

January 05, 2011
Many companies wonder whether robots are safe to implement in their facility. Although an industrial robot will improve the ergonomic conditions in a production area, there is a perception that the robot will create an unsafe work environment. Although industrial robots do contain some potential hazards, they are all preventable as long as workers are well educated on the robotic system and the robotic integrator has fulfilled all job requirements, including proper installation, programming, and risk assessment. Read More >>

Mixed Load Palletizing: Can it be done?

July 15, 2010
The good news is that this long talked about concept has been proven within the last few years. You can hardly be in business anymore without being impacted by the need to deliver only what your customer needs. The days of shipping excess are over and everyone is looking to eliminate waste in their supply chain process.
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