The Material Handling Blog

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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.

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.

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.

Modernizing DC Operations: Automation Requires Management

March 24, 2021
More companies are starting to prioritize automation while those that had already put a lot of focus on automation are not looking to slow down. In fact, there is greater emphasis on it. Companies are realizing the competitive advantages that automation provides and are starting to challenge why adding a goods to person or ASRS system may or may not work in their business. The increased focus on automation, does not remove or decrease the need for strong operational management, if anything, it still requires communication and organization from leadership to succeed. Automation helps efficiency but a facility must rely on good processes and timely communication of information to manage a dynamic environment.

Investments are Causing Massive Disruption in the Automation and Robotics Field

March 17, 2021
Technology and automation have had a place in distribution and supply chains for decades. Typically, high-end automation was reserved for the largest multi-national organizations with ample capital and a vision to improve efficiencies in their supply chain. While the technology adoption curve is much more mature in Europe than North America, N. American business investment in supply chain automation and distribution is increasing rapidly due to changing customer buying behavior, labor shortages, ecommerce adoption, and access to various technologies both mature and emerging. The amount of new technologies emerging to support distribution and supply chain automation is also rapidly increasing; and for good reason.

Automated Distribution: Bringing Innovation to Pharma Fulfillment at Knipper

February 03, 2021
Based in New Jersey, J. Knipper and Company is one of the nation's largest third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) for the pharmaceutical industry. They are a service partner providing management of product sampling for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device professionals. Now with access to 75% of the U.S. population with 2-day ground service, Knipper can deliver product to customers faster, thus increasing customer satisfaction, creating unique opportunities, and greater specialization in direct to physician fulfillment.

Scalable Automation: Creating Optimization for Today and Tomorrow at Parts Town

December 16, 2020
Parts Town needed a way to get ahead of their 30 percent year over year growth. Order printouts and manual push carts bustling from one side of the warehouse to another just wasn’t working anymore. Wanting to embrace their success without sacrificing their promise to customers of same-day delivery, Parts Town turned to Bastian Solutions. It was time to envision a new approach and make better use of their space.

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.

Goods to Person Systems Stretch Beyond Social Distancing Benefits

December 09, 2020
Various goods-to-person technologies have risen to the challenge of social distancing by creating naturally spaced workstations for employees and allowing companies to continue their business momentum. In some cases, ramping up to match shifts like we’ve seen in ecommerce. In Q3 2020, about $1 in every $5 was spent on online sales, according to U.S. Commerce Department retail data.

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 (AVGs) 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.
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