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How Automation is Helping During a Pandemic

David Musch | 14 May 2020

With help from Bastian Solutions and robotic automation, PolyFlex is producing 120,000 face shields a month to support essential workers and medical staff.

‘Thanks’ to COVID-19, many manufacturing companies are finding themselves needing to change operating procedures. Whether this is due to a government request for assistance in production of personal protective equipment (PPE), or the need to reduce the number of employees in the building to maintain social distancing, automation can assist with these changes.

PolyFlex, a custom pallet and auto part manufacturer in Detroit, Michigan recently changed over a production line in their facility to produce PPE after being approached by the government. PolyFlex uses an injection molding machine for auto parts they produce. This machine can also be used to create the headband component of face shields, which are needed in many essential businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic.

PolyFlex’s Standard Products




PolyFlex’s PPE Face Shield


As a recent client of Bastian Solutions, PolyFlex reached out for assistance in automating this production line to limit employees for social distancing purposes, while ensuring adequate throughput. They’ll be producing the headbands for the next six to eight months before converting the line back to auto parts, so the company needed a quick, temporary solution.

Bastian Solutions was able to install our Universal Robots UR5 demo robot to unload parts from the shipping totes at the exact rate needed for the mold producing the headbands at two parts every 36 seconds. With this installation, and our team’s meticulous programming, Polyflex’s production line for these headbands is fully automated, which means it can run 24 hours a day without human interaction. You can watch a video of the collaborative robot in action on Polyflex's LinkedIn page


PolyFlex’s original goal was to produce 30,000 masks per month, however, thanks to robotic automation, they’ve been able to produce more than 120,000 masks a month.

This is just one example of how automation can help your operation stay safe during these uncertain times. If you’d like to talk to an engineer about your unique situation, contact us. We’re here to help.

Author: David Musch

I am a Regional Manager with Bastian Solutions, overseeing the Michigan and northern Ohio field offices.  With over 25 years of experience in managing projects and selling conveyor systems, I enjoy closely working with our Field Application Engineers and Project Engineers and their varied customers.


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