Leaning on Smart Manufacturing

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As smart manufacturing evolves, industrial robots are filling the need for advanced solutions with mixed load palletizing and vision-guided picking.

Smart manufacturing with goods to robot tech

Goods to robot each picking with vision guidance

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as
improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

Benjamin Franklin, in his speaking of these iconic words, may as well have been standing in the middle of a manufacturing facility and observing critical changes that had been implemented to eliminate bottlenecks and uneven timing throughout the plant. Nevertheless, as his quote entails, good ole Ben would have been the first to ask, “What’s next?”

In the modern world of industrial robots and manufacturing, there are many new and innovative ideals being proposed as guidelines to streamline the mechanisms cranking out the incredible magnitude of products populating our world today. For instance, the Lean Manufacturing movement that has revolutionized so many industries over the past two decades, has opened up a flexible and approachable “yellow brick road” for the infrastructures of the modern manufacturing industry. However, this elimination of wasteful and redundant processes by careful, collaborative design has created a demand for more efficient and controlled machinery. This demand can only be filled by new, intelligent technologies that have just begun to make their foray into the industrial market of the modern world.

Smart Manufacturing

Out of this gaping desire for repeatable, scalable, and innovative solutions, Smart Manufacturing has been conceived. Smart Manufacturing was born out of a need to connect the sprawling systems that exist as part of any sized manufacturing concept and enhance module response time while boosting flexibility. Smart manufacturing is a term coined to represent the mating of operating technologies, information technologies and their rapid evolution that is occurring as we speak. It is important to note that as systems become more flexible, they also demand more data and the means to acquire that data. Integrated robotics, sensor arrays, vision systems and the digital thread connecting similar automated systems will continue to become more complex and effective while increasing in their ability to adapt to changes in a production line.

robotic mixed load palletizing

Mixed load palletizing with industrial robots

Industrial Robots in Smart Manufacturing

Bastian Robotics is on the front line of intelligent system integration in Smart Manufacturing with Lean Manufacturing inspired solutions like mixed load palletizing and vision assisted robotic inspection and quality control. Mixed load palletizing is achieved utilizing advanced software, robust industrial robots, flexible robotic end of arm tools, and data acquisition systems. These components work to accurately compile and stack layers of mixed SKUs to optimize “end-of-line” processes resulting in high uptime, reduced labor costs, exact load placement and most importantly, accommodation of demand driven product – basically stacking anything that comes down the line.

This is just one of the roles industrial robots play in instigating a flexible, open infrastructure in a production line rather than constraining an end of line process to only one product type. In addition, Bastian Robotics partners with the most advanced vision systems providers to collect and utilize vast, highly precise amounts of data in real time. These systems provide the copious flow of data necessary to support solutions that Bastian Robotics has excelled at designing. These solutions include robotic quality control, sortation systems, and random bin picking which complement automated processes upstream of these intelligent modules and reduce error downstream that result in down time and waste.

Bastian Robotics is pioneering the future of the systems that will bring about a Smart Manufacturing revolution out of the fruitful advances of Lean Manufacturing thought. Benjamin Franklin stated repeatedly throughout his life that, “Well done is better than well said,” and at the end of the day, Bastian Robotics operates by the same policy.

Many have discussed and theorized on the various potentials of Smart Manufacturing and many are chasing great thoughts and fascinating ideas – but Bastian Robotics is creating very real solutions every day on the front line of this intelligent reformation by enhancing the abilities of our clients and continuing to make very tangible advances in the opportunistic field of application-driven innovation.

Maxx Wright is a Field Application Engineer for Bastian Robotics in St. Louis. He graduated from Purdue University with a B.S in Electrical Engineering and a concentration in Entrepreneurship Innovation. He specializes in optimizing modern business tactics in custom engineering processes. Maxx's favorite pastime is telling tall tales over large glasses of cold milk.

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