The Material Handling Blog

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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.

PC-Based Controls vs. PLC-Based Controls for Machine Automation

April 24, 2013
PC-based controls were all the rage a decade or so ago. I saw many systems delivered with PC-based controls touting advantages ranging from less cost to more functionality. From my perspective, it seems as though the tide has turned in recent years back to PLCs, so let's take a minute to review the pros and cons of each... Read More >>

How a Controls Engineer Does Christmas Lights

December 21, 2011
So there I was three Christmases ago opening a present from my mother-in-law, and to my surprise, she bought me a Mr. Christmas's, "The Lights and Sounds of Christmas." I've always put up a lot of lights for Christmas, so the gift made sense, but basically, it's a box that syncs music to Christmas lights. That first year I synced some of my Christmas lights to music but found the Mr. Christmas box to be a bit limited since there were only six outputs. So, as a typical controls engineer, I knew I could do this better! Why not treat it as a machine... Read More >>
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