Master Problem-Solvers in Industrial Software & Automation Engineering

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Headline:  ASRS Warehouse Control System Success: Streamlining Aluminum Roll Handling

Intro: Our client, an ASRS crane system integrator, sought to optimize operations for an aluminum roll storage and shipping facility. They lacked a Warehouse Control System (WCS) to manage the 3-crane system and integrate with ERP’s for order fulfillment.

Rugged Solutions Approach:

  •  Collaborative Requirements Gathering: Worked closely with the end client and their ERP team to define functional specifications and establish interface protocols.
  • Open-Source Development: Leveraged Linux, Python frameworks, and a PostgreSQL database to build core WCS components within a 6-month timeframe.
  • Rigorous Testing: Developed crane and ERP simulators alongside extensive unit tests to ensure seamless integration.
  • On-Site Deployment: Collaborated with the integrator at a 24/7 Tennessee facility for a successful 3-week rollout.
  • Remote Support: Provided effective remote troubleshooting via VPN, swiftly resolving issues with local unit tests.
  • Ongoing Operation: The system has been in 24/7 operation since 2019 with no support calls since 2020.

Results & Expansion:

This initial success led to a strong partnership, resulting in:

  • 4 Additional WCS Implementations
  • Scaled Automation: Projects involving a 10-crane system, a 6-AGV system, and a dual-crane/aisle manufacturing setup are currently underway.

Contact Rugged Solutions to bring intelligent automation to your warehouse operations.

‘A manufacturer specializing in heavy-duty cement floor tiles for data centers, sought to retrofit an existing production line. The line featured an Allen Bradley PLC and HMI, two FANUC R-2000 robots, and a Keyence vision system.

A previous line integrator had failed to meet cycle time requirements and cost targets. Additionally, crucial safety features were incorrectly implemented. This left the manufacturer unable to safely or efficiently use the line. The line was incomplete, and the integrator’s costs to complete the line were staggering.

Rugged Solutions started by establishing a strong working relationship with the manufacturer, initially tackling smaller tasks and adjustmenting the existing line and other controls systems. As trust developed, Rugged Solutions undertook more complex work on the line including:

  • Safety Upgrades: Ensured safety features functioned correctly.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with other line components (glue and press machines).
  • HMI Refinement: Improved HMI functionality for intuitive operation.

Having demonstrated our competence, we were tasked with completing the entire line integration within a tight 3-week window. This included adding new end-of-line equipment (rotator machine, stacker, conveyors, stretch wrapper).

Within the 3-week deadline, we:

  • PLC Optimization: Reworked PLC code for proper operation and clear fault handling.
  • Safety Integration: Completed safety integration measures.
  • HMI Enhancement: Further refined the HMI for user-friendliness.
  • System-wide Integration: Integrated new equipment, including a tile stacker/rotator, pallet stacker, and stretch wrapper.
  • Robot Program Optimization: Rewrote/reworked robot programs for continuous, error-free operation and more efficiency.
  • Cycle Time Reduction: Significantly reduced cycle time from 12 seconds to 6 seconds through robot optimization and correct/efficient conveyor accumulation. Effectively doubling output capacity!

Another Rugged Solutions client sought to improve their existing packaging line.

Their chain-driven belt machine featured multiple dispensers for precise material distribution. This older machine relied on numerous devices and motors, and the client aimed to boost speed, efficiency, and overall operation.

Within three weeks, Rugged Solutions collaborated with the client to:

  • Increase function: No additional hardware was required – most was removed. Only PLC programming and adding a single sensor were made for these improvements.
  • Capacity Boost: Nearly doubled the machine’s capacity. After enhancements, the machine went from 1500/hr production to 2900/hr production.
  • Operational Refinements: Reduced errors and faults.
  • HMI Upgrade: Added an intuitive Human-Machine Interface (HMI) for easier control.
  • The results were impressive: the machine’s efficiency and output increased substantially. In fact, other machines in the production line are now the limiting factor!

Hand-Built to High-Volume: Automating a Complex, Multi-Stage Assembly Process

A local furniture manufacturer, sought to transform their decades-old manual product assembly process. Their complex product, comprised of five tightly-fitted electrical components, went through multiple stages including plastic welding, quality inspection, electrical testing, printing, labeling, and boxing.

Rugged Solutions’ Approach

We collaborated with a machine builder to engineer a cutting-edge automated solution, featuring:

  • Advanced Robotics: 7 robots for precision assembly and handling.
  • Vision Systems: 8 cameras for quality assurance & error detection. Robotic vision picking.
  • Comprehensive Testing: Plastic welder integration, 3 distinct electrical tests, and UL compliance testing.
  • Printing & Labeling: Inkjet product printer and print-and-apply machine.
  • Advanced Testing: 3D scanning, force testing for push and pull, force application, hi potential voltage testing, continuity testing, mechanical fit testing, color testing.
  • ERP Integration: Seamless order management and build parameter synchronization. The operator scans an order number and clicks ‘start’.

Result: A Quantum Leap in Production

  • Flexible Assembly: 3 cells handling thousands of product variations (over 1 million when including color options).
  • Optimized Output: Cycle times reduced to 38 seconds per assembly, 12 seconds per test. This is a significant capacity increase compared to estimated 10-15 minute manual builds.
  • End-to-End Automation: From order loading and component placement to testing, labeling, boxing, and shipping prep.

Data-Driven Insights and Optimization

The same machine was later fitted with an OEE system. Rugged Solutions implemented a scalable data collection system, gathering real-time insights from assembly cells and the test system. This system:

  • Visualizes Performance: Real-time metrics across single or multiple machines.
  • Tracks Assembly Variations: Performance data for each unique product type.
  • Analyzes Faults: Provides actionable fault data for targeted maintenance.
  • Identifies Bottlenecks: Highlights areas for fine-tuning programs and processes.


Data-driven visibility empowered the machine crew to significantly boost:

  • Efficiency
  • Quality
  • Operational Smoothness
  • Work Satisfaction

Contact Rugged Solutions to unlock the potential of automation and data analytics in your manufacturing operations.

UL962A Appliance Testing: Modernizing Safety and Efficiency 

A leading electrical appliance manufacturer, faced the challenge of aging test equipment for critical UL962A compliance. Their legacy system, built in the 1970s, lacked modern features and was becoming increasingly expensive to maintain. Worse, it provided no information about the testing process and testing results.

Previous attempts to replicate the tester in recent years resulted in two costly redesigns that fell short of the original functional and lacked the flexibility for future requirements.

Rugged Solutions’ Approach:

We embarked on a collaborative process, prioritizing:

  • Understanding Client Needs: Identifying core requirements, future goals, and desired improvements.
  • Comprehensive Design: Developing a new tester that vastly expands capabilities, addressing those needs.

The New Tester: A Quantum Leap

  • Connectivity: Real-time test data and performance metrics streamed via internet connectivity.
  • Adaptability: Ability to dynamically learn new test protocols for future flexibility.
  • Data Synchronization: Seamless test result sharing across all testers. 
  • User-Centric Design: Color touchscreen interface and intuitive operator guidance.
  • Precision Safety Testing: Accurate (to the microamp) high-voltage testing (2545VDC) and circuit monitoring.
  • Self-Calibration: Minimizing the need for frequent maintenance calibration. The tester maintains calibration logs.
  • Portability: Lighter, more compact design with simplified components.
  • Future-Proof: Expandable architecture for evolving testing standards.
  • Substantial Cost Savings: Significantly reduced cost per tester: Redesigned tester now costs less than 30% of the original cost. 50+ testers are due to be replaced. 70% Savings!

Contact Rugged Solutions to modernize your testing infrastructure and optimize compliance.

Rugged Solutions boasts experience in over 10 successful ERP integration projects.
These integrations empower businesses with:

  • Efficient Manufacturing: Automated order creation and product configuration.
  • Optimized Shipping: Streamlined shipping information management.
  • Smart Sortation: Enhanced package sorting for faster fulfillment.
  • Warehouse Management: Improved inventory tracking and storage optimization.

Our Integration Expertise:

  • File Transfers: Secure and reliable data exchange.
  • Network Sockets: Real-time communication for dynamic systems.
  • Various Communications: Ethernet/IP, Modbus, EtherCAT, Profinet, OPC, MQTT, CAN, LIN, etc.
  • Database Queries: Direct access to core business data.
  • REST Interfaces: Modern, flexible API integrations.
  • Barcode Scans: Fast and accurate data input.
  • Various other formats: There are many formats that can be used.

Contact Rugged Solutions to connect your systems seamlessly today.

Vehicle Chassis Dynamometer Controls: Revitalizing a Legacy System for Modern Demands 

A leading integrator of vehicle chassis dynamometers, sought to modernize their highly successful control system, originally designed in the 1990s. This system, vital for tier 1 automotive testers, manufacturers, and the US EPA, faced challenges due to aging technology and obsolete components.

Rugged Solutions’ Approach

We collaborated with the client to revitalize their dynamometer system using contemporary components and software, while ensuring near-perfect fidelity to the original performance. Our approach involved:

  • Performance Benchmarking: Meticulous testing and recording of the original dynamometer across diverse scenarios. This established a baseline for the updated system.
  • Precision Replication: New software, running on Windows 11 with a Linux real-time controller, delivers millisecond sampling accuracy, closely mirroring the original system’s behavior.
  • Modernized, Modular Hardware: We replaced custom electronics with streamlined, modular designs, utilizing readily available components to enhance cost-effectiveness and maintainability.
  • Rigorous Validation: Rugged Solutions developed embedded testing components to thoroughly verify the modernized system’s performance.


The client now benefits from upgraded dynamometer controls deployed across North American automotive facilities, ensuring compatibility, longevity, and a seamless transition from the legacy system.

Contact Rugged Solutions to future-proof your critical automation infrastructure.

Rugged Solutions excels in developing innovative prototype solutions. We bring ideas to life with a focus on accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and real-world functionality. Here are three examples of our work:

Case Study: Real-Time Monitoring for Dairy Operations

  • Challenge: An agricultural products company aimed to accurately track milk quantity and temperature during milking, providing real-time data and accurate records for dairy farmers. This information is critical for quality control and revenue protection.
  • Solution: Rugged Solutions designed a compact IoT system that reports precise milk temperature and quantity every 10 seconds to a cloud application, empowering farmers with critical information.

Case Study: Prototyping Support for Advanced Coffee Maker

  • Challenge: A consumer products manufacturer needed precise temperature, pressure, and volume measurements during the prototyping phase of a new rugged coffee maker.
  • Solution: Rugged Solutions developed a measurement solution that seamlessly integrated with spreadsheets and generated easy-to-use graphs. This aided calibration and refinement, ensuring a successful product launch. The product developers were thrilled with the outcome and that there was so much visible information for use.

Case Study: Precision Measurement for Slide Tracking

  • Challenge: An inventor sought to create a highly accurate and economical system to measure thousands of positions in a commercial environment. Position sensing needed to be accurate to within 1/8th of an inch and report readings to the cloud every 5 seconds. The system had to measure 20 rows for a material cost near $20.
  • Solution: Rugged Solutions collaborated with the inventor, utilizing innovative materials to design a system that met both the accuracy and cost requirements.

Contact Rugged Solutions to create your next advanced product for industry!

Rugged Solutions partners with clients in the demanding aerospace and medical industries, delivering innovative, high-performance solutions.
Our project experience includes:


  • Mission Data Security: Developed a secure system for erasing sensitive mission information.
  • DO-178B Level A Certification: Rigorous testing and certification for mission-critical software.
  • Carbon Fiber Manufacturing: Engineered a production system for advanced aerospace components using laser layup and vacuum forming.


  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass Machine: Software development for a system that oxygenates blood, bypassing the heart and lungs during surgery.
  • Medical Warming and Cooling Blanket: Software development for a device with a user-friendly interface for patient temperature regulation.
  • Medical Assist Device: Developed an assistive device for hospital beds, enhancing patient care.

Contact Rugged Solutions for life-critical systems today!

Automation &


Industrial Software


Test & Measurement

/ Quality

Experience / Past Successes

GE Aerospace • Walmart • Uni Lever • Stryker Medical • Coca Cola • Ford Motor Co • Toyota • PPG • Terumo Medical • Bradford White • Chrysler • Pro Hardware