AEC Team Profile | Brian Hester - Engineer, Systems, Integration & Automation Specialist

Meet Brian Hester, Engineer & Material Handling Specialist

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Material Handling Specialist, Brian Hester, brings expertise to the table.

Material Handling Specialist, Brian Hester, likes solving the big problems. As an electrical engineer with 13 years of experience working in the Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) industry prior to joining Advanced Equipment Company (AEC), Brian already had a wide range of experience that could be applied to challenges particular to the material handling world.

Always on the go, whether for work or in his free time as a cyclist and triathlete, Brian was still able to take a few minutes to talk to us about his 20 years of material handling and storage solutions experience.

Tell me a little about your background. How did you get started in
this industry?

I trained in electrical engineering at UNC Charlotte, then joined a local AGV company. That led into a project engineer position for over a 13-year span. 

I was a project manager for about 9 of those 13 years doing project management work for automated guided vehicle systems.

So what brought you to Advanced Equipment Company?

It was quite honestly the travel. In my previous career, the travel was pretty extensive, and we just had our first child. Moving to AEC allowed me to get away from the “road life,” so to speak. 

I really have come to appreciate the family oriented environment at AEC; we’re really close-knit people. I value that everyone is welcome to discuss projects and share ideas.  

If we have a question, we’ll sit and roundtable some discussions about how to best apply solutions or learn about what the other guys have experienced with their projects. It’s a great place to learn and work.

What would you say is unique about you in terms of what you bring to the company?

My background in engineering. I probably bring more of an engineering and project management perspective than I do a sales perspective to my customers.

Do you have a favorite type of job, or a favorite challenge you like to solve?

I excel with designing larger-scale project solutions, rather than simple conveyor systems. I enjoy more complex projects where you have to interface robotic palletizing with other equipment. 

With a greater understanding of the control side of projects, automated solutions is where I bring a lot to the table.

I see as one of your project highlights you have merging 5 to 8 conveyor lines into a central palletizing location. What does something like that entail, and what is your process for a project like that?

To me, it’s understanding what the products are – what the customer’s needs are – and then maximizing efficiency through production rate and other areas I discover we can achieve improvements.

The case turner conveyor project you’re referring to entails designing a system for five products that need to merge into a single trunk line, and then diverting those individual lines down to robotic palletizers.  It’s all about understanding what the conveyor system is capable of, and knowing the right pieces to apply to that puzzle to put it all together.

From a customer standpoint, there’s also productivity and being cost-effective. By bringing those together we were able to cut costs for our customer.

What should your customers know ahead of contacting you or AEC?

The biggest thing to understand is that we don’t do one-size-fits-all solutions.  We design custom applications that help our customer’s reach their goals, increase productivity, and cut cost.

Gaining a thorough understanding the big picture and scope of the project is where I excel.


Brian Hester specializes in packaging line integration, sortation and accumulation conveyor systems, distribution center conveyor systems, mobile aisle pallet rack systems, automatic storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), ergonomic lift and positioning equipment, heavy material lifts for floor-to-floor applications and mezzanines, modular offices and safety guarding (both custom and standard), and like he mentioned—he loves big projects!

To talk to Brian about finding a solution that fits your application, you can email him at brian@aec-carolina.com or call AEC at 704-527-3141