Conventional wisdom in many corners of industry may steer seekers of outside services such as systems integration (Optimation’s business) to those firms with direct exact and typically singular experience in a given field.
Capital investments across multiple industry segments are at increasingly high levels and showing little sign of slowing down their acceleration. This reflects the combination of growing confidence in the economy and pent-up demand of previously under-invested years. This welcome phenomenon is unleashing jobs, efficiency improvements, and technological advances in manufacturing and production portions of American industry.
The labor shortage of skilled tradesmen in pipefitting, welding, electrical and machinists is well-documented throughout the United States. Older generations of skilled tradesmen are entering retirement much faster than they can be replaced. One statistic indicates that over 50 percent of skilled-trade workers in the U.S. are 50 years old and older, and nearly 20 percent are over 60.
At Optimation we design and fabricate manufacturing systems for companies all over the United States and the world. To build this equipment, we use a lot of steel and stainless steel and lesser amounts of aluminum and exotic alloys. A couple months ago, the rules changed when getting prices for these commodity items. Many of our suppliers began to provide pricing which was good for only 24 hours. This reaction by our suppliers was created by threats of tariffs being placed on steel and aluminum.
We have articulated in past posts some of the benefits of configuring processing equipment in skid form. Generally, these advantages have to do with efficient execution, that is that a skid that supports a specific processing step is more thoroughly debugged at the OEM factory, installs quicker and is turned over to production faster with minimal interruptions.
As we've said before, skids come in all shapes and sizes, for many applications and industries. Take this solvent coater we retrofitted for the New College Institute.
This post originally ran in the Automation World CSIA Blog.
Recent advances in technology have made it possible for manufacturers to build processing lines that will create products faster, cheaper and of higher quality. Many of the new technologies have moved so quickly that they are considered disruptive in the changes they make to manufacturing processes. But new technology doesn’t come without a cost.
In our role as a solution provider to the manufacturing industry, and in this case that industry segment that deals in batch processes, we frequently provide custom designed subsystems packaged in skid form. These subsystems can be designed for mixing, cleaning, filtration, pumping, delivery, the list is extensive. We package or configure these subsystems in skid form for a number of clear and relevant reasons:
Last week I attended the CSIA (Control Systems Integrators Association) Conference in San Francisco. What is CSIA you may ask? CSIA is an organization that was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit global trade association that seeks to advance the industry of control systems integration. Control system integrators use their engineering, technical and business skills to help manufacturers and others automate their industrial equipment and systems.