Optimation Blog

The American Revolution and the American Industrial Revolutions

Posted by Bill Pollock on Dec 6, 2017 7:30:00 AM

I am a registered member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Two of my ancestors were enlisted as privates in the Pennsylvania Militia and fought in the Revolutionary War under General Washington.  Before enlisting in the army, they were farmers.  This was true of most others who fought with them.  At the time of the revolution, America was primarily an agricultural society.  Farms and farmers were the primary producers of wealth for the colonies.  Manufactured goods were imported from England and paid for with the currency gained from the sale of farmed commodities. 

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Topics: Trends, Internet of Things

The Art of Effective Project Communication

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 30, 2017 8:35:03 AM

Communication is one of the most significant factors in any kind of venture. Whether it's operating a business or executing a capital project, communication among team members and between stakeholders is critical. Clarifying understanding, enabling trust, and building confidence, are just a few of the critical benefits of optimized communication. This blog post is intended to explore the application of effective communication, specifically in capital projects.

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Topics: Communication, Project Management

Networking – no wires required…

Posted by Dan Hayden on Nov 27, 2017 12:04:15 PM

Today’s process industry is comprised of many intelligent control systems, connected via some wired or wireless network to allow process information to be viewed and controlled by an operator interface. Earlier this month, Optimation participated in a Process Solutions User Group put on by Rockwell Automation located in Houston Texas. This event consisted of over 1000 colleagues and software and equipment experts, who joined together for this event to discuss where they are going with new products, and solicit feedback from users regarding successes and challenges faced in current releases.

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Topics: Rockwell, Controls, Batch

The Remarkable Pace of Technological Change

Posted by Bill Pollock on Nov 17, 2017 11:00:28 AM

I live in an underground house on a dirt road, three miles from pavement. A quarter mile down my road is a cemetery. About a hundred individuals are buried there, including soldiers who died in the civil war, and a woman named Thankful Reminton.  The abstract of deed for my property shows that two hundred years ago Thankful owned the property I own now.  Thankful died in 1889 at the age of 88.  She lived the last 35 years of her life as a widow and raised ten daughters and a son, many who predeceased her. She lived in an era that was different from ours and we may wonder how they were able to do what they did with so few of the modern inventions and current technology. 

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Technology, Automation and Employment

Posted by Bill Pollock on Nov 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Robots, and the dream of intelligent working robots have been with us for a very long time.  As early as 1495, Leonardo da Vinci designed the first humanoid robot.  It was designed to sit up, wave its arms, and move its head via a flexible neck.  There were hundreds of other robots designed over the next five hundred years.  In 2003 NASA used twin robots as Mars rovers.  Robots were used in industry for activities like welding and painting automobiles.  But until recently most robots were fairly simple, single application, machines.  But it is only because of rapid advances in artificial intelligence that robots are advancing to the potential uses we now visualize. If robots can learn, improve and “think” in ways similar to humans, they can take on a whole new set of challenges.  And, as part of this evolution, robots are also taking on uncannily human-like appearances. The future of robots now appears unlimited.  A robot recently advanced one step closer to human status, when it was granted citizenship to Saudi Arabia.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Automation, Robotics

The Benefits of Thinking About the Negatives of a Project

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 6, 2017 2:04:03 PM

 

"Unintended consequences." Sounds harmless, guilt-relieving, “not-our-fault” kind of language.  On the surface it's a simple-enough statement, declaring that there were outcomes to some actions taken that (usually) ran counter to the intent of the project, and generally they were not desired.  In other words, "some bad things happened that we did not expect."

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Topics: About Optimation, Communication, Manufacturing, Business, Project Management

When "The Little Things" Add Up, Consider a Service Contract

Posted by Wendy Smith on Oct 31, 2017 4:06:59 PM

 

One of the most efficient ways for an engineering services company to work with a client is by having an Engineering Services Contract or some type of “Blanket Order” in place.  At some companies, it can take longer to get a purchase order than it does to complete the actual work that is requested.  Having a blanket order or an engineering services contract in place streamlines the process and allows work to be authorized and initiated quickly.

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Topics: Engineering Services

From Concept to Fabrication:  What are the Risks, and How are they Mitigated?

Posted by Pete Sherer on Oct 24, 2017 8:39:43 AM

At Optimation, we describe our company in terms of our ability to provide turnkey solutions to the manufacturing segment.  Our solutions and services can start early in the project process, as we are able to assist our clients in investigating a variety of technologies that might help them with their production challenge or problem.  We generally receive a problem statement and some User Requirements from our contact at the client company.  We respond to the customer’s needs with a Concept Design phase, which includes performing a technology assessment.  Our Media Conveyance Facility stands ready to offer Development Engineering and modeling to predict behavior for products that are built on flexible webs, for example.  Once a preferred technology is selected, a manufacturing platform or machine configuration is generated that answers the client’s User Requirements (the first steps of our Project Process).  We then invite our client to participate in a Concept Design review to validate our work product so far.

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Topics: About Optimation, Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Project Management, Engineering Services

Measuring and Quantifying the Results of Automation and Process Optimization Projects

Posted by Steve Beyer on Oct 20, 2017 9:21:22 AM

Thinking back to an industry report I read, I recall a condition that still plagues many companies operating in today’s manufacturing markets: Change, Complexity, and Costs -- our "3-C's". These factors are so dynamic in ways and at speeds previously unequaled that I wonder how can our clients keep up with such challenges while achieving their goals and maintaining their advantages? Let alone exceeding those same goals and increasing their differentiating values?

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Topics: Automation

Optimation Partners with Gas Technologies to Fabricate Methane-to-Methanol Plants

Posted by Bill Pollock on Oct 17, 2017 3:00:48 PM

Gas Technologies LLC. located in Walloon Lake, MI. has an NGL production facility set up in North Dakota and they are producing NGLs.  Present production is at the rate of 600 mscfd. They anticipate a ramp-up of this rate by year-end and will shortly set up an adjacent Mini-GTL plant at the North Dakota site. Their goal is to change the world of gas flaring by making a huge reduction in the amount of gas flared.

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Topics: Skid Systems, Oil and Gas Industry, Energy

Welcome to the Optimation Blog

Tips, tricks and trends

The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  

 

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