We received a message through our website the other day from a glass industry company we’d never worked with before:
We often say that we take away our client's pain - we solve problems for them, often complex ones. That can sound kind of vague, but that's because of the vast variety of problems we solve. Industrial clients have used us to solve problems such as machinery that requires safety guarding, or even a much larger problem like desalination of brine at a salt mine. The following example is a solution we came up with for a client with a very sensitive product produced on a roll-to-roll machine. To protect the client's confidentiality, their name and product are kept generic.
Skid systems solve a wide range of problems for many industries. Even waste processing in a hazardous industry, like one that handles radioactive waste, can be aided by a skid system. This project profile is an example of how a modular fabrication & assembly process can be applied to solve a difficult problem.
Much of what we do at Optimation is for planned projects, with engineering and design, planned shutdowns, and a defined project schedule. But there are also times when all of that goes out the window and clients experience an emergency that requires quick thinking and a swift solution. Here’s one of my favorite examples where our skilled trades services were able to do just that.
Topics: Skilled Trades
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.