Optimation Blog

Happy International Women's Day!

Posted by Wendy Smith on Mar 8, 2019 11:39:44 AM

As I woke up this morning and realized that today was International Woman’s Day I felt the need to share an awesome experience that I had yesterday.

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Drawing Maintenance: A Word of Caution

Posted by Pete Sherer on Mar 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM

When our customers need help keep their drawings up-to-date, they give us a call. And we tend to be casual observers of how our varied clients maintain their technical data.  We look over the shoulders of our technical contacts and observe the state of how they maintain and archive mechanical and electrical equipment data.  Some are diligent, but many do not attend to or have procedures in place to guarantee that their drawings reflect the design state of their current manufacturing platform.

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Topics: Maintenance, Manufacturing, process design

Skilled Trades and Workforce Development in the U.S.

Posted by Bill Pollock on Feb 27, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Unemployment is down, manufacturing is up, and the demand for skilled trades hasn’t been this high for a long time.  There is a gap between demand and the available skilled workforce.  This is true in many trades.  One example is electricians.  According to numbers from the National Electrical Contractors Association, 7,000 electricians join the field each year, while at the same time 10,000 retire. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Skilled Trades

Industry 4.0 – What is the Return on Investment?

Posted by Bill Pollock on Feb 20, 2019 3:17:41 PM

 

During the past decade, the Internet of Things has been steadily advancing and becoming a part of our lives.  We get texts from our cars when the tire pressure is low or suggesting we should stop and buy another gallon of windshield washer fluid.  We can turn on the oven or close the garage door at home from our office.  These opportunities are supported by small amounts of data and provide simple solutions. 

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Topics: Process Monitor, IIoT

The Tale of Comet the Wonder Dog

Posted by Pete Sherer on Feb 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Have you ever been in a situation where you need a conversation starter that you can be confident will be well received?  Well, here’s a tip, try talking about an unusual pet you have owned, and some of the memorable moments that have resulted.  That’s sure to cause chuckles and shared recounting of misadventures.  Over the years, we have housed a menagerie of mostly cats and dogs, many of which have had endearing quirks that are fun to relate and compare to other friends and acquaintances with their own pet stories.  Here’s one of my favorites, its about Comet the Wonder Dog.

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Topics: food industry

Data Analytics Gives Manufacturing Plants Insights for Continuous Improvement

Posted by John Scheible on Jan 29, 2019 10:28:15 AM

Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) promise to make more data and better analytic applications available for industry.  Driven by high powered analytics, including machine learning and artificial intelligence engines, both promise operational benefits including lower costs through improved Key Performance Indicators (KPI), such as First Pass Yield, Non-Standard Downtime or Overall Equipment Effectiveness. 

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Quality, Process Monitor, IIoT

A Look Back and Forward in Manufacturing

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 14, 2019 3:06:05 PM

Before we go any further into the new year, let’s take a look at what brought us here, starting with thinking about the mix of work that Optimation performed last year. And then let’s look at some of the other things going on in our world (not political).

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing, Trends

Trends in Manufacturing for 2019

Posted by Bill Pollock on Jan 8, 2019 3:06:19 PM

In November I attended the Rockwell Automation Fair in Philadelphia. The conference and exhibition were all about automation, advances in automation and a display of the newest control and manufacturing technologies by Rockwell and their partners. While it was about their proprietary technologies and products, it was also representative of where the entire world of automation industry is going. Crowds were large, and the most highly attended booths were the ones showing off Industry 4.0 related technologies. 

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Topics: IIoT

The Business Case for Process Monitor

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jan 3, 2019 12:44:09 PM

An interesting manufacturing tool is emerging as more companies seek to mine, or take advantage, of the process data their production systems generate.  The tool, called Process Monitor (PM), uses statistical analysis methods to crunch the manufacturing process data, and predict whether or not the production system is operating within preset control limits that indicate an acceptable product outcome. 

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Topics: Quality, Engineering Services, Process Monitor, IT, IIoT

Pet Food Quality, Testing and Tasting

Posted by Bill Pollock on Dec 18, 2018 2:07:15 PM

 

Pet food manufacturing is a 20-billion-dollar industry. In the United States, the manufacture of pet food is regulated in the same way and with the same rigid requirements that are required for the manufacture of any food. At Optimation we are engaged in the construction of pet food plants as well as facilities for the dairy and other food products. We know that the facilities for both are the same. They must be sanitary, easy to maintain and clean. The control systems must maintain the same high standards for metering, mixing and packaging. 

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Topics: Safety, Quality, food industry

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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