Optimation Blog

Crucial Soft Skills for Engineering Services - Part 2

Posted by Pete Sherer on Sep 20, 2017 3:23:48 PM

When faced with the need for additional technical staff, to accomplish short-term project goals, companies that seek to supplement their own personnel generally focus on the work at hand that needs to be executed.  But what about the many and varied other factors that influence effectively adding help to their existing workforce? Beyond the obvious needed technical skills and related project experience, what should a hiring company look for in their supplemental service provider?  At Optimation, one of our goals is to view each and every project, though it may be but a small service contract, as an opportunity to build a relationship that will remain after the current job is completed.

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Topics: About Optimation, Engineering Services

Crucial Soft Skills for Engineering Services - Part 1

Posted by Pete Sherer on Sep 19, 2017 2:28:56 PM

When faced with the need for additional technical staff, to accomplish short-term project goals, companies that seek to supplement their own personnel generally focus on the work at hand that needs to be executed.  But what about the many and varied other factors that influence effectively adding help to their existing workforce? Beyond the obvious needed technical skills and related project experience, what should a hiring company look for in their supplemental service provider?  At Optimation, one of our goals is to view each and every project, though it may be but a small service contract, as an opportunity to build a relationship that will remain after the current job is completed.

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Topics: About Optimation, Engineering Services

US Manufacturing and Harvey

Posted by Bill Pollock on Sep 11, 2017 3:29:37 PM

 

We’ve seen and heard all of the horror stories and experiences happening in Houston. The only impact we have felt personally is that the price of gas has jumped 35 cents a gallon at the local gas stations, the result of the shutdown of refineries in Houston.  While this is the only immediately obvious change, there must be more, many more, coming.  Other changes will take longer to see and longer for the rest of the country to feel.  Many estimates say that Harvey has caused over a hundred billion dollars in damage.  Much of it is homes and infrastructure, but much is also in manufacturing.  Houston is a large center for US manufacturing. 

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Buy yourself time to successfully execute capital projects

Posted by Steve Beyer on Sep 5, 2017 11:47:59 AM

Very often commercial and industrial decision-making whether to outsource or not is governed by the time value of money, cost savings, and potential for productivity increases. But what if we look at another dimension, that is the opportunity to explicitly buy time?  Who doesn't want more?! 

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Upgrades, Project Management, Engineering Services

Reducing Lost Time Injuries & Costs

Posted by Hodari Pryce on Aug 31, 2017 3:08:57 PM

This month, Optimation surpassed two years without a lost time incident. In our line of work providing engineering, design and build solutions for industrial and manufacturing companies, this is a difficult feat. But it's not an unattainable one. It takes planning and training, employee dedication, and a culture of safety to make milestones like these possible. This means an investment of time and money for companies who are serious about working safely. But the cost of not working safely can be very high. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Safety

Platform as a Service and Automated Manufacturing

Posted by Mike Triassi on Aug 17, 2017 11:35:38 AM

Most of us use cloud services in our daily lives.  Our email, music, financial software, and shopping are regularly becoming a browser experience or a data connected mobile app.  This paradigm is now moving into for our automation platforms but what shape will it take as it pertains to Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

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Topics: Manufacturing, Automation, System Integration, Software

Machine Installation Planning for Glass Batch Houses

Posted by Wendy Smith on Aug 15, 2017 12:56:31 PM

Every type of manufacturing process has its own set of limitations or parameters that you need to work within, especially when planning a shutdown, maintenance, or equipment installations.  Glass manufacturing is no exception.  There are a few rules when working around glass.  You need to work safely, if you don’t you will get burnt or cut.  You need to respect the glassmaking process. 

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Topics: Equipment, Glass Manufacturing, Batch

Test Systems and The Edge

Posted by Steve Beyer on Aug 9, 2017 4:18:27 PM

Today’s technologies demand more of everything—more data, computing power, test cycles, security, reliability, everything.

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Topics: Trends, Internet of Things, Test Systems

Industrial Internet of Things and Cyber Security for Manufacturing

Posted by Bill Pollock on Aug 7, 2017 11:48:39 AM

As early as 2001, after 9/11, there was a major focus on developing cyber security to prevent attacks on infrastructure such as water plants, power plants, dams and critical manufacturing facilities.  At Optimation we began to look at networks, connections to the internet and vulnerabilities.  Since that time, the world is becoming increasingly connected.  There is huge power in this connectivity.  The power that comes from the Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, (IIoT) is based on connectivity.  At the same time as more connectivity provides more power, the manufacturing industry along with all users of connected systems are facing increased risk from cyber-attacks. The only perfect protection from cyber-attacks is total isolation. But isolation is not an option, so more sophisticated alternatives are necessary. Each increased level of connectivity provides increased risk along with increased operational power. 

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Is your Roll-To-Roll manufacturing line operating on the level? Literally?

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jul 31, 2017 9:36:36 AM

Here’s a good conversation starter:  Stop what you are doing and look around you for anything and everything that is a thin film or sheet made of paper, plastic or metal. In my office space I have a calendar (paper), a computer display (film), a crumpled wrapper of a roast beef sandwich (metal foil), sticky notes (paper), office memos (paper), a trash can liner (plastic)…you get the idea.  Products like these, manufactured from the noted raw materials (metal, plastic, wood) are all around us, within the touch of our finger tips.  They are so commonplace that we don’t give much thought as to how they were made, and what some of the challenges might have been to convert the raw materials into something useful for us.

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Topics: Equipment, web handling

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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