Optimation Blog

Pete Sherer

Recent Posts

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

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

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

Web Handling Problems? Don’t Treat Your Web Conveyance Equipment Like Your Car

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jul 20, 2017 11:23:13 AM

Have you ever experienced a problem with your automobile, where you hear an unusual noise, or feel a different dynamic (a hesitation or a loss of power), and wonder if your trusty transport is going to leave you stranded at the side of the road? 

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Topics: web handling

Who’s Solution Is It, Anyway?!

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jun 29, 2017 10:26:36 AM

When one is in the business of selling purpose-built manufacturing systems and equipment, one is frequently asked by one’s prospective customers to provide pricing for their goods and services.  Depending on how well defined the needed solution is, which would be embodied in the equipment to be priced, calculated equipment costs can be widely variable. In these situations, where a selection of different technologies and even approaches may satisfy our prospect, we recommend that some preliminary engineering be performed to better define the needs of the client’s operation, and thereby provide criteria with which to limit options and better judge best fit/return on investment from the solution options.

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing, Business, Engineering Services

Web Handling Training:  Just What the Doctor Ordered

Posted by Pete Sherer on May 18, 2017 2:32:19 PM

It has been a couple weeks gone since we held our last successful training course on Web Handling Fundamentals. I have been tabulating the attendee feedback forms, and the responses from our guests who came to the workshop are very encouraging.  It is clear from the comments provided that most of the students walked away from the completed course with more tools and knowledge with which to perform their respective jobs. But a little more on that in a paragraph or two, first let’s talk a bit about what web handling is, and why its study might be important.

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Topics: web handling, training

Web Handling - In Over Your Head?

Posted by Pete Sherer on Mar 14, 2017 10:46:08 AM

Each year we that we offer web handling training to our clients, we hear their stories of why they decided to take the class, and later, how they applied what they learned in their plant after they left. Pete Sherer writes up a fictional story, based on our own customers and their feedback:

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, web handling, training

A little bit of Process Knowledge goes a long way

Posted by Pete Sherer on Mar 9, 2017 2:57:01 PM

When manufacturing companies in the processing segment are faced with having to solve their varied production problems and challenges, they may find due to resource constraints within their own organizations that hiring in some outside help is required.  Manufacturers in these situations frequently have qualification steps to go through to ensure that the potential supplier can provide the level of service necessary to solve the problem at hand. This is equally true whether the company in need requires replacement of a failed part, regulatory guidance for a new chemical to be introduced, or installation of a new piece of process equipment. The varied disciplines within a process based company that may be serviced by contractors is broad and varied. Businesses that look to suppliers for assistance should be able to understand and verify the skills and capabilities of their suppliers, on a project by project basis, to ensure a successful outcome.

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, process design, Batch

The most productive way to assess and upgrade an aging infrastructure

Posted by Pete Sherer on Feb 27, 2017 2:01:51 PM

Say you are a manufacturer with an aging production infrastructure, faced with the opportunity to sell more of your goods (if only you could up your output from your existing equipment).  As you begin your investigation into your options to increase your volumes, and consider the possibility of a capital investment, you may then be faced with the need to deal with parts of your existing system which may have to be brought up to current code.  The modifications you may desire for your current machinery, which will enable the integration of new equipment to give you the added production you are seeking, are also now mandating certain regulated updates (this can happen to electrical components and wiring, and can also drive necessary improvements to guarding for operator safety).

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Safety, process design

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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