Optimation Blog

Steve Beyer

Recent Posts

What a reader looks for in proposals - feature, function, or benefit?

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jun 7, 2017 6:00:00 AM

 

Early in my career I learned about and then was tasked with writing capital appropriation requisitions and justifications. When dealing with vendors I often encountered specifications, and technical minutia that overwhelmed me with data that provided little helpful and useful information. Reqs and justifications require compelling, substantiated, and specific facts that define a positive business PROPOSITION meeting the criteria as set by company policy—payback period, breakeven, Return on Asset/Equity/Investment, etc. Today, as I read and write more of these, I am still encountering many examples that miss the mark.

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Topics: Purchasing

21st Century Vendor Management in Industrial Automation

Posted by Steve Beyer on May 24, 2017 11:53:41 AM

We are a business that executes hundreds and hundreds of projects every year. These span the spectrum from simple to complex, urgent to critical, and small to large. As a vendor in industrial automation, we participate in these interactions as a supplier to prospective clients wishing to accomplish business goals. There are about as many ways to go about this as there are projects; however, there are certain parameters that yield more likely success more often. Let's look at them.

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Topics: Alliances, Purchasing, Automation, Business

The one thing that can make or break your capital project

Posted by Steve Beyer on May 16, 2017 2:50:40 PM

Communication is one of the most significant factors in any kind of successful venture. Whether it's operating a business or executing a capital project, communication among team members and between stakeholders is critical. Clarifying understanding, and enabling trust and 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: Project Management

Why you should use third-party engineering firms (or work for one)

Posted by Steve Beyer on Apr 27, 2017 4:17:59 PM

How do you work on the most stimulating and meaningful engineering and manufacturing projects across a wide variety of applications without working directly and exclusively for one of the world's biggest manufacturing companies?  Work for a firm that services those companies and participate in select projects that are sourced to your firm.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Resource Planning, Trends

The Top Risks to Your Project

Posted by Steve Beyer on Feb 8, 2017 1:55:19 PM

I recently sat with a couple of our top project managers here at Optimation. The subject was project management: risk assessment and mitigation. Risk is a big deal here. Very often our clients hire us to help manage their project risk. This can come in the form of scope, schedule, or budget dimensions, each of which poses its own unique challenges to a client's ability to achieve their goals when undertaking capital projects.

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Topics: Project Management

Gold Standard Partnerships

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 25, 2017 10:54:03 AM

One of the relationships that has been foundational in Optimation’s growth and success over the years is the one we have with National Instruments. NI is the test, measurement, and control systems innovator based in Austin, Texas. For over a dozen years, Optimation has been a partner with NI. We have together been engineering, deploying, supporting, and training in innovative solutions based in the NI ecosystem. Applications range from medical device testing to very high-pressure test system design and fabrications, to custom programming and software design.  Our clients have benefited from the combination of Optimation’s creative engineers and developers with NI’s state-of-the-art suite of open software, innovative solutions, and globally-sourced electronics and systems.

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Topics: Data Logging, Controls, Test Systems, Software

An Immodest Proposal

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 19, 2017 4:16:40 PM

 

It strikes me, in recent days, that some of the most heated rhetoric is aimed at several “threats” to our American essence. That is: Russian hacking, class envy, and (gasp!) Automation!  They stand accused of challenging our very democratic foundations, tearing us apart as a people and turning human beings into commodities and turning us one against the other.

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Topics: Automation, Controls

Eeyore and the Unintended Consequence

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 4, 2017 5:00:58 PM

A phrase that often gets used when projects go awry is "unintended consequences." 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: Resource Planning, Project Management

Engineering Safe Systems in Hazardous Environments

Posted by Steve Beyer on Dec 20, 2016 3:04:39 PM

Many companies employ systems of interconnected piping, pumps, accumulators, filters, heat exchangers, etc. and associated control systems to produce a specific set of conditions or products in a manufacturing or production process. Optimation specializes in this space, delivering such systems on skids or in pods for food, chemical, industrial coatings, or other products. Often these systems are designed and engineered to yield an environment for controlling processes using gases such as nitrogen or argon, etc. This requires use of specific technologies and materials, combined in such a way that they not only deliver the right pressures and volumes, but also employ the proper materials, fittings, piping, and valves. We also must consider the safety features that accompany such conditions in the presence of electricity which introduces a whole other set of risks.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Safety, Skid Systems, Controls, Test Systems

How to effectively deliver CapEx projects with third-party integrators

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 29, 2016 12:59:52 PM

It's that time of year when you look towards the end of the calendar in an attempt to squeeze whatever remaining capital can produce some effective results for your operations. Or you may be looking ahead to the new year, plotting and planning how to best tackle the most important and complex challenges facing your business.

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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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