Last week I attended the CSIA (Control Systems Integrators Association) Conference in San Francisco. What is CSIA you may ask? CSIA is an organization that was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit global trade association that seeks to advance the industry of control systems integration. Control system integrators use their engineering, technical and business skills to help manufacturers and others automate their industrial equipment and systems.
Engineers Week promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy. The intent is to motivate youth to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.
One of the most efficient ways for an engineering services company to work with a client is by having an Engineering Services Contract or some type of “Blanket Order” in place. At some companies, it can take longer to get a purchase order than it does to complete the actual work that is requested. Having a blanket order or an engineering services contract in place streamlines the process and allows work to be authorized and initiated quickly.
Topics: Engineering Services
In today’s economy, it is difficult for some companies to justify a large headcount. There is constant pressure from the top to keep headcount down, but the argument back is that the employee is needed because they have a specific skill or expertise. Unfortunately, the particular skill that they have is not required 100% of the time and thus some companies hold on to employees just in case something happens. Or they let go of the resource and have to figure out how to accomplish what that person did or fill the gap of their missing expertise. This creates a dilemma within the organization. Should they carry this extra person, train someone else in that area of expertise, or are there other job functions that the employee could perform if they were cross trained in another area? Many times, none of these options are efficient and sometimes even not practical.
Topics: Engineering Services
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.
Optimation has been certified in ISO 9001 since 1996 There have been several revisions to the standard since that time, with the current ISO 9001:2015 being the latest with the most significant changes. Knowing that the changes were significant, I did some research to help us prepare for the audit. I have included some visual comparisons of the standards that I found helpful as noted below.
In Rochester, the transition from winter to spring came pretty fast! One day it was 70 degrees and we were getting ready to pull our cars and motorcycles out of storage and the next day there was 3” inches of snow and salt on the roads again. Friday I did yard work and noticed some buds on the trees, and by Sunday everything was in bloom!
Earlier this year it was announced that Rochester ranked 23rd in the U.S. for STEM workers in a study done by WalletHub. WalletHub is a social website that offers financial tools and information for consumer and small business owners. They ranked 100 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas on 17 metrics from per-capita job opening for STEM graduates to projected demand for STEM workers by 2020. This is great news for the area, but how do we move up on this and ensure that we at least hold our position and move higher on the list?
In my last post, I talked about the NFPA 70E standard and Arc Flash. I mentioned that Optimation has a staff of engineers that perform Arc Flash Studies to help ensure that our customers comply with the standard. OSHA requires that the employer provide its workers a safe work environment free from known hazards. Electric shock and arc flash are known electrical hazards recognized by OSHA.
A couple of buzz words in today’s industrial vocabulary are Arc Flash and NFPA 70E.
Arc Flash is a type of electrical explosion or discharge that results from a low-impedance connection through air to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system. In layman’s terms, it’s an explosion of light and heat that contains electrical energy that can cause substantial damage, harm, fire, injury and financial loss. (It is something that you want to prevent from occurring in your facility!)