Optimation Blog

Accident Prevention

Posted by Steve Beyer on Oct 12, 2017 3:01:00 PM

When challenging and important manufacturing tasks get tackled, risks abound.   Materials choices, volatile material handling methods, confined space working areas, complex machinery, and many more factors and conditions apply pressure to safe and efficient work. We can take lessons from past events and near-misses and remind ourselves to study our practices to ensure that corners are not cut and best practices are employed to assure workplace safety. 

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Topics: Safety

National Manufacturing Week

Posted by Bill Pollock on Oct 9, 2017 4:51:09 PM

The first week in October was designated as National Manufacturing Week in the United States.  President Trump made a proclamation, as President Obama did before him. Friday of National Manufacturing Week is proclaimed Manufacturing Day. Manufacturing Week and Manufacturing Day are a celebration of modern manufacturing to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.  In Rochester, we held some activities planned to help with this celebration.  The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association held an open house for high school students featuring displays and sessions showing them the opportunities that are available in manufacturing and encouraging them take the math and science classes needed to be eligible for these professions.  Optimation participated in this event which was held at Eastman Business Park.  Over 300 high school students participated. 

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Topics: Manufacturing

Why do you outsource engineering services?

Posted by Wendy Smith on Oct 3, 2017 4:37:55 PM

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.

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Topics: Engineering Services

Practicing a Passion for Manufacturing in the USA

Posted by Bill Pollock on Sep 26, 2017 4:45:21 PM

Fifty years ago, manufacturing in the US was strong and manufacturing jobs accounted for over 25 percent of total employment. In addition to the jobs for production operators on the factory floor, major US manufacturing companies had large research divisions and engineering departments, internal construction divisions and maintenance departments.  They were self-sufficient and outsourced very little.  Self-performance was one of the tools they used to develop proprietary products, support quality of these products, meet schedules on aggressive time to market for these products and make certain they could manufacture in sufficient quantities to meet market demand. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing

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

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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