Optimation Blog

Skilled Trades and Workforce Development in the U.S.

Posted by Bill Pollock on Feb 27, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Unemployment is down, manufacturing is up, and the demand for skilled trades hasn’t been this high for a long time.  There is a gap between demand and the available skilled workforce.  This is true in many trades.  One example is electricians.  According to numbers from the National Electrical Contractors Association, 7,000 electricians join the field each year, while at the same time 10,000 retire. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Skilled Trades

A Look Back and Forward in Manufacturing

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 14, 2019 3:06:05 PM

Before we go any further into the new year, let’s take a look at what brought us here, starting with thinking about the mix of work that Optimation performed last year. And then let’s look at some of the other things going on in our world (not political).

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing, Trends

Some of My Best Friends Are Skilled Trades People

Posted by Pete Sherer on Sep 27, 2018 1:39:13 PM

At Optimation, our corporate mission is to provide unique and creative solutions to the manufacturing segment. That’s a broad statement that means we build custom engineered systems for anyone that produces hard goods and needs some form of automated equipment with which to manufacture those goods. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing, Skilled Trades

The Benefits of Thinking About the Negatives of a Project

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 6, 2017 2:04:03 PM

 

"Unintended consequences." Sounds harmless, guilt-relieving, “not-our-fault” kind of language.  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: About Optimation, Communication, Manufacturing, Business, Project Management

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

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

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

Networking, Food, Fun and a Run

Posted by Bill Pollock on Jul 6, 2017 10:41:23 AM

In less than a week, The J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge will be held in Rochester.  We are getting a new venue and lots of other changes this year.  It’s the 26th year that Chase has held the event in Rochester, but Rochester was not the original event.  It began in NYC 40 years ago.  The event is an amazing blend of exercise, fun, food, drink, camaraderie, fundraising for charity and networking.   And the emphasis could be placed on the networking.  The original founders had little idea what would happen after the event was established.  Their inaugural event was set up long before running was popular and included less than 1000 runners. 

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Topics: About Optimation, For Fun

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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