Optimation Blog

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

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

Engineering Services in the USA

Posted by Bill Pollock on May 30, 2017 2:49:36 PM

Back in the 70s when I graduated with an engineering degree, a large percentage of the new graduates went to work for manufacturing companies.  A certain percentage went on for advanced degrees and ended up in research positions and academia, but much of the research was carried out by private companies building their own IP portfolios.  The exception to this was civil, structural and architectural graduates who might end up working for private engineering and design firms. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Resource Planning, Automation, Project Management, process design

Celebrating Safety

Posted by Bill Pollock on Dec 13, 2016 3:20:41 PM

Last week we made a milestone at Optimation. We reached 400 days and over 500,000 hours without a lost time accident. It was a time to celebrate, a time to look back and be proud of what we have done and a time to look ahead on how we can up our game and work toward the million-hour mark (which we did reach once before in the last decade). Milestones like this are not reached by chance. It takes training, planning, attention to detail, coaching and teamwork. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Safety

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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