Optimation Blog

Case Study: Heat Treating Line Installation

Posted by Jen Palumbo on Dec 6, 2018 2:18:47 PM

Equipment Installations often take a lot of skill and planning to execute well. Things like plant layout, alignment, utilities, startup and controls can all be important factors in project success. Install an expensive piece of equipment improperly, and you'll eventually have a very costly mistake on your hands. 

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Topics: Skilled Trades, Equipment, Controls, Manufacturing

A Sobering Reminder of the Importance of Traceability for Food Safety

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 26, 2018 2:32:30 PM

When news such as this most recent E. coli outbreak striking romaine lettuce hits the industry and the food chain, it is cause for concern and action.  Safeguards get challenged, systems audited, processes analyzed, and conventional wisdom is questioned.  There can be no areas off-limits, no “sacred cows” that avoid scrutiny.  Everything must be assessed to ensure we protect the security of the consumers and all the elements of the world’s most complex and efficient system feeding Americans and people worldwide.

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Topics: food industry, Manufacturing, Safety

How to Avoid Contamination in Stainless Steel Fabrication

Posted by Bill Pollock on Nov 7, 2018 9:20:00 AM

Stainless steel contamination can be a real problem in applications that require clean corrosion free surfaces.  This is frequently a requirement in labs as well as food and pharmaceutical plants.  Stainless steel, when fabricated correctly, provides excellent corrosion resistance. When misapplied, this will not be the case.  Precautions must be taken to prevent contamination of stainless steel surfaces during fabrication.  This is possible with the proper precautions, when done in a shop in controlled conditions, and more difficult when installation is carried out in a project field location.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, Skilled Trades, food industry

The Cost of Quality and Doing the Job Right the First Time

Posted by Wendy Smith on Oct 17, 2018 1:20:02 PM

In my last post I was excited to share an example from a client who shared with us some pictures of a process we had installed in the 1970’s that had stood the test of time. To contrast this feelgood story, I wanted to share another recent experience we had with a current client who reached out to us.

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Topics: Quality, Skilled Trades, Manufacturing, Project Management

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: Manufacturing, Skilled Trades, About Optimation

The Hazards of Contamination in Stainless Steel Fabrication

Posted by Bill Pollock on Sep 25, 2018 12:46:03 PM

Stainless steel contamination can be a real problem in applications that require clean corrosion free surfaces.  This is frequently a requirement in labs as well as food and pharmaceutical plants.  Stainless steel, when fabricated correctly, provides excellent corrosion resistance. When misapplied, this will not be the case.  Precautions must be taken to prevent contamination of stainless steel surfaces during fabrication.  This is possible with the proper precautions, when done in a shop in controlled conditions, and more difficult when installation is carried out in a project field location.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, Skilled Trades, food industry

Condensate Skids for Waste Processing

Posted by Steve Beyer on Aug 27, 2018 9:52:42 AM

Skid systems solve a wide range of problems for many industries. Even waste processing in a hazardous industry, like one that handles radioactive waste, can be aided by a skid system.  This project profile is an example of how a modular fabrication & assembly process can be applied to solve a difficult problem. 

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Topics: Skid Systems, process design, Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Equipment

Tariffs, Trade, and US Manufacturing

Posted by Bill Pollock on Jun 14, 2018 11:11:58 AM

At Optimation we design and fabricate manufacturing systems for companies all over the United States and the world. To build this equipment, we use a lot of steel and stainless steel and lesser amounts of aluminum and exotic alloys. A couple months ago, the rules changed when getting prices for these commodity items. Many of our suppliers began to provide pricing which was good for only 24 hours. This reaction by our suppliers was created by threats of tariffs being placed on steel and aluminum.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Purchasing, Business

In Search of IIoT Demand

Posted by Bill Pollock on May 15, 2018 12:03:12 PM

 This post originally ran in the Automation World CSIA Blog.

Recent advances in technology have made it possible for manufacturers to build processing lines that will create products faster, cheaper and of higher quality. Many of the new technologies have moved so quickly that they are considered disruptive in the changes they make to manufacturing processes. But new technology doesn’t come without a cost.

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Topics: Internet of Things, IIoT, Trends, Manufacturing

Technology, Automation and Employment

Posted by Bill Pollock on Nov 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Robots, and the dream of intelligent working robots have been with us for a very long time.  As early as 1495, Leonardo da Vinci designed the first humanoid robot.  It was designed to sit up, wave its arms, and move its head via a flexible neck.  There were hundreds of other robots designed over the next five hundred years.  In 2003 NASA used twin robots as Mars rovers.  Robots were used in industry for activities like welding and painting automobiles.  But until recently most robots were fairly simple, single application, machines.  But it is only because of rapid advances in artificial intelligence that robots are advancing to the potential uses we now visualize. If robots can learn, improve and “think” in ways similar to humans, they can take on a whole new set of challenges.  And, as part of this evolution, robots are also taking on uncannily human-like appearances. The future of robots now appears unlimited.  A robot recently advanced one step closer to human status, when it was granted citizenship to Saudi Arabia.  

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Topics: Automation, Robotics, Manufacturing, Trends

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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