One of our core competencies at Optimation is in the development, design, fabrication and improvement of web-based, or roll-to-roll, processes. Optimation owns and operates a web development laboratory – we call it the Media Conveyance Facility (MCF). Many things you use on a regular basis are produced on a web, from aluminum foil to the thin glass used in cell phones.
In business, it’s been said, “you need to spend money to make money.” This axiom certainly applies to capital investing, where market demands can be exploited with increased production through the careful implementation of new equipment.
Recently a team of Optimation’s web conveyance experts teamed up with a pair of Eastman Kodak’s IT experts to create a means to demonstrate the power of applying a process monitoring tool to a known but illusive problem. The demonstration involved using Optimation’s Thin Web Rewinder, one of the pilot machines located in our Media Conveyance Facility, and Kodak’ proprietary Process Monitor software. We elected to use roller traction as the parameter of interest, because it is a functional attribute that is subtle, making it challenging to measure and status over time.
You may have heard the old adage, “Real men don’t read the instructions.” This is often followed by disastrous results – furniture put together incorrectly, hours spent on equipment repairs that could have been solved in minutes, or a family taken wildly off-course on a road trip. As funny as these examples are, manufacturers are susceptible to similar outcomes when it comes to projects like equipment moves.
When our customers need help keep their drawings up-to-date, they give us a call. And we tend to be casual observers of how our varied clients maintain their technical data. We look over the shoulders of our technical contacts and observe the state of how they maintain and archive mechanical and electrical equipment data. Some are diligent, but many do not attend to or have procedures in place to guarantee that their drawings reflect the design state of their current manufacturing platform.
Have you ever been in a situation where you need a conversation starter that you can be confident will be well received? Well, here’s a tip, try talking about an unusual pet you have owned, and some of the memorable moments that have resulted. That’s sure to cause chuckles and shared recounting of misadventures. Over the years, we have housed a menagerie of mostly cats and dogs, many of which have had endearing quirks that are fun to relate and compare to other friends and acquaintances with their own pet stories. Here’s one of my favorites, its about Comet the Wonder Dog.
Topics: food industry
An interesting manufacturing tool is emerging as more companies seek to mine, or take advantage, of the process data their production systems generate. The tool, called Process Monitor (PM), uses statistical analysis methods to crunch the manufacturing process data, and predict whether or not the production system is operating within preset control limits that indicate an acceptable product outcome.
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.
We often say that we take away our client's pain - we solve problems for them, often complex ones. That can sound kind of vague, but that's because of the vast variety of problems we solve. Industrial clients have used us to solve problems such as machinery that requires safety guarding, or even a much larger problem like desalination of brine at a salt mine. The following example is a solution we came up with for a client with a very sensitive product produced on a roll-to-roll machine. To protect the client's confidentiality, their name and product are kept generic.
We have articulated in past posts some of the benefits of configuring processing equipment in skid form. Generally, these advantages have to do with efficient execution, that is that a skid that supports a specific processing step is more thoroughly debugged at the OEM factory, installs quicker and is turned over to production faster with minimal interruptions.