Optimation Blog

Wendy Smith

Recent Posts

Fabricating Obstacles for Hyperdrive

Posted by Wendy Smith on Oct 1, 2019 2:34:19 PM

Photo Credit: Netflix

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about a really neat project that we were doing at Eastman Business Park, the old Kodak Park Campus in Rochester, NY. Netflix was going to film a series that would rival American Ninja Warrior only with high performance cars and expert drivers on challenging obstacle courses. It is dubbed “American Ninja Warrior meets the Fast and the Furious.”

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing, For Fun, Skilled Trades

The Best Thing You Can Do Before Going Out to Bid

Posted by Wendy Smith on Jun 24, 2019 10:07:06 AM

One of the most important factors for a successful project is being able to specify the requirements up front. Many times, the customer doesn’t know exactly what he needs. More preliminary engineering is required to get the project requirements specific enough for suppliers to offer a fixed price bid for the project. But often, clients don’t realize they need to budget for this and therefore don’t want to pay for this service.

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Topics: Purchasing, Project Management

What the CSIA Conference Had to Offer

Posted by Wendy Smith on May 16, 2019 11:54:57 AM

I recently attended the CSIA (Control Systems Integrators Association) Conference in Asheville, NC.  The event had special meaning this year as it was the 25th anniversary of CSIA which is a not-for-profit global trade association that seeks to advance the industry of control systems integration.  CSIA is an organization of peers, partners, and vendors that get together and share best practices and industry expertise to help system integrators be successful. It is rare to find an organization (sister/brotherhood) of “competitors” sharing best practices to help one another.  Not only do they share “best practices”, but they share tragic examples of things that have happened to them in a session called “Lessons learned from touching a hot stove”, in hopes that others do not have to experience the same thing and can learn from their misfortune or mistakes. This year’s theme was Reaching the Next Peak.

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Unlock the Potential of Feedback and Surveys

Posted by Wendy Smith on Mar 28, 2019 8:00:00 AM

There are both direct and subtle ways to “manage” your suppliers.  Some companies have elaborate supplier programs with score cards, audits, cost reduction goals, targets, etc.  It is great if you have the infrastructure to support this type of program, but not everyone can.

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Topics: About Optimation, Quality, Engineering Services

Happy International Women's Day!

Posted by Wendy Smith on Mar 8, 2019 11:39:44 AM

As I woke up this morning and realized that today was International Woman’s Day I felt the need to share an awesome experience that I had yesterday.

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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: Manufacturing, Quality, Project Management, Skilled Trades

A product and workmanship that stand the test of time!

Posted by Wendy Smith on Sep 20, 2018 3:39:39 PM

We received a message through our website the other day from a glass industry company we’d never worked with before:

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Topics: Glass Manufacturing, Batch

Innovating Through Collaboration

Posted by Wendy Smith on May 1, 2018 9:51:51 AM

Last week I attended the CSIA (Control Systems Integrators Association) Conference in San Francisco.  What is CSIA you may ask? CSIA is an organization that was founded in 1994 as a not-for-profit global trade association that seeks to advance the industry of control systems integration. Control system integrators use their engineering, technical and business skills to help manufacturers and others automate their industrial equipment and systems.

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Happy National Engineers Week!

Posted by Wendy Smith on Feb 21, 2018 1:11:41 PM

Engineers Week promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy. The intent is to motivate youth to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce. 

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When "The Little Things" Add Up, Consider a Service Contract

Posted by Wendy Smith on Oct 31, 2017 4:06:59 PM


One of the most efficient ways for an engineering services company to work with a client is by having an Engineering Services Contract or some type of “Blanket Order” in place.  At some companies, it can take longer to get a purchase order than it does to complete the actual work that is requested.  Having a blanket order or an engineering services contract in place streamlines the process and allows work to be authorized and initiated quickly.

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Topics: Engineering Services

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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