Capital Project Investing:  How to turn Complexity and Risk into Success

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jul 2, 2019 8:27:20 AM

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.

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, Purchasing, Business, Skid Systems, Upgrades, Project Management, Engineering Services

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

Using Process Monitor to Track Roller Traction in a Flexible Web Machine

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jun 17, 2019 10:22:08 AM

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.

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Topics: Quality, web handling, Process Monitor, IT, IIoT

Robots Come of Age

Posted by Bill Pollock on Jun 5, 2019 10:11:01 AM

Robots are beginning to show up everywhere. Of all the amazing technical developments that are part of Industry 4.0, the fastest growing sector is robotics. By 2020, over $100 billion a year will be invested in robots and this amount is projected to double every two years. 

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Topics: Robotics, IIoT

New York’s Manufacturing Legacy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Posted by Bill Pollock on May 30, 2019 10:05:49 AM

I recently attended the New York State Manufacturing Conference in Troy, hosted by the CATS center at RPI.  The focus of the conference was advancing technology and manufacturing in New York.  I had the opportunity to be part of the conference and gave a talk titled, “Building on New York’s Manufacturing Legacy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Industry 4.0.”  Industry 4.0 is an amazing step forward in technology and defines an exciting era for manufacturing which began just this decade.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, IIoT

Equipment and Environmental Safety

Posted by Steve Beyer on May 29, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Following up on my last blog post, I continue the discussion acknowledging that safety is not trivial or to be taken for granted. It is multi-level and is tied to the long-term success of each project and every client. The first three levels of safety covered were operator, consumer/customer, and product/process.  This post covers the remaining two: equipment and environment.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Safety, Equipment

The Many Levels of Safety

Posted by Steve Beyer on May 22, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Safety is not trivial or to be taken for granted. It comes in multiple varieties, is multi-level, and is inherently tied to the long-term success of each project and every client. These levels of safety include operator, consumer/customer, product/process, equipment and environment. Each level requires and receives due diligence, understanding the unique parameters of the project and the measures of success that bound the work. Several of these levels will be described further here, highlighting the value delivered to the project in the safe and efficient process and outcome of the work. The remaining safety levels will be discussed in a subsequent post.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Safety, Automation, System Integration

New York’s Manufacturing Legacy and Its Manufacturing Future

Posted by Bill Pollock on May 20, 2019 7:15:00 AM

I recently attended the New York State Manufacturing Conference hosted by the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) center at Rensselaer. It was a spirted event attended by participants from a variety of individuals and companies whose primary focus was promoting and advancing technology and manufacturing in New York.  Robots and cobots were everywhere.  More than 70 organizations were represented from industry, academia, economic development and technology centers. 

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Robotics, IIoT

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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Safety is Our Real Business

Posted by Steve Beyer on May 8, 2019 2:28:50 PM

When you stop and think about it, what control system integrators are brought in to deliver is some specific capability with our expertise and experience that ensures the safe and efficient accomplishment of the mission. If the client’s own internal experts, or certified integrators, are not able to do the job, then other resources (uncredentialled, unverified) might be asked to do the work, jeopardizing the processes, procedures and qualitative metrics.

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Safety, Process Monitor

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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