At Optimation we design and fabricate manufacturing equipment. We have about a hundred creative and inquisitive engineers and another hundred hard-working and talented tradesmen. Collaborating as a team, they can design and build almost anything. Our passion at Optimation is to grow the manufacturing base in the United States. We have a very diverse client base and the ideas and concepts they want to bring to realization are just as diverse. Imagine being part of a team who provided design support for the world’s largest 3D printer, fabricated vaccine delivery machines, built a test system for a new transatlantic cable, or helped with the creation of systems to reduce or eliminate food waste. Coming to work every morning at Optimation is exciting and each day holds new challenges not yet confronted. Projects are large and small and include pharmaceutical, food and chemical process as well as high speed assembly machines for automotive, military and commercial applications. During the past month Optimation has received several hundred contracts from over 50 different clients. The variety is vast. Recently Optimation was selected by the Rochester Technology Manufacturing Association as a finalist for the Manufacturing Innovation Award, Large Company Division. It is hard to pick preferred clients or most unique projects, but I’ve picked a few of our favorites to tell you about in this blog. I’ll add more blogs in the weeks to come to share other favorites. Optimation engineers create the designs. Skilled journeymen craft workers bring these designs to life in Optimation’s 100,000 square foot fabrication facility.
We announced a new Chief Operating Officer this week. Wendy Smith, with over thirty years’ experience in plant operations and design and engineering services management, is excited to take on the challenge.
The celebration of National Engineers Week started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers and is always during the week in February which includes George Washington’s birthday, February 22nd. President Washington is considered the nation’s first engineer, notably for his survey work. It is observed by more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. Primarily, the goal of this week promote 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.
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.”
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.
Unemployment is down, manufacturing is up, and the demand for skilled trades hasn’t been this high for a long time. There is a gap between demand and the available skilled workforce. This is true in many trades. One example is electricians. According to numbers from the National Electrical Contractors Association, 7,000 electricians join the field each year, while at the same time 10,000 retire.
Before we go any further into the new year, let’s take a look at what brought us here, starting with thinking about the mix of work that Optimation performed last year. And then let’s look at some of the other things going on in our world (not political).
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.
"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."
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.