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.
I’m a handy guy. I can build a table from scrap wood, maintain my car, and drywall a room pretty darn well. Even so, I fail as an innovator of physical products and designs. Case in point, about 10 years ago my friend Sam was over for a family party and used our 2nd-floor bathroom. Later he mentioned to me that he’d be back the next day because he could fix my shower curtain rod. He was right - the weird rod around the shower in my 1929 Tudor was sagging because it was a right-angle bend that was unsupported. The weight of a simple towel could bend it badly and though I’d tried a few ideas, I’d not solved the problem in the five years we’d lived there. Sam shows up with a short steel cable, a turnbuckle and an eyebolt. Fixed in 5-minutes FLAT. He connected the bend point to the ceiling
with expert skill as if this was his job. In fact, it was to a degree: Sam is a CNC Machinist.
My wife called him MacGyver and offered him a slice of pie.
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.
We have new heroes to follow. Crew Dragon and the Falcon 9 rocket launched Saturday May 30th, and the Lunar Optimized Starship and the Artemis program will be here in the near future!
Now you want to be an engineer, so how do you do it?
During National Engineers Week we filled you in on all the reasons you should be an engineer. EWeek, as it is also known, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated engineering workforce by increasing the understanding of and interest in engineering careers in the United States. So why should someone become and engineer? And if you decide on an engineering career, how do you become one?
The U.S. manufacturers, skilled tradesmen and engineers are shifting their energy and focus from manufacturing their traditional products and are battling the novel coronavirus nationwide by providing solutions to the lack of ventilators, hand sanitizer, sterilizers, N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages required to fight this threat. They are improvising new methods, tooling and materials to convert factories and keep them humming in the manufacture of these much needed supplies as the coronavirus pandemic threatens one of the biggest disruptions in memory to supply chains, staffing and demand.
In today’s digital world it is hard to think of how things are still done the “old way”. The new way of doing things isn’t because the old way doesn’t work, but rather to make things easier or quicker. I am still a pencil and paper girl, if I need to take notes during a meeting, I am writing them the old-fashioned way, and then typing them up later. This was my process all through college and grad school, and I think helped me not only learn information, but retain it. Although, I am not one to fight efficiency, so the majority of what I do takes full advantage of digital tools.
How exciting is it that in today’s age, 47% of the workforce is women, accounting for 74.6 million women in the civilian labor force? That is something to be proud of! Women also earn more degrees than men; For the class of 2016–2017, women earned more than half of bachelor’s degrees (57.3%), master’s degrees (59.4%), and doctorate degrees (53.3%). Women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men since 1982, more master’s degrees than men since 1987, and more doctorate degrees than men since 2006. In 2018, women held 51.5% of all management, professional, and related occupations.
Congrats ladies! We should feel proud of the improvements that have been made, but also acknowledge that we still have work to do.
Despite the great strides made toward gender equality over the last century, there are still several arenas where women are underrepresented in the workforce. Currently, engineering is one of those industries. It’s not news that manufacturing needs more women in skilled and professional positions such as the skilled trades, designing and drafting, engineering and development.
FIRST Robotics competition is coming back to Rochester next week. The FIRST Robotics Finger Lakes Regional will be held at RIT on March 13th and 14th. If you have never been to one you need to go. A FIRST Robotics competition is like nothing you have ever seen before. It is all about technology and engineering and computer software and learning. It is also filled with loud music, cheers and teams of motivated and energized high school students working as teams to overcome obstacles. It won’t only be happening in Rochester. This is a worldwide movement. Nearly 4000 teams from 28 countries will be competing. Over a hundred thousand students will be part of more than 100 regional, district and championship events. Countless mentors and coaches from colleges, universities and industry volunteer long hours to help the teams organize and construct. FIRST is hardcore technology on steroids designed to motivate and inspire students to get engaged in STEM and follow engineering of high-tech trades professions. FIRST makes technology into a sport. While fast paced and competitive, it also has a unique value-based culture. They call it "Gracious Professionalism".It embraces competition but rejects trash talk and replaces it with respect for other teams.They call this "Coopertition", emphasizing that teams can cooperate and compete at the same time.
Wow! What a week we had last week. It is always great to take time to reflect on the work that is being done and promote the reasons why we do what we do. To wrap up this week and further push interested readers to pursue a career in engineering, below is a list of some of the different avenues you could take and work you could be a part of with a degree in engineering;