Drawing Maintenance: A Word of Caution

Posted by Pete Sherer on Mar 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Maintenance, Manufacturing, process design

Data Analytics Gives Manufacturing Plants Insights for Continuous Improvement

Posted by John Scheible on Jan 29, 2019 10:28:15 AM

Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) promise to make more data and better analytic applications available for industry.  Driven by high powered analytics, including machine learning and artificial intelligence engines, both promise operational benefits including lower costs through improved Key Performance Indicators (KPI), such as First Pass Yield, Non-Standard Downtime or Overall Equipment Effectiveness. 

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Quality, Process Monitor, IIoT

A Look Back and Forward in Manufacturing

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 14, 2019 3:06:05 PM

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).

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing, Trends

Case Study: Heat Treating Line Installation

Posted by Jen Palumbo on Dec 6, 2018 2:18:47 PM

Equipment Installations often take a lot of skill and planning to execute well. Things like plant layout, alignment, utilities, startup and controls can all be important factors in project success. Install an expensive piece of equipment improperly, and you'll eventually have a very costly mistake on your hands. 

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Topics: Manufacturing, Equipment, Controls, Skilled Trades

A Sobering Reminder of the Importance of Traceability for Food Safety

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 26, 2018 2:32:30 PM

When news such as this most recent E. coli outbreak striking romaine lettuce hits the industry and the food chain, it is cause for concern and action.  Safeguards get challenged, systems audited, processes analyzed, and conventional wisdom is questioned.  There can be no areas off-limits, no “sacred cows” that avoid scrutiny.  Everything must be assessed to ensure we protect the security of the consumers and all the elements of the world’s most complex and efficient system feeding Americans and people worldwide.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Safety, food industry

How to Avoid Contamination in Stainless Steel Fabrication

Posted by Bill Pollock on Nov 7, 2018 9:20:00 AM

Stainless steel contamination can be a real problem in applications that require clean corrosion free surfaces.  This is frequently a requirement in labs as well as food and pharmaceutical plants.  Stainless steel, when fabricated correctly, provides excellent corrosion resistance. When misapplied, this will not be the case.  Precautions must be taken to prevent contamination of stainless steel surfaces during fabrication.  This is possible with the proper precautions, when done in a shop in controlled conditions, and more difficult when installation is carried out in a project field location.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, food industry, Skilled Trades

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

Some of My Best Friends Are Skilled Trades People

Posted by Pete Sherer on Sep 27, 2018 1:39:13 PM

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. 

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Topics: About Optimation, Manufacturing, Skilled Trades

The Hazards of Contamination in Stainless Steel Fabrication

Posted by Bill Pollock on Sep 25, 2018 12:46:03 PM

Stainless steel contamination can be a real problem in applications that require clean corrosion free surfaces.  This is frequently a requirement in labs as well as food and pharmaceutical plants.  Stainless steel, when fabricated correctly, provides excellent corrosion resistance. When misapplied, this will not be the case.  Precautions must be taken to prevent contamination of stainless steel surfaces during fabrication.  This is possible with the proper precautions, when done in a shop in controlled conditions, and more difficult when installation is carried out in a project field location.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, food industry, Skilled Trades

Condensate Skids for Waste Processing

Posted by Steve Beyer on Aug 27, 2018 9:52:42 AM

Skid systems solve a wide range of problems for many industries. Even waste processing in a hazardous industry, like one that handles radioactive waste, can be aided by a skid system.  This project profile is an example of how a modular fabrication & assembly process can be applied to solve a difficult problem. 

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Equipment, Skid Systems, process design

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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