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.
The Challenging Question We Often Face.
Recently, I was challenged by a friend, who is not associated with our business, if I could explain why one of our prospective clients why they would hire an outside design/build engineering firm.The client has the capability to produce products in their manufacturing plants, and would thus have a fair amount of in house capability. This is a very provocative question, and one which we are regularly challenged to answer. As I reflected on the varied reasons that support our business, I decided that rather than give my usual elevator speech, I would have a bit of fun with my answer. So, here are what we observe are the top ten reasons (in ascending order) why our clients do routinely ask us to participate, as viewed from their perspective:
For those of you who believe your data really resides in a cloud, I’m about to burst your bubble. Did you know that 99 percent of the data traffic that is crossing oceans is carried by undersea cables? Yep – that’s right. For those of you that think Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, Google, IBM, & Alibaba are the data traffic kings, think again (although they may help fund the majority of these cables).
Here in Rochester, as we enter the official start of winter, we are experiencing the weather conditions that herald the season of chill: short days, snowy fields, nasty driving conditions, and festive holiday lights that attempt to take our minds off of all that has gone into hibernation.
Conventional wisdom in many corners of industry may steer seekers of outside services such as systems integration (Optimation’s business) to those firms with direct exact and typically singular experience in a given field.
The Internet of Things is revolutionizing all areas of our lives. In manufacturing, Industry 4.0 is a revolution as transformative as the first industrial revolution that began 300 years ago. Advancements in manufacturing analytics are coming fast and furious. Not all manufacturing analytics are totally new however.
A quarter century ago, at the height of the silver halide dominance in imaging, systems engineers at Kodak had developed a process monitoring analytics system that was decades ahead of its time. This powerful toolset was one of the methods that enabled Kodak to manufacture high quality and consistently uniform chemicals, dyes, and emulsions in plants operating in five different continents. Using the analytical capability of their proprietary product, Kodak was able to find process malfunctions before they occurred, predict product response performance, summarize massive and complex data to an actionable data subset and as a result they could reduce the manufacture of off-specification product.
Earlier this year it was announced that Rochester ranked 23rd in the U.S. for STEM workers in a study done by WalletHub. WalletHub is a social website that offers financial tools and information for consumer and small business owners. They ranked 100 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas on 17 metrics from per-capita job opening for STEM graduates to projected demand for STEM workers by 2020. This is great news for the area, but how do we move up on this and ensure that we at least hold our position and move higher on the list?
As a new year begins to unfurl before us, and we consider trends that may become popular and successful, one technology that is poised to have a significant impact on how goods are manufactured is 3D printing. This breakthrough method, which relies on building plastic, ceramic or metal components by fusing together droplets of liquefied feedstock or particles of finely ground powder, offers several thought provoking advantages. So, let’s talk about 3D printing…
Last week the New York Photonics & Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster held their annual meeting. The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster has been around for a long time and its predecessor the Institute for Optics was founded in Rochester in 1929. The photonics industry has been around a long time in Rochester. We haven’t been talking about it very much for all that time, in fact hardly at all until recently. Now it’s a big deal. Chuck Schumer, Louise Slaughter and Dr. Ernest Moniz, the Secretary of the Department of Energy himself, came to Rochester to attend the meeting. It was held with a great deal of pomp and ceremony at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. It was no doubt the largest attendance at an annual meeting ever, so large in fact that the event was “sold out.”
A great deal of news, discussion and time is spent dealing with cyber security. For a quarter of a century, since the time the internet first became available for commercial use, there have been security issues and computers and accounts have been hacked and their content compromised. I can remember discussions immediately after 9/11 about the concept that the next great terrorist destruction in the US would be by hacking of infrastructure rather than physically the way the twin towers came down.