Optimation Blog

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

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

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

Food Science meets Rocket Science

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jul 17, 2018 4:31:56 PM

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. 

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Topics: Technology, Trends, food industry

Tariffs, Trade, and US Manufacturing

Posted by Bill Pollock on Jun 14, 2018 11:11:58 AM

At Optimation we design and fabricate manufacturing systems for companies all over the United States and the world. To build this equipment, we use a lot of steel and stainless steel and lesser amounts of aluminum and exotic alloys. A couple months ago, the rules changed when getting prices for these commodity items. Many of our suppliers began to provide pricing which was good for only 24 hours. This reaction by our suppliers was created by threats of tariffs being placed on steel and aluminum.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Purchasing, Business

In Search of IIoT Demand

Posted by Bill Pollock on May 15, 2018 12:03:12 PM

 This post originally ran in the Automation World CSIA Blog.

Recent advances in technology have made it possible for manufacturers to build processing lines that will create products faster, cheaper and of higher quality. Many of the new technologies have moved so quickly that they are considered disruptive in the changes they make to manufacturing processes. But new technology doesn’t come without a cost.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Internet of Things, IIoT

The American Revolution and the American Industrial Revolutions

Posted by Bill Pollock on Dec 6, 2017 7:30:00 AM

I am a registered member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Two of my ancestors were enlisted as privates in the Pennsylvania Militia and fought in the Revolutionary War under General Washington.  Before enlisting in the army, they were farmers.  This was true of most others who fought with them.  At the time of the revolution, America was primarily an agricultural society.  Farms and farmers were the primary producers of wealth for the colonies.  Manufactured goods were imported from England and paid for with the currency gained from the sale of farmed commodities. 

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Topics: Trends, Internet of Things

Technology, Automation and Employment

Posted by Bill Pollock on Nov 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Robots, and the dream of intelligent working robots have been with us for a very long time.  As early as 1495, Leonardo da Vinci designed the first humanoid robot.  It was designed to sit up, wave its arms, and move its head via a flexible neck.  There were hundreds of other robots designed over the next five hundred years.  In 2003 NASA used twin robots as Mars rovers.  Robots were used in industry for activities like welding and painting automobiles.  But until recently most robots were fairly simple, single application, machines.  But it is only because of rapid advances in artificial intelligence that robots are advancing to the potential uses we now visualize. If robots can learn, improve and “think” in ways similar to humans, they can take on a whole new set of challenges.  And, as part of this evolution, robots are also taking on uncannily human-like appearances. The future of robots now appears unlimited.  A robot recently advanced one step closer to human status, when it was granted citizenship to Saudi Arabia.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, Trends, Automation, Robotics

Test Systems and The Edge

Posted by Steve Beyer on Aug 9, 2017 4:18:27 PM

Today’s technologies demand more of everything—more data, computing power, test cycles, security, reliability, everything.

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Topics: Trends, Skid Systems, Internet of Things, Test Systems

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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