5 Keys to a Successful Engineering Release Meeting

Posted by Jim Torres

Aug 18, 2017 5:55:34 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

An engineering release meeting is a well-established part of most manufacturing companies and often can have a major impact on the health of a project.  All too often, engineering release meetings are carried out in haste and lead to issues down the line that could have been resolved before they even arose.  Listed below are five keys to keep in mind when planning an engineering release meeting.

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Topics: engineering

5 Things to Expect in an ISO Stage 1 Audit

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Aug 11, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes

ISO 9001:2015 is a widely used standard for quality certification and also one of the most stringent. This standard ensures that every aspect of a business is well-run and continually improving, including key processes, management roles and responsibilities, documentation, customer satisfaction, employee training, vendor performance and internal audits.

The last step in obtaining certification is the Certification Audit, which usually happens in two stages: Stage 1 and 2. Stage 1, the preliminary audit, is used to gain knowledge of a company’s policies, objectives, risks, and processes. This top level review is usually done on-site and determines whether a manufacturer’s quality system has met the requirements of the standard. Below please find common activities performed during a Stage 1 Audit:

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Topics: iso

What You Need to Know About PLC Program Structures

Posted by Jacob Miller

Aug 4, 2017 6:10:42 PM

Read Time: 9 Minutes 

A program is the brain behind any automated system, it takes inputs from various sensors or devices, makes logical decisions based upon that information, then determines a desired output, such as moving a load, communicating information, or even waiting for more information.  As you can probably guess, even a relatively simple system can quickly get complicated as user adjustments, environmental influences, and interruption recovery are accounted for. Any seasoned programmer knows there is more than one way to control a system and achieve the desired effect, and each solution is as unique to the programmer as their personality.  While this flexibility is an advantage to ensure each system is optimized for its physical differences, it also adds a particular and challenging problem when it comes to multiple programmers working in, or supporting the same piece of logic.

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Topics: plc, programming

What is the Difference Between PNP and NPN Configurations?

Posted by Mike Basile

Jul 28, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds 

When it comes to solid state devices, such as PLC transistor outputs and sensors, the concept of PNP and NPN configurations can be easily confused. The difference between these two configurations is simply the direction in which current flows.

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Topics: engineering

3 Overlooked Elements of Building a Great Culture

Posted by Courtney Underwood

Jul 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

This week, Fusion OEM celebrated being among the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in Chicago for the fifth year in a row. Additionally, we also won an Elite Award for our work in Employee Achievement and Recognition. Earning these awards reflects our sound culture of employee engagement, which allows us to retain top talent and reap the benefits of a loyal workforce committed to the future success of our business.

To win these awards, we were assessed by an independent research firm which reviewed a number of key measurements related to: compensation, benefits and employee solutions; employee enrichment, engagement and retention; employee education and development; recruitment, selection and orientation; employee achievement and recognition; communication and shared vision; diversity and inclusion; work-life balance; community initiatives; and strategic company performance.

At the awards ceremony, I was surrounded by like-minded colleagues who all care deeply about their teams. It was rewarding to learn from companies in a variety of industries on what works for them and where they may be an opportunity for improvement. Here are three lessons that resonated with me:

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Topics: employee engagement, culture

10 Things I've Learned from My Father and His Business

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Jul 14, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 4 Minutes 

Growing up, I had the privilege of working for my father’s engineering company, where I learned a great deal about the art of business and design engineering. His company, Century Design, engineered items ranging from household appliances for Sunbeam Corporation to assembly equipment for Motorola, and working there directly influenced my entrepreneurial journey. In high school, I started work as a detail draftsman on the drawing board (yes – the drawing board), then project engineer, then sales engineer. Over the 15 years I worked for him throughout high school, college, and later full time, I watched my father navigate business challenges in various economies, develop incredible relationships with his clients, and become a leader that all his employees admired. I was fortunate enough to receive very valuable lessons along the way on everything from business operations to machine design engineering, and those same lessons still resonate with me today. Below are 10 tips that, even today, I still follow:

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Topics: small business

The Total Cost of Ownership

Posted by Mark D'Amico

Jul 7, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds

In today’s dynamic manufacturing industry, OEM leaders are focused on developing a competitive strategy to improve product quality, agility and increased client demands. One key component of this approach is partnering with a contract manufacturer (CM) for effective supply chain management. For manufacturing leaders, results include lower costs, increased flexibility and refined focus on core aspects of the business – all critical to supporting growth in a competitive industry. Here are four ways your manufacturing company can benefit from vendor consolidation:

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Topics: supply chain management

5 Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing Your IT Management

Posted by Steve Milchuck

Jun 30, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes, 30 Seconds 

As an original equipment manufacturer, you’re focused on getting quality products to your customers on time - with competitive pricing. As a result, devoting resources to managing IT tasks can prove inefficient. Partnering with the right IT company can relieve the burden of managing the day to day network tasks such as user support, software issues, equipment and software updates, monitoring network and data security, and performing and verifying backups.

Of course, picking the right partner should be done cautiously. Although basic hardware components can be similar, the specific IT needs of a manufacturing company are quite different than a typical corporate office. To narrow down your selection, consider asking these five questions:

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Topics: lean office

Choosing the Right NEMA Enclosure

Posted by Mitch Szafran

Jun 16, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Read Time: 3 Minutes 

NEMA ratings can often be confusing. All too often, enclosures are specified with the wrong NEMA rating, which can mean wasted revenue if the chosen rating is too high, or premature failure and the potential for safety risks if the rating is too low. Choosing the correct enclosure for your needs helps reduce costs and ensures that your components are adequately defended.

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Topics: contract manufacturer, nema, control panel

6 Essential Factors of a Great Small Business

Posted by Craig Zoberis

May 26, 2017 6:01:00 PM

Read Time: 2 Minutes 

I and the Fusion team are thrilled to announce that we made the 2017 list of Forbes Small Giants, a recognition awarded to 25 small businesses that “value greatness over growth, have been acknowledged as outstanding by others in their field and are engaged in initiatives from which any business can gain insights”. This one-time award places Fusion in the company of local esteemed companies such as Integrated Project Management, Basecamp, Tasty Catering, ABT Electronics, and Radio Flyer. Based on the best-selling book by Bo Burlingham, companies receiving this award have mastered six factors:

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Topics: Awesome Place To Work, employee engagement, small business, culture