Author Archives: On the Plant Floor

OPF Expands Houston laboratory

OPF Enterprises is pleased to announce further expansion of its Houston-based consulting and testing laboratory in order to meet increased demand. We have added significant additional capability going into 2016 including: Improved Kiln capabilities kilns for high fire capability to 1,600 deg. C (2,912 deg. F) in air or reducing atmospheres Raw material preparation equipment wet and dryContinue Reading

Rewarding Manufacturing Plant Employee Performance – Part 1

So…just how do you go about recognizing good performance among factory employees? You know you should do it, you know you need to do it, so why are we so bad as manufacturing leaders in doing it well? Virtually all companies go to some effort to give a bonus, however small, to the troops atContinue Reading

Why Hire Manufacturing Consultants?

So why on earth would you want to hire a manufacturing consultant to come in and tell you how to do things? After all, as the division manufacturing leader you have: The perfect team-your plants never miss anything in a process and always hits targets. Each plant flawlessly executes introduction of new products on timeContinue Reading

Navigating the Government Procurement Maze – Phase 2

Lessons in Patience We decided that because we are pretty good at materials and materials processing that the DOE (Department of Energy) would be a good place to start our marketing effort. We have all heard about DOE recently but they do more than just issue loan guarantees to Solyndra. DOE currently operates 17 nationalContinue Reading

Navigating the Government Procurement Maze – Phase 1

Phase 1 — In The Beginning We fly to many airports, rent many cars, and stay in many hotel rooms. For the most part they are depressingly similar. And, thankfully, they are familiar. We don’t have to learn a different procedure for every airport boarding and hotel room we purchase for an evening. These suppliers ofContinue Reading

Two Essential Leadership Characteristics

Don’t Promote Failure “You cannot manage men into battle. You manage things; you lead people.” Grace Hopper (retired Admiral, U.S. Navy) If you Google “leadership” you will get about 139,000,000 hits. That’s one hundred thirty-nine million! It’s pretty obvious that a lot of people have ideas about leadership. If the sweetest sound a person can hear is his own name,Continue Reading

Mentoring in the Manufacturing Plant

Mentoring has been around forever, and before it was called mentoring, it was known as apprenticeship—the training novices went through before they could become journeymen. The apprenticeship training paired a master craftsman with a novice, and over a period of years, the old master imparted his techniques, tricks, and shortcuts, as well as his wisdom,Continue Reading

Promised Land – The Movie vs. Reality

Matt Damon has made some pretty doggone good movies in his career — Oceans 11, Good Will Hunting, and the Bourne trilogy make for some enjoyable downtime viewing, for sure. And you have to like Matt’s Water Project organization bringing clean drinking water to third world countries. Good stuff. “Promised Land” is not good stuff. Continue Reading

Demand for Frac Sand Soars

What is Frac Sand? “Frac sand” is a high-purity quartz sand with very round grains, and a defined crush resistance at given stresses (psi). It is used in the hydraulic fracturing process (known as “fracking”) to produce fluids, such as oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids from rock and shale that lack adequate pore space forContinue Reading

Manufacturing is Like Football

With fall comes the onset of football and the wind-down of baseball. We both love sports and of them all, we love baseball and football the most. There is just nothing like the crack of a bat during a World Series game or a leaping touchdown reception during the Super Bowl.Continue Reading