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Concept Systems honored as a Small Business Supplier by Bechtel

Concept Systems Panel team

Concept Systems’ Panel shop team.

Albany, Ore. (May 3, 2016) – Bechtel Group, the largest construction company in the United States, recently recognized 35 companies with its 2015 Small Business Supplier Award for outstanding contribution and commitment. Concept Systems is proud to be among those honored for technical ability and workmanship, as well as knowledge and responsiveness.

Companies were evaluated on overall performance, delivering quality services on time, working collaboratively to reach milestones, and meeting or exceeding project expectations relative to safety, construction, performance, technical expertise, and environmental compliance.

Concept received high praise from Sunnie Scott, a senior expeditor with Bechtel who said, “I’m always impressed with the knowledge, responsiveness and patience your team demonstrates time after time in getting purchase orders executed, documentation submitted, and panels fabricated in a timely manner.”

Hundreds of candidates were considered, and Concept expressed its understanding of the significance of the Small Business Supplier Award. “Bechtel is a leading vendor for both the public and private sectors and works with literally thousands of companies throughout the year,” said Michael Gurney, Concept’s CEO. “Our team takes pride in meeting high standards for quality and exceeding client’s expectations. Their performance helped us garner this recognition.” Continue Reading →

Improving Automation

We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

Automation may seem like a relatively modern concept, with its buzzworthy contribution to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and already monumental importance to the future of global enterprise. However, the technological birth of automation as we know it today dates back centuries.
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The first recorded use of automation control was a feedback control mechanism used to tent the sails of windmills, patented by English inventor Edmund Lee in 1775. Automation came to America in the late 18th century with the centrifugal governor, invented by Scottish mechanical engineer James Watt in 1788 to help regulate the admission of steam into the cylinders of his steam engine. American inventor and engineer Oliver Evans later used the centrifugal governor to adjust the gaps between millstones in his automatic flour mill, making this the first completely automated industrial process in history.

The innovations snowballed from there, culminating in a present-day automation boom. In 2016, automated mining, retail, security systems, highway systems, waste management systems, homes, offices, and industrial plants are no longer pipe dreams, but exciting realities with lush opportunities for growth.

For a more detailed assessment of automation’s leaps and bounds over the past few years, Quality asked two automation insiders for their takes: John Neeley, product manager of mobility solutions at Fluke Corp.; and Michael Lindley, vice president of business development and marketing at Concept Systems Inc.

What recent strides has your company made toward improving automation, and how do these strides fit into the broader automation landscape? Continue Reading →

Collision Avoidance Moves into More Dynamic Automation Environments

Manufacturing environments are busy places with multiple machines, bustling workers and numerous machine-human interactions. Avoiding collisions between robots and humans is a high priority. Some solutions require a multilayered approach, integrating a variety of technologies, to create a reliable system. As more manufacturers add robots, there’s an increased interest in ensuring they work safely with each other and with humans.

Manufacturers that deploy robotic painters, such as the one shown here, can use a multilayered approach that integrates a variety of technologies to create a system that reliably reduces the risks of collisions. Courtesy of FANUC.

Manufacturers that deploy robotic painters, such as the one shown here, can use a multilayered approach that integrates a variety of technologies to create a system that reliably reduces the risks of collisions. Courtesy of FANUC.

Leveraging techniques from stacker cranes
Companies that increase their use of robotic automation can learn from collision avoidance techniques used with cranes, which received early attention because a collision with equipment in the work environment or the component itself was unacceptable. This posed a serious safety hazard that could cost thousands of dollars in lost production time and rework or scrap. By using 3D vision and industrial computers, collisions are now largely avoidable.
As technologies advance, dramatic system improvements are possible. That was the case with Boeing, which found its floor-based registration system for painting planes no longer provided the accuracy it needed. As a long-time partner to Boeing, Concept Systems Inc. stepped in to assist the aircraft manufacturer in addressing this issue by deploying a new collision avoidance system.

A key component of the new system adopted by Boeing in one of its paint hangers was the proximity query package (PQP), which can detect imminent collisions between two computer-generated objects. Information about the exact size and shape of the plane is exported from Boeing’s design software and then rendered as a 3D graphic in OpenGL, a widely accepted open graphics standard. It similarly renders the stacker platforms for validation and troubleshooting the system. Continue Reading →

System Integrators of the Year: The future is today for 2016 winners

ConceptSystems-12-3-1511356Albany, Ore.-based Concept Systems has built a reputation as a problem-solver for its customers in the aerospace, pulp and paper, building products, food and beverage, and metals industries as well as help integration customers get the most out of their project.

The Pacific Northwest is home to airplanes and the raw materials for paper airplanes. It’s also a home for outstanding system integration. Albany, Ore.-based Concept Systems has built a reputation as a problem-solver for its customers in aerospace, pulp and paper, building products, food and beverage, and metals. Michael Gurney, president of Concept Systems, discusses his team’s success and how to help integration customers get the most out of their project in a conversation with CFE Media.

CFE Media What is the one thing plant management can do to help ensure a successful integration process?

Gurney: The most important aspect of the integration process is managing the risks; identifying and mitigating each. The types and scale of risk vary from project to project and change dynamically during the course of a project. This requires that you have a team that has the skill set and processes in place to handle them.

Partnering with a (Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Certified Integrator is a good place to start, as having processes for risk identification and mitigation is a key qualifier. Getting your integration partner engaged early in the process is the one thing that can be done to ensure success.

We understand automation projects and the inherent risks. As such, we know the right questions to ask to avoid project pitfalls. Most project risks can be identified early in the process if the right questions are asked and all the information is on the table. Like any risk in life, the earlier the risk is identified, the better it can be mitigated. With the proper planning, automation integration should be the norm. Continue Reading →

Concept Systems receives 2016 System Integrator of Year award

SIYlogo_2016Concept Systems received the 2016 System Integrator of the Year from CFE Media for its accomplishments in developing and installing complex manufacturing automation solutions for companies across a wide range of industries. The award was announced today and was presented at the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute in Chicago last month.

“We view the 2016 System Integrator of the Year award as a testament to our 80 employees who use state-of-the-art automation technologies to solve manufacturing problems,” said Michael Gurney, Concept Systems’ CEO.

Given annually by CFE Media, the award recognizes business skills, technical competence, and customer satisfaction. Winners are inducted into the System Integrator Hall of Fame. This is the second time Concept has won the award; the first was in 2007. Only two other companies were honored with the award this year.

“Concept Systems’ submission is the best I have seen in all the years of judging this competition,” said Don Roberts, principal at Exotec, LLC. “I am certain it is a good reflection of how they serve their customers.” Continue Reading →

Concept Systems named Rockwell Automation Machinery Safety Solution Partner

Microsoft Word - Unofficial Safety Logo[1].docxAlbany, Ore. (Nov. 30, 2015) – Concept Systems, a Rockwell Automation Solution Partner company specializing in manufacturing automation, vision and robotic solutions, and machinery safety, announced that it has demonstrated the requisite expertise and experience to become a Rockwell Automation Machinery Safety Solution Partner. This designation is reserved for an elite group of systems integrators that pass a thorough assessment of their safety application expertise, experience and capabilities, and show a long-term commitment to maintaining excellence in machinery safety applications. All Solution Partners, as part of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork program, have committed to an active, extensive relationship with Rockwell Automation to provide the most productive and cost-effective automation solutions for their customers.

“We are very happy to add Concept Systems as a Machinery Safety Solution Partner,” said Mark Eitzman, manager of safety market development at Rockwell Automation. “The company’s technical expertise and experience has shown that they are capable of delivering systems that improve both safety and productivity, making them a good fit in our program.” Continue Reading →