More than 100 years after the first Labor Day celebration, there is still a debate over who first proposed a day to celebrate the American worker. Was it the carpenter from New York or the machinist from New Jersey? The New Yorker suggested a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” (Link here) Despite the eloquence of the carpenter, this NJ company votes for the machinist. Either way, both sought to recognize the American worker and the dignity of labor.
As we celebrate Labor Day 2016, we can’t ignore its partner every September—‘Back to School’. And we wonder, who will teach the next generation of manufacturers? Tech schools and community colleges are partnering with local manufacturers like Sigma Design Company to give the next generation of workers the technical education and chance to start a manufacturing career in NJ. We recognize that seasoned machinists and other manufacturing tradesmen are also an integral part in this education process.
For senior workers, there might be a desire to slow down but not stop working altogether. Studs Terkel, the author of “Working”, writes “Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash…….” We think working with inventers and designers, and manufacturing right here in NJ can provide immeasurable satisfaction—and some cash.
We do honest work that leads to the creation of tangible products. As most of our work is custom and requires a multitude of talents, we’ve found that there is nothing that a group of skilled workers cannot figure out! It is that complement of training, age, and experience that makes our projects successful. We are offering experienced tradesmen an opportunity to teach their craft to the next generation of American manufacturers. If you or someone you know would like to join us, call 732-629-7555 or email Jerry Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org !
It’s hard to talk about going down to New Orleans without mentioning oysters, po’boys and beignets. But food had to take a back seat during a recent trip to the Big Easy where over 40 McDermott International employees gathered for a reunion. A street car to the Garden District brought us to Bruno’s Tavern to meet with the men who designed, fabricated, and constructed some of the largest marine equipment in the world during the 80’s & 90’s. These projects sent us to Singapore, Spain, Dubai, and our favorite assignment, the south of France. A typical project would require 18 hour days with an occasional day off with this new ‘family’ of expats. The work required supervising large groups of machinists, welders, riggers, and electricians with the task of building monstrous-sized cranes, installing deep sea platforms, and laying hundreds of miles of deep sea gas and crude pipelines.The bonds formed living and working together years ago were evident as each person shared stories from then and now. A recurring theme heard throughout the day was about the novice sent into the field, some as young as 22, without any real experience or preparation for the work and responsibility for which they were hired. They credited McDermott International, originally headquartered in New Orleans, for hiring the right people, giving you a job to do and the tools that were needed to do it, and then just leaving you alone. You were hired for your ability to work smartly and independently.
These experiences, particularly the offshore projects created the foundation that makes Sigma Design Company able to handle today’s challenging engineering projects. What an adventure it was! It was so great to see everyone! Thanks to Mike McIntosh, Rich Lockwood and Richard Smith for bringing so many of us together.
Sigma Design is proud to have recently joined the Rockwell Automation OEM Program, which is part of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork™ .
As we further develop this relationship we see opportunities to:
* Serve new market sectors.
* Improve technical competency in automation.
Sigma and Rockwell will review and perfect best practice architecture and control design for our new machines using Rockwell Automation components and consultation support services.
Pneumatic actuated, PLC controlled mechanisms can help manufacturers significantly reduce cycle times.
We are working on two such systems right now and are ready to get started on your project!
The Engineers Brew Club (EBC), which launched last summer, has already produced over 65 gallons of beer. We spend our evenings talking a lot about how a good beer is about both brewer skill and system efficiency. While certain characteristics of the beer can be predicted by the formula, it is the beer maker’s ability to control the process variables that affect the outcome. At EBC we are working to not only make good beer but to create an efficient system– as we do with all Sigma projects.
The group met this month to carefully prepare two sixtels (http://www.kegoutlet.com/what-is-a-sixtel.html) for the 6th annual Chili Cook-Off and Home Brewing Contest in Hoboken on March 1st (http://www.hobokenvolunteers.com)
In our six months we’ve brewed a Session Ale, a Baltic Porter, and the George Washington Porter. In our opinion, our best beer to date was the Baltic Porter so that will be our entry for the event. Our exclusive, all grain formulauses six types of malt and two types of hops. It is currently in its three step lagering process to develop its distinctive flavor.
The term lagering refers to the process of temperature controlled fermentation and aging that beer undergoes at cold temperatures. How long to lager is subject to debate, depending on the beer style. In five+ weeks the beer will be kegged and carbonated, just in time to submit our samples to the judges on February 14th! Wish us luck!
Sigma Design Company President Jerry Lynch was interviewed for the New Jersey Technology Council’s (NJTC) TechNews publication.
The article discusses the secret behind true innovation, changes in industrial design, Sigma’s recent projects, and a passion for “Made in NJ.”
TechNews is published 8 times per year and covers the business behind Information Technology, Life Sciences, Electronics and Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Environment and Engineering, Communications and Media.
Read the interview here: http://www.sigmadesign.net/pdf/TechNews-8-2014.pdf
Making beer: four ingredients, easy right? Like a beautifully crafted artisan loaf, beer making is both an art and a science.
While the basic formula remains the same, it’s the careful process and handling of each ingredient that creates the most memorable brews.
At Sigma Design, where we approach our design work with the same care and attention to detail, we have decided to make beer brewing our next venture.
The Engineers’ Brewing Club will brew its first batch under the direction of Sigma Design Mechanical Engineers Mike Collins and Bruce Knapp.
Bruce won the silver medal in the homebrew Witbier category at the New Jersey State Fair last year.
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At universities all over the country, scientists are churning out the research that can potentially lead to innovative new products. But many of these great ideas get stuck in academic labs because university scientists lack the business experience to develop a commercial product. Today’s universities are supporting these products further and assist in the commercialization process.
Max Perhach, Sigma certified in-house welder, works on the Ultrasonic Water Treatment System.
Montclair State University (MSU) had just such a project; a design for an ultrasonic water treatment system. The system was designed, fabricated and assembled in-house by Sigma Design. Then the system was tested for electronic and water processing at Sigma’s 20,000 sq. ft. facility.
For innovators in academia, Sigma Design provides the bridge to the business world with the experience to build the most challenging technical devices and then guide them to market. Sigma Design can assist with prototypes, manufacturing, product testing, packing & transport, and even insurance.
Dr. Meiyin Wu, a professor at MSU and the lead scientist on this venture, described her experience working with Sigma Design as an extremely pleasant and productive experience. “Sigma’s staff are highly professional with exceptional skills. Collaboration between MSU/higher education and Sigma is an example of the future of innovation,” Dr. Wu said.
The Ultrasonic Water Treatment System
Posted in Company News, Engineering, Filtration, In-house Manufacturing Capabilities, Machining, Made in New Jersey, Marine, Prototype, R&D, SIGMA Capabilities, Technology Commercialization, Welding