Automation Association

AUTOMATION DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A WILD RIDE.

 
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OUR TEAM WILL BE THERE TO HANDLE EVERY TWIST AND TURN.

In the automation process, there are lots things that can throw you off schedule. At the Automation Association, we have the expertise to navigate the complexities of manufacturing, and get your product to market on time and on budget. We’ll work closely with you right out of the chute to identify and implement the best solutions for your company and we stay on top of every detail throughout the process.

Great products aren’t just the result of great ideas. They’re also the result of great manufacturing strategies. That’s where the Automation Association can help your company. We are a virtual network of more than 200 engineers, scientists, and machine builders focused on developing proprietary products, processes, and technology solutions for manufacturing. Our disciplined approach to project management allows us to assist our clients in the successful launch of new products and remediation of existing manufacturing processes. 

Based in Minnesota, our firm is successfully delivering custom factory automation to industry leaders around the country. Our project management skills, coupled with our comprehensive manufacturing technology base, provide state-of-the-art solutions to a wide range of industries. Our association structure grew from close relationships with leading manufacturing suppliers. Over the past 25 years we have built a network of seasoned professionals that understand the concept of "getting it done".  We have the resources to assemble experts to help solve automation problems and create solutions for manufacturing anywhere in the country.  We serve as a manufacturer's representative for BCS-AIS Machine Building Division, Thermex Thermatron LP, and Productive Systems. In addition, we maintain a database stable of suppliers with off-the-shelf technology for specific process applications. In short, we have the people and experience to take the reins of your project from start to finish. 

PRINCIPAL CONSULTANTS

ALLAN D. HAMMEL

With over 25 years of experience in automation engineering, Allan has developed, and is President of, a consulting service to Fortune 100 companies on strategic and project issues for optimization of internal engineering resource, design and build of automated factories, process analytics and turnarounds. Programs typically under management range from $40,000 to a high of $85 million. He has assembled a developmental team to create PathQuest™, a software program to optimize the use of knowledge and resources within the realm of engineering -providing, in a short time frame, practical answers in project, technology and resource management. He holds a University of Minnesota Institute of Technology BS in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

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JOHN F. KISTNER

John Kistner has a total of almost 40 years experience as a research scientist in industry. He spent over 30 years at 3M in Product Development, specializing in coatings of all types. He has also served as a Technical Director at W.R. Meadows Inc., and performed research at Johnson and Johnson, Lipton Tea, and at the American Standard laboratories. He has a very broad background of successful projects, which include assignments that are both technical and managerial. Dr. Kistner has a successful track record for taking a project all the way from the idea stage through development, prototyping, testing, scale up, manufacturing, and successful commercialization. He has authored over 20 patents, covering cationic photo polymerized coatings, hydrophilic polymers, photographic coatings, UV-free radical coatings, abrasive resistant coatings, low energy (repellent) coatings, stain resistant coatings, and coatings for fillers that lower viscosity. At 3M, he has held positions as Manager of Research and Development of a group of 50 scientists, and as a Senior Research Specialist. Among other degrees he holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Purdue University.

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DALE A. HINTSALA P.E.

With 40 years experience in the design of heavy industrial mineral and material processing facilities, Dale managed NORAMCO Engineering Corporation in providing process and detail design services for basic and industrial mineral processing facilities and pulp and paper clients throughout the United States and at select international sites. Projects vary from concept studies to projects with values in excess of $50,000,000. Education: Michigan Technological University, B. S. Civil Engineering. Organizations: Registered Professional Engineer Minnesota, Michigan; Iron Mining Association MN Director; National Society of Professional Engineers – Member; Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers – Member; Society for Mining, Metallurgical, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc. (SME) Member.

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PIOTR CZAPIEWSKI

Piotr has over 16 years of progressive project management and engineering experience in the areas of enterprise integration, plant floor automation, industrial controls and special machine building for continuous and discrete manufacturing systems and processes. Providing engineering consulting services focusing on design, development, deployment and analysis of manufacturing systems whose behavior is largely determined or controlled by computers (ECBS - Engineering of Computer Based Systems). Superior leadership skills that fit with the team environment required for complex projects. Expertise in successfully managing all aspects of engineering projects from research and design through training and implementation. He is President of Manufacturing Systems Solutions, an organization dedicated to providing solutions, methods, techniques and tools for the engineering of computer based manufacturing systems. Holds a Master of Science in Systems Science and Mathematics Degree from Washington University.

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WM. TODD BEDWELL

A Professional Engineer with twenty-five years of experience in custom automation, product, and process development. Highly technical and innovative with excellent communication and project management skills, demonstrated by a proven track record of successfully delivering multi-million dollar projects on time and on budget.  Some of the more notable multi-million dollar systems successfully developed, with an average system delivery of one year are highlighted on his resume.

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DAVID M. BAKER

A proven automation and process development engineer with over 30 years of experience in commercialization of products.  Dave brings a wealth of experience gained from working with large organizations and also possess the entrepreneurial skills needed to fast track projects.  With an extensive background across multiple industries, a diverse and deep skill set is available to draw upon and are highlighted on his resume.

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TIM EDMAN

His expertise is in web handling analysis and the design of web lines with over 40 years of experience in this field.  Tim also has a strong background in process control implementation for improving process performance, and in lean manufacturing to improve process efficiency.  He has led multiple project teams in implementing new processes and technologies across a broad spectrum of film based products.  Tim hold several US and International patents.

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DR. MARVIN S. SEPPANEN P.E.

Marvin Seppanen, owner and principal consultant of Productive Systems, has extensive experience in manufacturing simulation. Analyzing the needs of industrial organizations, applying modern industrial engineering techniques, and presenting the results of such studies to management are Marvin’s specialties. Through his technology, Productive System has the tools and experience to develop and document a plan for improving operational and manufacturing performance. Productive Systems will work with the firm’s management to develop the required data and plans in the most cost effective manner. Dr. Seppanen has broad experience in manufacturing system design with an emphasis on throughput capacity, labor cost, inventory cost, and production flexibility. He has worked with a wide variety of operations, including: manufacturing systems (wafer fabrication, high high-speed packaging, JIT receiving, check printing, and automotive assembly), airlines, commercial laundry, army personnel and underground coal mines. Prior to forming his own company Dr. Seppanen has held positions in various government and private companies. His multiple degrees include a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

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ROGER E. WORM

Backed by 20 years of experience in consulting to Fortune 500 companies, Roger works with companies to solve problems and drive product advancements with skills in product management, plastic conversion, materials compounding, food packaging and product development including material selection, process and design. He was formerly General Manager of Aspen Research Corporation in St. Paul, MN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Andersen Windows. Education: University of Minnesota Bachelor of Science in Business, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Organizations: Society of Plastics Engineers, ASTM, Chamber of Commerce.

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DEAN A. SHAFER P.E.

Dean is a consultant in Automated Manufacturing with a long professional record, including 37 years with 3M, serving in multiple roles: Automated Assembly Core Technology Leader; Manager of the Automation Technologies Department; and Division Engineering Manager of the Photo Color Systems Engineering Department, managing a team of engineering professionals. He is experienced in design engineering, project engineering and management with responsibility for many projects costing in excess of $10 million. Experience includes coating systems for both solvent and aqueous solutions, web handling, fluid handling, non-woven manufacturing, extruding, plastic injection molding, converting, assembly and special machine design. He has eighteen years of experience in the management of an engineering department with responsibility for the development and implementation of automated assembly systems. Experience includes both conventional and advanced state-of-the-art high volume assembly of medical, photographic, abrasives, office and other products.

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TOM DUFRESNE

Tom’s credentials include 40 years of production and management experience at the Plant, Regional and National levels at Deluxe Corporation. His varied background from production to engineering research and development has proven to be beneficial in problem solving and productivity improvement. He co-designed the Check manufacturing process and layout used by Current Check Printers. This system has since been installed in all Deluxe Check Printing facilities. He advocates a process of ongoing improvement using Goldratt’s “Theory of Management by Restrictive Constraints.” He is a specialist in process improvement, work flow planning, small quantity printing, converting and plant management.

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BRUCE KRAMER

A 3M Geologist/Geo Engineer for over 40 years, he has worked extensively in the areas of environmental and economic geology.  This included work in ground water supply, ground water modeling, soil and ground water contamination evaluation and site remediation.  Bruce did extensive Industrial Minerals exploration,  quarry planning and reclamation, and Industrial Minerals process engineering for the Industrial Mineral Products Division of 3M.  Bruce is a Certified Professional Geologist (AIPG #4450), a registered Geologist in the state of Minnesota, and he is a 40+ year member of SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc.).

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CARSTEN FRANKE

With over 20 years of experience in product development and manufacturing technology for oriented plastic films and film based products, and as a certified SixSigma Black Belt (3M) Carsten can contribute to the building of a product from inception to final stage launch.  His proven innovative methods are documented in over 30 patent applications and he holds several US and International patents.  Carsten is a plastic film expert and can work in any environment with success.

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