About Gene Kaplan
Founder and principal consultant for Performance Operations.
Gene Kaplan grew up working in a family meat packing operation in Vernon, California, learning the food business from the production floor up and out. This gave him extensive experience with the variability in Mother Nature’s products, lot traceability, inventory, lot allocations for specific customers, quality control, production and packaging control, yields, USDA, food safety, audits and more. Gene received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly, Pomona; one of the best “hands-on” engineering schools in the country.
Gene started his own engineering implementation company in 1984. Managing the company for 18 years, he was able to grow it into one of the largest control software systems integrators in California. Along the way Gene also co-founded and managed a high tech distribution company stocking and selling industrial automation products from IBM and Square D. Along with the considerable systems and operations skills developed during these years, the business lessons learned enable Gene to provide real world experience in all aspects of operating a business.
Since 2002 Gene has been leading projects as the principal consultant for Performance Operations, addressing the needs of manufacturers and distributors, typically those involved in food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, nutriceuticals, chemicals and other lot traceable industries and those requiring serialization.
Gene has worked for over 100 clients large and small, including:
Big Train (div. Kerry Group)
The Irvine Company
Ocean Spray Cranberries
Raychem (div. of Tyco)
Shell Oil Company
Wawona Frozen Foods
The following are some of the highlights of Gene’s career:
- Co-authored the Chilton Instrument Engineer’s Handbook
- Designed and proved what is believed to be the first completely computer controlled variable speed high speed glass bottling line
- Taught several instrumentation and controls courses for Instrument Society of America (ISA) conferences
- Other various speaking engagements for automation and warehousing industry
- Designed and implemented the first aseptic juice systems in North America
- Designed and implemented some of the first PC human machine interfaces to control systems
- Very early to bring advanced computer technology to the plant floor, well before Wonderware and Intellution made this the standard
- Designed automation algorithms for various PLC manufacturers
- Worked with large PLC and HMI companies to develop their systems integrator programs
- Distributor of the year for IBM’s industrial computer division for two years’ running
- Co-designed the most powerful and flexible random loading algorithms for plating lines, forming the foundation for software still in use today by the premier integrator in this space
- Co-designed the most advanced warehouse conveyor sortation algorithms for large automated distribution facilities, forming the foundation for what is today’s industry standard
- Co-designed the first software based replacement for traditional process final control element auto/manual control outside of the DCS market, again forming the foundation for what is typical today
- Co-designed some of the earliest fully configured, SQL based warehouse management systems, proving techniques that are considered best practices for today’s WMS products
- Gene has developed, led or provided oversight more than 200 projects connecting plant or warehouse floor systems to host business systems
Gene led us through the process of developing requirements, selecting vendors and software and assisting in managing the implementation process for a new Warehouse Management System. We improved many warehouse operations during the process. Gene was able to help us achieve a good result despite more than the usual amount of roadblocks which occur on these projects.
- Bob Castle, CIO/COO Roland DGA
Gene and his team have executed numerous projects for Ocean Spray over the years and have provided services in several of our plants. They were very early leaders in helping Ocean Spray apply SCADA, touchscreen, enhanced PLC controls and database technologies on our plant floor. Gene is very concerned about the details of operation and is always striving to help us improve product quality and plant efficiency. Their methods, tools and overall approach from project scope definition through project completion are second to none. I highly recommend Gene and any team he puts together for manufacturing and distribution projects.
- Duane Petersen, Plant Engineering and Technical Services Manager, Ocean Spray Cranberries