Category Archive: Insights

Reaching 25 Years is Worth Celebrating

Jerry Lynch was a young engineer working as the Manager of Engineering for Hayward Industrial Products in Elizabeth. His wife, Debbie Lynch was an associate professor at a local college where she ran a culinary program. They began looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity, ideally one that might merge their expertise in food + engineering. It almost happened on Long Island where they found a marina with a boatyard and a spot for a small restaurant. They continued to look for their shot at a ‘mom & pop’ while working their day jobs. They looked at other marinas, an industrial hoist company, and even a few restaurants.

In his role at Hayward, Jerry would occasionally outsource engineering design work to a business in Union founded in 1962 by three Lebanese American siblings, the original Sigma Design Company. One day a retirement conversation turned into an offer, and in 1999, the Lynch’s bought Sigma Design Company from the Abrahams, the founders.

This year we celebrate 25 years in business, a business that bears little resemblance to the first tiny office in Union NJ.  In 1999, it was a drafting and design business that was unfortunately seeing more and more design work being sent overseas. Jerry knew that a pivot would be essential to staying in business, so Sigma added design/build to its offerings. Sigma quickly outgrew its second space in Springfield, even after adding a trailer behind the building. We began to look for a larger manufacturing space.

In October of 2011, Sigma Design Company purchased a 20,000 sq ft building in Middlesex, NJ, a leap of faith and a move made during an unseasonal snowfall. The offices up front were a messy warren of smelly, fake wood paneling, and clutter. The dark manufacturing space behind it was cavernous. It had been a former book binding printing company. With the help of CLS Project Solutions, (their first project was our new space!) the office space was renovated. Jerry’s vision for the manufacturing space was to create self-contained manufacturing work cells for new products. We needed well-equipped, safe workspaces for machining, welding, a UL panel shop and assembly. To make any of that happen, we needed to recruit, train, and retain the best technical employees possible. Sigma has been very fortunate to have assembled one of the most creative and skilled engineering and manufacturing teams in the business. On March 9th, 2024, the Sigma team and guests gathered at a dinner party to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sigma Design Company. Cheers to the next 25!



New Industrial Product Release Differential Pressure Alarm System

A New Differential Pressure Alarm System With Communications Module Model DPC-4570

Differential Pressure Alarm Panel


The new SIGMA DP Alarm Panel is ready to satisfy your Differential Pressure monitoring needs. The Differential Pressure (DP) Alarm Panel is a simple, easy to install and configure solution to monitor the pressure drop across a filtration media or other pressure sensitive processes. It is suitable for liquid and gas process systems.

Using our HMI Touch Screen, the user can easily:

Monitor inlet/outlet pressure on a continuously updating display with 0.1 PSI accuracy both locally and remote.

  • Dynamically adjust the DP alarm setpoint.
  • Monitor the current DP up to 20 PSID. A red LED stack light will turn on when the current DP pressure exceeds the setpoint value. The light can be configured to turn on solid or blink.
  • An optional audible alarm module can be added for non-visual indication. Additionally, a “dry” set of relay contacts will close (Ø1, 6A, 250 VAC). These contacts can be used to power ancillary equipment or remotely communicate with other industrial systems.

Why Monitoring Differential Pressure is Crucial in Process Applications:

Safety: Differential pressure measurement can also play a vital role in ensuring the safety of a process. By monitoring pressure differentials, operators can take immediate action to prevent accidents, equipment damage, and potential harm to personnel.

Efficiency: By monitoring differential pressure with the SIGMA DP Alarm Panel, you can assess the efficiency of the fluid process and identify potential issues such as blockages, leaks, or flow restrictions. This information can help optimize the process to ensure that it operates at its maximum efficiency.

Quality Control: In industries where precise control of fluid flow is essential for maintaining product quality, monitoring differential pressure becomes critical. Deviations in pressure can indicate changes in the composition, viscosity, or density of the fluid being processed, which can affect the quality of the end product. Regular monitoring with the SIGMA DP Alarm Panel allows for quick detection and correction of any issues that might compromise product quality.

Process Control: Many industrial processes require precise control of fluid flow rates to achieve desired outcomes. Using the SIGMA DP Alarm Panel, operators can adjust control valves and other equipment to maintain the desired pressure differentials, thus ensuring that the process operates within the specified parameters.

Equipment Health Monitoring: Changes in differential pressure can often signal equipment wear and tear or clogging. By regularly monitoring pressure differentials across filters, heat exchangers, and other components, maintenance teams can schedule preventive maintenance activities, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and downtime.

Energy Efficiency: In systems where pumps and compressors are used to maintain fluid flow, monitoring differential pressure with the SIGMA DP Alarm Panel can help optimize energy consumption.

Regulatory Compliance: Is your industry subject to strict standards related to process conditions? Differential pressure measurement can provide documentation of compliance by demonstrating that pressure differentials are being maintained within specified ranges.

Troubleshooting: When an issue arises in a process, differential pressure measurement can provide valuable diagnostic information. The SIGMA DP Alarm Panel can detect sudden changes in pressure, which can help operators identify the location and nature of the problem, enabling faster troubleshooting and resolution.


Design and Manufacturing by Sigma Design Company

At Sigma Design Company, we recognize that monitoring differential pressure in process applications is essential for maintaining process efficiency, ensuring product quality, ensuring safety, controlling processes, monitoring equipment health, optimizing energy usage, complying with regulations, and troubleshooting issues. We have designed and manufactured the SIGMA DP Alarm Panel to provide critical insights that enable operators to make informed decisions and take timely actions to keep the process running smoothly and safely.

Let Sigma Design Company be your

One Stop Shop for Engineering Solutions. 

Ag-Tech System Design Tips

Odds are, if you’re exploring technological approaches to an agricultural problem, others are facing the same difficulty. The challenge, however, is turning an answer to that issue into a product or system that works as expected and is practical to produce and implement. Designing and manufacturing a successful Ag-Tech solution can result in improvements in efficiency, productivity, safety, and more. Partnering with an experienced product design and development team throughout the process can help ensure a robust, fully functional, cost-effective product or system that meets or exceeds your requirements and solves a common problem.

Choose the Right Technology

Ag-Tech products embrace the application of new techniques and materials with existing technologies to create innovative approaches to both ongoing and newly identified problems in agricultural environments. Each resulting product will depend on the problem it solves and the available tools, systems, hardware, software, equipment, technology, and implementation environments through which it must work. Many solutions can be grouped into larger categories of technologies, which include the following:

  • Biotechnology: Genetic engineering and traditional techniques to modify crop and livestock breeding and growth
  • Software, Robotics, and Mechanization: Data gathering, farm management, drones, automation, and other processes for gathering and using data and utilizing computerized systems for agricultural purposes
  • Bioenergy, Biomaterials, and New Approaches to Farming: Biomass operations, cannabis production, aquaculture, and non-traditional product farming
  • Supply Chain and Marketplace Innovations: Food processing, transport, and logistics improvements, purchasing, selling, and trading opportunities, and online activities

Concept Stage: Preliminary Investigation

Understanding the product development process can help ensure better designs, reduced costs, and more satisfaction throughout the process and with the final results. Our contribution to the Ag-Tech process begins with your idea. Whether you have a full-fledged design, a rough sketch, a verbal description, or some combination of those, we will work with you to render a 3D model of it. This visualization of your concept offers opportunities to explore such aspects as:

  • Feasibility: Addressing such concerns as whether the concept is workable, what materials and fabrication techniques are needed, and whether its production is cost-effective.
  • Suitability: Investigating whether a product is a reasonable solution to the problem it is designed to solve.
  • Quality and Functionality: Checking whether the product or system will work as intended, and what modifications or additional features might add value and capabilities

Based on this information, we can determine preliminary manufacturing costs for your product. We then present the 3D modeling, material selection, cost information, and manufacturing details to you for review.

Technical Feasibility Stage

Any time a concept is brought to life, a variety of challenges and obstacles exist between that idea and its actualization. We work closely with you from idea through delivery to overcome such concerns as:

  • Design modifications
  • Added, adjusted, or eliminated functionality
  • Compliance with health, safety, and industry requirements and regulations
  • Costs of materials
  • Costs of manufacturing, including labor and assembly
  • Delivery and logistics concerns
  • Market forecasting
  • Setting manufacturing production schedules to meet your needs

Manufacturing Stage

Upon approval, your Ag-Tech product enters the manufacturing phase which includes production, inspection, testing, and monitoring to ensure your design’s approved standards of quality and functionality are met. Once your manufactured products meet your specific design requirements, they undergo a final inspection and any accompanying materials, such as warranties, manuals, and other documentation are finalized. At last, these materials and your finished products are delivered or distributed to you.

From your initial contact with us through final delivery, our goals are always to communicate clearly and collaborate fully with you during the entire process. This way, we ensure our processes and procedures fulfill your product objectives.

Ag-Tech System Design Tips From Sigma Design Co.

At Sigma Design Co., our extensive experience and knowledgeable teams combined with our well-equipped design, engineering, and manufacturing facilities ensure your Ag-Tech products and ideas can be realized in ways that meet or exceed your requirements and satisfy your project timeline in the most cost-effective way possible. With one-stop product development solutions to bring your concept to life, we offer the robust, convenient design and manufacturing services your product deserves. Contact us today to learn more about our full capabilities or to request a quote for your next project.

Innovations in Industrial Water Filtration Systems: The Future of Water Treatment Technologies

Water purity is critical to various industries, including power generation, food and beverage processing, and pharmaceutical production. Sigma Design Co. has developed patented technologies and collaborative research that make us a leader in water treatment innovation. Technological advances in filtration technology are vital to meeting the increasingly complex demands of industrial applications and environmental regulations.

In this blog, we will explore water treatment technologies, including current challenges and innovations changing the industrial water filtration landscape. These technologies include nanofiltration, advanced membrane filtration, and emerging AI-driven filtration systems.

Innovations in Industrial Water Filtration Systems: The Future of Water Treatment Technologies

The Landscape of Water Treatment Technologies: A Brief HistoryIndustrial Water Filter

Early in the industrial age, gravel and sand filtration were a common means of water purification. These simple filtration systems could not remove microscopic contaminants, were not energy-efficient, and required frequent manual maintenance.

In the late 20th century, basic reverse osmosis and activated carbon filtration revolutionized water filtration, providing improved filtration, but the technology still had limitations compared to today’s water purification methods. Increasing sustainability goals and environmental regulations have prompted the need for even better filtration solutions.

The Current Challenges in Water Treatment Technologies

Traditional water treatment technologies waste large amounts of water and energy. They rely on brines and chemicals that must be disposed of after use, leading to environmental concerns. Traditional water treatment systems also require frequent maintenance, replacement parts, and high operational costs.

Current regulations demand water treatment technologies deliver higher water quality while reducing environmental impacts. Traditional water treatment technologies can no longer meet these increasing demands.

The Role of Sigma Design Co. in Revolutionizing Water Treatment

Since 1999, Sigma Design Co. has been working in the water treatment industry to deliver filtration devices and media for:

  • Solid and liquid matter separation
  • Water treatment systems
  • Industrial filtration systems
  • Modeling and analysis of flow
  • Filter housings (ASME VIII)
  • Filter component design and commercialization
  • And other solutions

Sigma Design’s solutions provide automated control and real-time monitoring for filtration systems. We have adopted advanced membrane filtration technologies to deliver filtration with increased efficiency. In addition, we design our systems to minimize water waste and energy consumption, which supports sustainability and regulatory compliance.

The Road Ahead: Future Trends in Water Treatment Technologies

Several trends are emerging in the water treatment industry, such as the development of nanofiltration, bioremediation, and new reverse osmosis membranes. Nanofiltration is an energy-efficient and high-precision method of filtration. Bioremediation is also emerging as a technique to purify water using natural processes. Researchers are developing new reverse osmosis membranes that can offer improved filtration efficiency, and machine learning algorithms that can predict maintenance issues and optimize system performance are in the early testing stages.

Embrace the Future of Industrial Water Filtration Today at Sigma Design Co.!

Water filtration is critical to a range of industries. From the early days of sand and gravel filtration to modern water purification systems monitored by IoT and AI technologies, industrial water filtration has changed drastically to meet the evolving demands of industrial applications.

Sigma Design Company is a leader in water treatment technologies, leveraging advanced technologies to solve our clients’ most challenging problems. Since our founding in 1999, we have delivered more than 1,000 successful design and build projects and continue to help our clients save with creative solutions. Contact us to speak with a team member about our advanced water filtration solutions.

Snack Inspired Machinery

There’s a good chance that if you are a snacker, you have tasted a ‘popped’ chip. These snacks can be sweet, savory, or salty bites derived from corn, rice, potato, chickpeas or other combinations of starches. The starches are formed into micro pellets, which are then “popped” using high temperature and pressure to create snack ‘chips’. Since no frying or baking is required, a popped snack gives the impression of being a healthier choice. While that’s a discussion for another time, we do know that the snack business is expected to grow steadily as consumers look for variety in their snack options. Competition among producers for space in the snack aisle is fierce. With that, the equipment needed to produce a quality product to meet that demand is critical. Currently, most of the equipment manufacturers are located in Europe or Asia.

Sigma Design’s Engineered Solution

A local U.S. business contacted Sigma Design Company to inquire about manufacturing a better pop machine, here in the U.S. The company was finding it difficult to meet demand with their existing machinery and was desperate for design improvements. This project required the type of unique and custom problem-solving solutions for which Sigma Design Company is known. The Sigma team knew their design experience would create a machine with improved operator access and result in cycle time reduction, increased chip output, and reduced changeover time. After many months of discussion and hammering out the details, the customer was still reluctant to take that ‘leap of faith’. We get it. Companies come to Sigma Design Company to solve difficult and confounding design problems. Each one is a custom project and often not easy. Convinced that the snack machine had potential, Jerry Lynch, owner of Sigma Design Company said we seem to be at a stand-off here, let’s make this machine even though the customer was not yet all in and prove we have the skills they need.

Hydraulic Power Unit

Pop Chip Dies

Testing has begun on the newly completed “Chip Popping Press”, a single station, self-contained, hydraulically and pneumatically driven heated food press. The press is designed to produce different sized triangular and circular shaped chips by easily changing die packs and dosing plates.
It’s time for a follow up snack chat with our customer!

Join Us at the Design2Part Show in the Meadowlands!

We Will Be At Meadowlands Exposition Center Secaucus, NJ April 26 & 27, 2023

D2P Show 2023

Drop by our Sigma Design booth #341

Design2Part Show

April 26 & 27 at 09:30-15:00

Meadowlands Exposition Center

Secaucus, NJ

Come learn more about our design, manufacturing, and assembly solutions. We are a one-stop shop and can deliver your product from beginning to end. We have handled over 1,000 design/build projects over the span of 20 years with experience in multiple brands and industries. From medical devices to food processing equipment, our team is ready to help.

For over 20 years, Sigma Design Company has relieved our customers’ stress by delivering products on time and on budget without sacrificing quality. A one-stop engineering and manufacturing specialist that knows the hidden hazards that stall projects and bust budgets. Contact Us today to get started.

Art Fabrication

In her third collaboration with Sigma Design Company, ceramics artist Rebecca Manson created “Crowded Bed”, a landscape sculpture featuring a riot of delicate, ceramic flowers balanced upon graceful, metal branches made from tubular stainless steel. Each stem was torched, twisted, and arched to replicate its fluidity in nature. Every flower was hand crafted by Manson, with each one displaying amazing botanical detail. Working with Sigma Design Company’s fabrication team, the artist spent hours placing over 300 delicate ceramic blossoms on the stems. The team worked on creating a sense of movement within the sculpture, replicating the way plants will move with a breeze or turn toward the sun.

The sculpture was a custom creation for the winery, Donum Estate in Sonoma, California, The prestigious Donum Collection is one of the world’s largest accessible private sculpture collections.



Manson worked with the landscape architects at Donum to build a fluid relationship between its context (the cutting garden) and the sculpture. Donum is all about bringing together wine, nature, and art. “The wine enhances the art, the art enhances the wine, with nature being the backbone of the whole experience. To me this piece is all about the senses, and Donum is truly the perfect home for it”, says Manson.

So how does an artist get from concept to fabrication? Manson called Sigma Design Company. When asked how working with Sigma helped her overall practice as an artist, Manson replied, “It’s been an incredibly rewarding collaboration. It’s liberating and empowering to incorporate logic and scientific thinking into my practice. Mystery can lead to anxiety when I’m figuring out new things, sometimes. Sigma helps me to unlock the mysteries and therefore feel much more in control.”

Creating enough structural strength without sacrificing movement was an artistic and engineering challenge. Continuous testing of the stems; their geometry, and their ability to hold varying weights of blooms was one such ‘mystery’ that Sigma Design Company was able to solve for the artist.

From industrial design to art fabrication, let Sigma Design Company be your one stop engineering design and fabrication partner!
Links to 2 other projects by the artist:

‘Come Closer’ Arriving in Tribeca Park

Gutter, 2021 by Rebecca Manson

Ag-tech and Food Processing- Sigma Can Help You Grow Your Next Idea

Sigma Design Company has extensive experience in designing, developing, optimizing, and manufacturing equipment for clients in the demanding Ag-tech and Food Processing industries. Whether you are looking for a solution aimed at the fast-growing ag-tech indoor vertical farms sector, or developing a product for the food processing industry, Sigma will leverage our years of experience to take your concept from an idea to finished product – on time and on budget.

Sigma Design collaborated with a multinational food and beverage giant to develop a nutrient dosing system for their newly developed indoor hydroponic agriculture farm. We used our extensive background in fluid handling systems across many industries to perfect a water and nutrient dosing system in a well-packaged and well-engineered skid to fit the final dimensional layout required at their facilities. Pumps were selected after Sigma Design reviewed components suggested by our customer; our background helped us optimize some components to better fit expected operating conditions. Services Performed: Fluid handling skid design, component selection and optimization, metal fabrication, hydrostatic pressure testing, design optimization.

Precision Fabrication at SIGMA DESIGN COMPANY

When you are developing new products, details matter.  That’s when you might need a team of professionals to help. At Sigma Design Company, a One-Stop Design, Engineering, and Manufacturing resource, we are known for precision in the fabrication of new products.  One glance at our well-equipped welding workspace or the machining station tells the story of our commitment to precision, quality, and working through those challenging details.  With over 1,000 completed projects, we have assembled a team with a wide variety of skills and competencies.  We’re told that it is the variety of projects that keeps the work interesting to our team, and with that interest comes creativity.  Our customers rely on that creativity to forge solutions to their product challenges.

We recognize that interesting, creative work must also be supported by training and investments in technology.  We have invested in training and certifying our welding team. Our welders are AWS and ASME certified for GTAW, SMAW, GMAW welding of aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel.  Recently Sigma invested in updating its welding technologies in order to produce high end fabricated products for our customers.

To see the results of our investments in action, please view the following fabrication video. The careful application of honed skills and a look at the final product are worth watching until the end!

Novel, new products are conceived, designed, engineered, and manufactured – right here in the USA – at Sigma Design Company’s 20,000 sq ft. corporate, state of the art facility in Middlesex, New Jersey.

We can hammer out your details today!  Let’s talk!

Finding Ways to Stay Competitive

NJ Manufacturers Continue to Look for Ways to Compete Across the Globe Despite Challenges New and Old.

By Jim Pytell, Managing Editor  •  From the March 2022 issue of New Jersey Business Magazine

The manufacturing industry has deep historical roots that run throughout New Jersey. In fact, while it is known as the Garden State, New Jersey is actually home to what was the first planned industrial city in America: Paterson. As such, the state played a key role in the start of the American Industrial Revolution, and to this day, manufacturing is still a vital part of New Jersey’s economic prowess.

Home to more than 9,000 manufacturing businesses, including some 2,000 more when considering its STEM and engineering firms, New Jersey’s manufacturing industry employs nearly 340,000 residents, according to data from the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP). Additionally, in 2021, the industry contributed $54.4 billion, or nearly 10%, to the state’s GDP.
However, while manufacturers in New Jersey were deemed essential businesses at the start of the pandemic two
years ago, they were not immune to the challenges brought on and amplified by COVID-19.

“Collaboration and participation will be essential for any business looking to grow [in 2022],” says John Kennedy, CEO of NJMEP. “As supply chain disruptions, cyberthreats, workforce shortages,
and financial pressures remain, only the strategic, productive and efficient will thrive.”

Supply Chain

One of the newest and most significant challenges that manufacturers face today is the disruption to the supply chain.

Kennedy says that manufacturers will likely need to prepare for a year where supply chain disruptions remain
constant until at least the latter half of 2022, with US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo being quoted in November saying that US supply chains will take “some number of months” to normalize.

“We are no different than anyone else,” says Gerard Lynch, CEO of Middlesex-based Sigma Design Company.
“We have seen delays, specifically on electronics and automated components that are almost exclusively made in Asia. They have gone from two-to-four week delivery cycles to 24-plus week delivery cycles.”

Lynch adds that last year, Sigma even lost two separate million dollar specialty food equipment development projects solely due to lead times out of its control.

“Those were body blow punches,” he says. “We are now spending a lot more time on expediting purchase orders and anticipating project needs. We are even taking the risk of building increased inventory levels on some of the long lead items such as programmable logic controllers and touch screens, for example, in order to have a buffer stock.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, some manufacturers decided to take matters into their own hands when
items such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer were in high demand.

Chris Gallo, general manager of Linden-based Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery,says that the company’s on-site refinery lab began producing its own sanitizer solution to help keep employees safe until
external supplies were made available.

“More recently, we had difficulties getting a chemical component needed for the making of polypropylene, an in-demand polymer resin we produce at Bayway that is actually used in COVID-19 PPE. Again, our workforce was resourceful, and an alternate supplier was found, allowing for production to continue uninterrupted,”
Gallo says. “We have [continued to] work to find alternative supply sources for supply-constrained products that are needed for our refinery operations.”

Workforce Development

Kennedy explains that a lack of industry engagement over the years and a culture that steered students away from exploring industrial careers created a skills gap in manufacturing, one that could result in 2.1 million unfilled US manufacturing jobs by 2030, according to a 2021 study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

He says that manufacturers must begin getting creative about how they invest in training, recruiting and retention.

“We want to grow, and [to do so] we need to find talent,” Lynch adds.

He says that Sigma Design works with NJMEP and vo-tech training to find and train machinists and welders who go to school while also receiving on the job training via “learn while you earn.” The company has also worked with Stevens Institute of Technology for more than 15 years via co-ops with its engineering program.

“At Bayway, we regularly recruit from major universities for our professional positions such as, for example, chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineers. Additionally, we hire maintenance and operations personnel for jobs that do not require 4-year degrees,” Gallo adds. “We work in cooperation with various trade schools, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Middlesex County College’s Process Technology program to look for the best candidates.”


“The biggest challenge for us as a Northeast refiner is staying competitive relative to other US and
international refineries,” Gallo says. “Refineries in this region face higher labor costs, and ever-increasing legislative constraints in an already highly regulated industry.”

He adds that New Jersey has historically been supportive of manufacturing operations, with regulators helpful to companies with permit requirements and compliance.

“It’s no secret New Jersey has high taxes and environmental regulations that are more stringent than most other states,” Gallo continues. “We support policies that balance economic, environmental and energy security needs, [but] we would also like to see the state focus on regulatory solutions that fit our specific New Jersey manufacturing situations.”

Nationally, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, which at press time has passed in the House, could be a critical boost to manufacturing across the country, and help bolster the international competitiveness of US companies.

The bill aims to increase US competitiveness across the globe, specifically with China, and to address the country’s shortage of semiconductors by strengthening the country’s supply chain.

Lynch calls the bill a “hot ticket for manufacturing.”

Overall, manufacturers will continue to need to be proactive in how they handle tackling the various issues they face today.

Evolution is key.

“Supply chain disruptions, inflation and a turbulent workforce are all going to be critical factors that will determine if a business can succeed,” Kennedy says. “Without evolving, a manufacturing operation will not be able to continue growing.”