Shop Management Articles

Shop management encompasses everything from strategic planning to the nuts and bolts of statistical process control. Whether you're an executive, manager, or supervisor, you'll find articles about overcoming challenges and struggles just like yours.

Filter Content

Metal fabrication meets a seller’s market

February 18, 2015

By:

Manufacturing is cool again, and fabricators wanting to sell their business are benefiting from a seller’s market. Nevertheless, high revenue concentration, a shallow talent pool, poor cash flow, reliance on sales from a single sector, and other factors still throw up red flags.

Continue Reading

Why buy new tooling for a sheet metal hand brake?

February 17, 2015

By:

When bending with a hand brake, you can use the tooling that came with the machine, but investing in a tool with a radius on the punch nose has its benefits.

Continue Reading

Are you imprisoned by your information technology?

February 17, 2015

By:

With rapid application deployment platforms, software can be tailored to an individual company's needs in a very short time frame.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Table-driven models

February 16, 2015

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis shows why using a design table makes sense for those models in which reasonably limited changes take place.

Continue Reading

Welding technician and welding technologist—what’s the difference?

February 12, 2015

By:

Technician, technologist—just semantics, or is there a marked difference between the two? In welding, there is a definite difference.

Continue Reading

An exit strategy for the metal fabrication job shop owner

February 3, 2015

By:

In their book Cashing Out of Your Business, authors Kathleen Richardson-Mauro and Jane M. Johnson tackle not just the nuts and bolts of selling an enterprise—revenue concentration, profitability, health of the market—but also the personal elements. When an owner sells a business, his or her life changes in a dramatic way.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Metal marking

January 28, 2015

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis walks the CAD operator through the process of creating a drill index.

Continue Reading

The hiring question in metal fabrication: Experience or potential?

January 28, 2015

By:

Should you hire people with experience or rookies with good potential? It depends on the situation, but training and developing the inexperienced has become more important than ever. There just aren’t enough people with experience to go around.

Continue Reading

Metal fabricators spend big to build capacity

January 22, 2015

By:

Overall projected capital spending growth has slowed from the dramatic rebound seen postrecession, but the growth continues, especially in capacity-building equipment.

Continue Reading

The capacity dilemma in custom metal fabrication

January 20, 2015

By:

During this long, slow economic recovery, there’s plenty of churn in the market. Customers are less hesitant to change suppliers to get what they want. In this environment, having insufficient capacity has become very risky.

Continue Reading

Rethinking the production meeting

January 12, 2015

By:

Metal fabricators are better at manufacturing than holding meetings, but some sort of regularly occurring production meeting is needed to get everyone on the same page. Several fabricators offer their opinions as to what works best for them in their production powwow.

Continue Reading

Improving quality through good change: Metcam tackles kaizen

January 9, 2015

By:

All manufacturers seek to improve processes and ROI. Alpharetta, Ga.-based Metcam, a fabricator of sheet metal components and assemblies, has seen significant improvement since beginning its kaizen initiative in late 2013. What follows is the company’s blueprint for kaizen success.

Continue Reading

Flying high at FABTECH

January 8, 2015

By:

More than 30,000 visited the FABTECH 2014, a show that had several dominant themes: skilled labor, intuitive manufacturing technology, and supply chain collaboration.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Surface modeling techniques

December 18, 2014

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis guides the reader through some of the CAD tricks necessary to create a 3-D model of a series of drill bits.

Continue Reading

New squeezes on the small metal fabricator

December 18, 2014

By:

The custom fabrication market is changing as more customers—with a single-minded focus on price—stipulate new performance demands for quality, delivery, service, responsiveness, and payment terms. Should custom fabricators rethink how they are structured and how they operate to offset what could be fatal weaknesses?

Continue Reading