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.
June 22, 2016
It’s been quite a run. Over the past four years many FAB 40 companies have reported big revenue gains. In 2015, not so much, at least on average. Sales at some big companies either held steady or declined somewhat, mainly thanks to weak markets that by now every fabricator knows about: oil and...
June 20, 2016
Columnist Gerald Davis reviews the use of equations, configurations, design tables, and specific modeling tools for creating 3-D models of paper and cake.
June 17, 2016
SixAxis, a fabricator of safety platforms, portable stairs, and other industrial products, developed its own software with quoting, customer relationship management, and product configuration features. According to sources, software changed the customer buying experience, which in turn helped the company quintuple in size over six years.
June 15, 2016
IMS Engineered Products’ revenue has increased by 45 percent during the past five years. How? The fabricator is part of a larger organization, IMS Companies, with diverse revenue streams coming from gear manufacturing, stamping, electrical harness assembly, and more. But IMS’s story of growth really boils down to a straightforward strategy: quick response.
June 15, 2016
Ironform Corp. formed in 2013 after Wynnchurch Capital purchased two large metal fabricators. But Ironform’s story is more about scaling up metal fabrication through acquisition. It’s about adapting the principles of lean manufacturing to custom metal fabrication—on a large scale.
June 15, 2016
General Sheet Metal Works has experienced double-digit growth in recent years. For a $70 million operation, that’s saying something. And yet, the company has few growing pains to speak of—thanks to a new business structure that has made scaling up much easier.
June 9, 2016
If you need more workers and you’re having a difficult time finding them, perhaps you should explore equipment options that can mitigate the need for more help. For example, some welding tables can eliminate the need for extra hands.
June 3, 2016
Keeping all employees engaged all the time isn’t easy, but the benefits are substantial. Ultimately, such engagement unleashes employee talent.
June 2, 2016
Power hammers are pieces of equipment that hark back to the earliest days of metal fabricating. Today’s power hammers allow fabricators to lean on the technology, not purely on brawn, to deliver the shaping blows. While power hammers are not found in many precision sheet metal shops, many operations do employ them. In fact, they are a key part of the operation.
May 26, 2016
Many small businesses grow quickly in the early years, but eventually growth hits a plateau. Big gains in additional growth come from gaining new customers or acquiring another company. In Going to Market, a presentation at The FABRICATOR®’s Leadership Summit, Lisa Wertzbaugher, sales and marketing manager for fabricator Superior Tube Products, discussed a four-part strategy for expanding the company’s sales, revenue, and profitability.
May 23, 2016
The goal of forward-thinking fabrication shops is to be closely involved in a customer's supply chain, where perhaps it participates in part designs and design for manufacturability activities. If a shop is to be an active supply chain partner, it needs to be able to stay on top of engineering change orders and part design discussion. Cloud-based product life cycle management software can help.
May 23, 2016
Manufacturing is all about flow, both of physical products and information. You can plan for good flow. But if you let it evolve on its own, you will be dealing with the waste and efficiency that evolution creates.