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.

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How to crunch chronic defects with variables search

February 11, 2016

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Variables search is not a well-known quality tool, but it can be helpful in rooting out factors that produce scrap and rework at metal fabricating facilities. All that’s needed to identify the sources of quality problems is a dedicated group and a disciplined approach to the investigation process.

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There's strength in numbers: How the Industrial Internet of Things applies to fabricators

February 11, 2016

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Just what is the Industrial Internet of Things, and what could it possibly mean to fabricators? Here’s how it can improve a welding operation.

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Process audits in manufacturing: Do as the accountants do

February 10, 2016

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The fab shop is ripe territory for unexpected (and usually bad) things to occur. The best operations prevent them by doing as the accountants do. They audit regularly.

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Part-marking on the move

February 10, 2016

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A new battery-operated, hand-held marking unit has capabilities and software that are often found only on much larger units.

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Managing metal fabrication through the generations

February 10, 2016

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Although the study of generations is an inexact social science, it may help company leaders empathize, minimize conflict, and get everyone on the same page.

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Keeping pace with fabricating technology

February 10, 2016

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Quality is a given, but delivery time is not. Sjoberg Tool & Manufacturing Corp., Hartland, WIs., knows that, so it has relied on the latest machine tools over the last 40 years to squeeze time out of the production process. It must be working because customers keep coming back—with ever-increasing demands.

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Lean manufacturing prepares lawn care OEM for the future

February 10, 2016

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After rapid growth, a commercial lawn care OEM prepares for the future with better part flow, better production controls, better communication, and better planning. The company’s continuous improvement initiative is well on its way.

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26 Commerce Road and the life of the small manufacturer

February 4, 2016

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A small industrial building just off the highway in northeast Pennsylvania has seen a few businesses come and go. Their stories tell a lot about what it’s like to be a small manufacturer in the U.S.

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Moving the family metal fabrication shop

February 2, 2016

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Shop owner Tom Brizek knows all about moving a metal fabrication operation. His shop, TAB Industries, is in the middle of its fourth move in nine years. When, where, and how should a shop relocate? Brizek gives some insight.

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Technology Spotlight: Part-marking on the move

February 2, 2016

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A new battery-operated, hand-held marking unit has capabilities and software that are often found only on much larger units.

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Have a tool- and diemaker shortage?

February 1, 2016

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The skilled-worker shortage has become a much-discussed topic at industry events and conferences, at FABTECH®, around the water cooler, at association meetings, and in trade publications and in general audience media. It’s even a buzzword in the U.S. presidential campaigns.

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Being better while being bigger

February 1, 2016

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Metal fabricating represents a vital chunk of the U.S. manufacturing industry, and Mayville Engineering Co. (MEC), Mayville, Wis., shows just how big a business it can be. The fabricator has more than $300 million in annual sales and multiple locations, yet it is still trying to focus on what makes even the smallest fab shop successful: quick turnaround of quality products at a fair price. In recognition of the company's growth and success in maintaining a positive culture, The FABRICATOR has honored MEC with its 2016 Industry Award.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Using 3-D geometry for more than creating 2-D drawings

January 27, 2016

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Columnist Gerald Davis demonstrates file linking between 3-D CAD and published literature. Some published formats are easier to produce with postprocessing software.

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Industry 4.0 arrives in Düsseldorf and in the manufacturing sector

January 27, 2016

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The term Industry 4.0 has been a frequently used buzzword for several years, but these days it’s more than a buzzword: It’s a reality, and it has begun to make inroads in the tube and pipe industry.

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1 + 1 = Weld shop staffing success

January 27, 2016

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One aspect of the welding industry remains challenging for company management: determining staffing levels for tradespeople and supervisors at the front lines of industrial manufacturing systems and construction projects. While many people do not like crunching basic numbers, nothing beats simple math to come up with money-saving options to get through those tough economic times. The good news is that this is not rocket science. In fact, the number-crunching is so simple that it can be done quickly without any brain-numbing work.

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