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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The metal manufacturer and the employee survey

September 2, 2015

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Employee surveys can either be an important tool for improvement or virtually useless. For surveys to be useful, they need to have a purpose and, most important, spur action.

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Are workers really less productive?

September 2, 2015

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According to the Labor Department, American workers aren’t as productive as they once were. But how do we measure productivity? Perhaps most important, do customers value it?

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Metal fabrication basics: 5 insights on the humble hand tool

September 1, 2015

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Career metalworker Tom Lipton shares his insights on something that’s often taken for granted in the fab shop: hand tools.

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Fabricating in the coal mining region undergoes transformation

August 26, 2015

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Coal mining has long been an important industry in some areas of the U.S. As coal mining has fallen out of favor with environmental groups, the EPA, and the administration, these areas have had to adapt to remain viable and provide jobs.

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What to look for in railing and frame welding fixtures

August 17, 2015

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Welding fixtures, an important component of the fabrication process, have come a long way. Today’s fixtures make railing and frame welding easier, safer, more productive, and cost-efficient.

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

August 12, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis walks the reader through the creation of a hex nut and shows how this exercise can be applied to other threaded creations.

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4 tips on avoiding property tax sticker shock

August 4, 2015

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Planning for your next commercial property tax assessment boils down to having the right information at the right time, and using the right strategy.

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Organizational energy

August 4, 2015

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To attain high organizational energy, a company’s people need to be aware of the environment in which the company operates, and have the fitness and will to improve.

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Simulating the workplace in welding education

July 29, 2015

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West Virginia has launched an educational initiative designed to help welding instructors better prepare students for the workplace. Welder and educator Carlisle Smith explains the program, which is showing promising results.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design alignment

July 21, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis offers an overview of how to use CAD to address the inclusion of a flat-head screw and a countersink in a 3-D design..

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CB Fabricating finds success giving people second chances

July 20, 2015

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Indiana fabricator continues to grow thanks to technology and a small, dedicated staff. The small shop may prove the merits of giving people a second chance. It’s not just moral. For CB Fabricating, it’s not just moral; it’s good business.

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Employee engangement drives the manufacturing economy

July 15, 2015

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Automation and other advanced manufacturing technology have become the ticket for entry to compete in custom fabrication, but people still make the difference.

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Building a manufacturing workforce

July 15, 2015

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Alexandra Industries, a producer and fabricator of aluminum extrusions in Alexandria, Minn., recognized the need to get involved in the local school district to boost the image of manufacturing in the eyes of students. But it didn't just volunteer to send over speakers. It heavily influenced the curriculum at the new high school and donated new manufacturing technology.

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Software tracks truth on the manufacturing shop floor

July 14, 2015

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Manufacturing execution systems manage schedules based not about assumptions on available capacity, but on data gathered directly from manufacturing equipment.

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Securing your business for the next generation

July 14, 2015

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Fab shop owners may avoid succession planning. They may be too busy, or the decision may be difficult. But nobody lives forever, and not having a solid succession plan in place puts the future of the business at risk.

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