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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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Surface modeling techniques

December 18, 2014

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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.

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New squeezes on the small metal fabricator

December 18, 2014

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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?

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Which code or standard applies to your shop?

December 16, 2014

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Codes and standards are important and necessary. Which apply to the work your shop does? That depends on the nature of the work.

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2015 metal fabrication forecast: Steady as she grows

December 8, 2014

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Fabricators expect steady growth for 2015. At the same time, they’re gearing up to handle increasing customer demand by investing in capacity-building equipment.

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Global manufacturing economy pushes forward

December 8, 2014

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New bending, welding, and laser technology on display at the world’s largest metal fabricating and forming tradeshow helps manufacturers in their pursuit of achieving higher levels of production efficiency.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Cap-offs, springs, and threads

December 3, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis shows CAD operators how to use two separate design functions to create the same cap-off treatment.

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Vessels for coal mines

Upsizing in a downsizing economy

November 25, 2014

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Different shops have different ways of coping with and surviving business downturns. Some downsize, while others take advantage of opportunities and invest in people and equipment. Upsizing paid off for Wilson Works, Morgantown, W.V.

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Does outsourcing HR make sense?

November 10, 2014

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Outsourcing helps to keep shop floors busy all over the world, but the philosophy also might be feasible for some front-office activities, too, such as human resources. In fact, given the constant changes associated with employment law and the challenges of hiring workers, companies need good HR input, and outsourcing is a quick way to achieve that.

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Piecing together the continuous improvement puzzle

November 10, 2014

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Various improvement initiatives related to 5S, part flow, communication, management structure, and planning led to a stark change at Miller Welding & Machine Co., a contract fabricator in western Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, everything just clicked.

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What is good company culture, exactly?

November 6, 2014

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Good culture may boil down to giving people an opportunity to contribute beyond their traditional job description, and rewarding them for it.

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Classes for the masses

November 5, 2014

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Frustrated by an OEM that always makes easy products complicated, uses unrealistic tolerances, or leaves out critical information? You’re in good company—every manufacturer experiences this type of thing once in a while. Superior Tube Products Inc., Davenport, Iowa, deals with this by providing classes that teach the finer points of bending tube and pipe.

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5 steps to improve the welding environment

November 5, 2014

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Achieving the optimal welding environment is important for many reasons, including worker health and safety and OSHA compliance. These five steps can help you achieve that environment.

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The human side of selling a business

October 30, 2014

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Cancer greatly altered the ownership sitatuation for GH Metal Solutions in 2005, but several years of hard work to put the company on a new growth path helped the fabricator to find just rhe right owner.

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Uncovering waste with an all-encompassing metric

October 22, 2014

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Manufacturing critical-path time, MCT, is a broad metric that encompasses the entire enterprise. The shorter an organization's MCT, the more adaptable and successful it can be.

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Staffing the comeback

October 22, 2014

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It’s no secret—this industry has a tough time finding people, and as demand has increased in recent years, the problem has gotten worse. Just how many people does this industry need to compete, what talents do they need to have, and how can a company attract the best? To address these questions requires realistic planning based not on perceptions, but on facts.

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