Blog Posts

thefabricator.com has a team of bloggers that cover the challenges and rewards associated with a life in metal fabricating. Topics typically addressed by contributing authors include political and demographic trends affecting the fabricating industry, the business side of running a job shop, the culture of the welding community, and detailed looks at what happens on the shop floor.

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Bosses—the good, the bad, and the clueless

August 18, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

What do you think of your boss? Is he or she a good motivator? Do you feel valued? Does your relationship with your boss affect your job performance and satisfaction? Some “Fabricating Update” readers took the time to share their thoughts about bosses they’ve known and what makes a good boss.

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Respect for the finishing line

August 18, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Painting and powder coating come at the end of the line, but that doesn't mean it should be the last thing that fabricators think of if they are interested in running an efficient fabricating operation.

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Mistakes happen. Get over it.

August 17, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Have you ever thought about how quick we are to notice and point out mistakes? Doing so seems to have become de rigueur in today’s society. When even the most trival mistakes generate a deluge of hostile corrections, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the practice and the reasons behind it.

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Manufacturing and the consumer class

August 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing built the middle class, a consumer class. Today, this "middle" consumer class is fading. For a consumer-based economy, that can't be a good thing.

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Bring home the gold with an Olympic-worthy team

August 10, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

Have you been watching the 2016 Olympic games? If so, you have witnessed some examples of teamwork at its best. All teams are not the same. Some are dynamic and successful, and others have the makings for disaster. How is your job shop team?

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Local efficiency versus global objectives in metal fabrication

August 9, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Metal fabricators are swimming in data these days. The trick is collecting the right data and focusing on what matters: global objectives (shortened total manufacturing time) instead of local efficiency (inches per minute at a specific machine).

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New technology enhances ability

August 4, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Change, even for the better, often meets with resistance. If you are skilled at your trade, why do you need newer technology? Here’s why.

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Overcoming nerves to spread the gospel of metal

August 2, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Being nervous in day-to-day interactions can be problematic, more so for some than others. It’s amazing how conversing about something you have a passion for can send nerves packing.

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What makes a good boss in manufacturing?

July 27, 2016 | By Tim Heston

So often, when a dispute arises between a supervisor and employee, it's not about "what." It's about "who."

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New-school knowledge transfer

July 27, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Three welders embrace all aspects of digital communication as they share welding tips and tricks.

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The daily grind in a small fab shop

July 26, 2016 | By Nick Martin

A day in a small fabricating shop seldom follows a linear progression. Many things vie for attention, and the ability to multitask comes in handy.

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A little fun in the workplace goes a long way

July 20, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

All work and no fun makes for a stressful workplace and diminishes productivity. Are your employees having fun?

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Still Building America—Pablo Guerrero’s art and ancestry

July 19, 2016 | By Josh Welton

Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. It helps if you are inspired by an ancestor who did the same. Here’s the story of how Pablo Guerrero made his own mark while honoring his grandfather.

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Metal fabrication is a communication business

July 18, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Most view metal fabrication as a technology business. But custom fabricators are complex, albeit usually small businesses. In such complex environments, good communication can make things a lot easier.

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Learning a process is an ongoing process

June 30, 2016 | By Nick Martin

How does your shop train new hires and current employees? It takes ingenuity to train while keeping a small shop humming. Here’s how Barnes MetalCrafters does it.

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