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How a small company competes in a big way

December 1, 2014


Length: 10:00

This month Senior Editor Tim Heston talks with Michael Chirchirillo, operations manager at Cary, Ill.-based Chirch Global Manufacturing, about how the fabricator developed the Chirch Global Manufacturing Network, a group of 14 family-owned businesses, all in different competitive markets, that collaborate to compete. Read the story.

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Producing a little bit of everything, every day

August 19, 2014


Length: 6:08

Legrand’s West Hartford, Conn., plant produces cable management systems and has been on a lean manufacturing journey since the early 1990s. Results of improvement efforts abound, including quick tool-change stations by the company’s punch presses. The FABRICATOR sat down with Michael Kijak, West Hartford plant manager and Rui Monteiro, one of the company’s lean managers, to talk about some of the highlights. Read the article.

How fabrication complements stamping

April 3, 2014


Length: 3:50

Senior Editor Tim Heston talks with Alex Robertson, business development manager at Fisher-Barton South Carolina about how the business uses both fabrication and stamping to serve the mid-volume market. For more on Fisher Barton South Carolina’s operation, click here.

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How to Double Revenue Over 12 Months

October 23, 2013


Length: 10:25

Senior Editor Tim Heston talks with Frank Cucchiara, general manager at Gap Partners Inc., about how the contract fabricator, nestled amid the north Georgia mountains, doubled revenue over 12 months. Read the article.

Are we busy yet?

February 7, 2013


Length: 5:10

Employees at CR Metal Products were worried last year. Machines weren't running constantly, and the shop seemed empty. Thing was, 2012 was one of CR Metal's best years, and managers attribute much of the success to an improvement method called quick-response manufacturing. Read the article.

Oil, cars, and credit

December 20, 2012

Length: 6:50

Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl., gives perspective on what fabricators can expect for 2013. Several important factors are sure to play a role: domestic oil production, car sales, and the state of credit. Watch videos from this presentation.

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The virtue of spiders

November 5, 2012


Length: 4:00

At Micron Metalworks in Ham Lake, Minn., Steve Jaeger has a vital job description. He's a spider—water spider in lean-manufacturing speak. Without Jaeger or other spiders like him on the floor, throughput would plummet.

Minnesota fabricator scales up high-product-mix manufacturing

September 18, 2012


Length: 8:30

In the early 1990s, contract stamper and metal fabricator BTD had 35 employees. By 1994 it more than doubled its head count. In the 2000s came a series of acquisitions: a machining company, a tool- and diemaker, a heavy-fabrication specialist. Now the company employs 890. Read more about this company.

Lean, mean, and made to order

August 9, 2012


Length: 5:30

Horton Emergency Vehicles of Columbus, Ohio, adapts lean manufacturing to the custom-build assembly environment. Trucks are produced at consistent takt times, and yet every one that rolls off the line is different. Read more.

Plantwide Communications at Jones Metal Products

July 13, 2012


Length: 8:39

Mankato, Minn.-based Jones Metal Products partnered with PDP Solutions to launch a unique plantwide communication program, as Sarah Richards (pictured), Jones Metal CEO, explains. Read more.

Safety trumps all at E.J. Ajax

May 31, 2012


Length: 6:05

At this Minneapolis metal fabricator and stamper, safety isn't a race or competition. It just is, sewn into the fabric of the workday. Safety trumps all because family trumps all. But it wasn't always that way, as E.J. Ajax company President Erick Ajax explains. Read more about this company.

Rolling out improvement at ETM Manufacturing

April 19, 2012


Length: 6:22

Rob Olney, president of Littleton, Mass.-based ETM Manufacturing, explains how the high-mix, low-volume fabricator began its continuous improvement program

Cellular fabrication at Metcam

March 29, 2012


Length: 5:00

Alpharetta, Ga.-based Metcam recently transformed its shop floor. The shop now organizes its entire fabrication operation not in process-based departments, but in manufacturing cells. Read the story.

Welding robots at GH Metal Solutions

March 1, 2012



GH Metal Solutions' welding department makes good use out of its five welding robots — even though all are dedicated to low-volume runs. An innovative approach to fixturing and fixture changeouts makes it all happen.

How a recession changes a market

February 1, 2012


Length: 8:00

Tim Heston talks with Tony Bloom, co-owner of Mohawk Metal Co., a Eugene, Oregon, fabricator that took off on the growth path during the recession, and hasn't looked back since.

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