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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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Georgia Trade School attracts a new audience to welding

December 13, 2013


Length: 5:15

Executive Director Ryan Blythe (left), Senior Weld Instructor Elaine Waters, and Vice President and CWI Sean Quinton have taken a focused, hands-on approached with Georgia Trade School, a private welding school.

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.

Bold moves during the Great Recession

September 19, 2013


Length: 9:10

Five years ago, Dane Manufacturing, a small fabricator and stamper in Dane, Wis., made a bold move. As the credit market was freezing, Troy Berg, company president, began looking for a bolt-on acquisition. That bold move paid off. Read the article.

Inspiring fabrication: Making the top of One World Trade Center

July 29, 2013


Length: 4:45

Kammetal Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., just fabricated a bit of history-cladding for the beacon atop the (fittingly) 1,776-feet-tall One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Company president Sam Kusack tells the story. Read the article.

Super Steels super rebound

May 29, 2013


Length: 7:10

Dirk Smith, COO of Milwaukee-based Super Steel, describes how the fabricator endured tough times and emerged from a receivership, went back to its roots of quick-turn contract fabrication, and successfully balanced it with its product line work for the freight rail industry. Read the article.

Lighter, thinner, stronger

April 12, 2013


Length: 6:00

Tie Down Engineering and its contract fabrication division, Industrial Laser Solutions, has made significant machinery investments in recent years, including a several solid-state fiber and disk lasers as well as a press brake with automatic bend angle correction. Driving the investment is the shop's increased use of thinner but lighter high-strength steel.

Enhancing the customer relationship

March 1, 2013


Length: 9:24

Innovation has been said to be at the heart of business success, but in a contract fabrication company that often doesn't work with product development or design, where is that innovation? According to Jeff Mengel, partner and a leader in Plante Moran's manufacturing group, innovation doesn't apply to just products. It can also be about changing a customer relationship. 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.