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.

Filter Content

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design evolution from invention to manufacturing

July 11, 2016

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis considers how designs evolve from invention to manufacturing and how various CAD techniques might best be used.

Continue Reading

Maximize your move

July 8, 2016

By:

Everyone knows that moving is not easy, especially when you are talking about moving a business. Dennis Donovan, a site selection consultant, provides an overview of the main considerations that a metal fabricator should keep in mind as it looks to make a major move.

Continue Reading

Metal fabrication and metrics: Measure what matters

July 8, 2016

By:

An operation with poor or nonexistent performance metrics is a magnet for lots of confusion and disruption. Poor metrics often have a narrow focus that can negatively affect the whole organization. Conversely, good metrics support the business and its mission.

Continue Reading

5 ways that CAD/CAM nesting software impacts the bottom line

July 1, 2016

By:

Modern CAD/CAM nesting software can assist metal fabricators looking to reduce costs related to raw material spending, production labor, parts programming, and work order creation.

Continue Reading

All you need to know about the heat-affected zone

June 28, 2016

By:

Any thermal cutting or welding process changes the material makeup of the workpiece. This heat-affected zone can make downstream processing of the metal a bit more unpredictable.

Continue Reading

The 2016 FAB 40: Planning their next move

June 22, 2016

By:

It’s been quite a run. Over the past four years many FAB 40 companies have reported big revenue gains. In 2015, not so much, at least on average. Sales at some big companies either held steady or declined somewhat, mainly thanks to weak markets that by now every fabricator knows about: oil and...

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Modeling with surfaces, patterns, and configurations

June 20, 2016

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis reviews the use of equations, configurations, design tables, and specific modeling tools for creating 3-D models of paper and cake.

Continue Reading

Metal fabrication and the buying experience

June 17, 2016

By:

SixAxis, a fabricator of safety platforms, portable stairs, and other industrial products, developed its own software with quoting, customer relationship management, and product configuration features. According to sources, software changed the customer buying experience, which in turn helped the company quintuple in size over six years.

Continue Reading

A metal fabricator you can’t pigeonhole

June 15, 2016

By:

IMS Engineered Products’ revenue has increased by 45 percent during the past five years. How? The fabricator is part of a larger organization, IMS Companies, with diverse revenue streams coming from gear manufacturing, stamping, electrical harness assembly, and more. But IMS’s story of growth really boils down to a straightforward strategy: quick response.

Continue Reading

Lean, large, and keeping pace

June 15, 2016

By:

Ironform Corp. formed in 2013 after Wynnchurch Capital purchased two large metal fabricators. But Ironform’s story is more about scaling up metal fabrication through acquisition. It’s about adapting the principles of lean manufacturing to custom metal fabrication—on a large scale.

Continue Reading

Scaling up metal fabrication: In support of the front line

June 15, 2016

By:

General Sheet Metal Works has experienced double-digit growth in recent years. For a $70 million operation, that’s saying something. And yet, the company has few growing pains to speak of—thanks to a new business structure that has made scaling up much easier.

Continue Reading

How equipment can help relieve the skilled-worker shortage

June 9, 2016

By:

If you need more workers and you’re having a difficult time finding them, perhaps you should explore equipment options that can mitigate the need for more help. For example, some welding tables can eliminate the need for extra hands.

Continue Reading

Engaging people on the shop floor: Turn underutilized employees loose

June 3, 2016

By:

Keeping all employees engaged all the time isn’t easy, but the benefits are substantial. Ultimately, such engagement unleashes employee talent.

Continue Reading

One metal manufacturer, one name, many services

June 3, 2016

By:

Merrill Technologies Group, Saginaw, Mich., has implemented a strategy that managers hope will double the size of the company over the next five years.

Continue Reading

How to maximize rebates on lighting upgrades

June 2, 2016

By:

If you are considering a lighting retrofit, chances are you're already aware that tax incentives and rebates are available, and you're counting on them to shorten your ROI.

Continue Reading