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.
May 7, 2015 | By Tim Heston
A fabricator can’t achieve operational excellence without good flow, and good flow isn’t possible without good quality. Kevin Duggan, founder of the Institute for Operational Excellence, describes how quality assurance intertwines with every process in a business.
May 6, 2015 | By Benjamin Howell
Effectively reducing hazardous welding fume and gas exposure requires much more than opening windows and running fans, which in most cases does little to alleviate the problem. Here are some options to make the welding workplace much safer.
May 5, 2015 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis uses CAD to explore different means to design a metal widget.
April 30, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Ken Schmidt helped turn Harley-Davidson around, not by improving product quality, but by connecting to the people who bought motorcycles. That same connection can form the backbone of a fabricator’s success.
April 29, 2015 | By Dave Lechleitner
With today’s cloud-based systems, advanced ERP systems no longer require a hefty IT infrastructure on-site, which can make advanced ERP available to even the smallest of shops. But from the get-go, shop owners need to plan for the upgrade, and they can start by asking a few key questions.
April 29, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Nothing is more frustrating than spending time and money to train new hires, only to lose them six to 12 months later. Why did they leave? Quite often the reasons go back to their first 30 days on the job.
April 23, 2015 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith
Quality assurance is a critical aspect of fabricating. It requires input from various departments, careful inspection throughout all facets of the job, and detailed recordkeeping. Here’s a blueprint for optimum QA.
April 7, 2015 | By Tim Heston
The recession nearly killed MACO Incorporated, a fabricator and machine shop in rural western North Carolina. But it survived thanks to some introspection and a new focus on quality certification.
April 1, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Burlington, Ky.-based Skilcraft LLC has changed a lot in the past decade. It has moved away from the traditional job shop model toward comprehensive contract fabrication. And it got there by scrutinizing every step of the manufacturing process, from quoting to shipping.
March 19, 2015 | By Bill Frahm
Today’s sheet metal formers must continually learn new skills to keep up with new materials, product specifications, and forming technologies. How do you attract and train a workforce that is sustainable in these ever-changing times?
March 10, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
A great company has a “why” culture, one that encourages employee engagement and people don’t hesitate to ask “Why?” to find the true answer, based not on guesses or rumor, but on factual evidence.
March 10, 2015 | By Tim Heston
How does a fabricator build a culture that adopts, embraces, and sustains lean manufacturing? An environment that encourages idea generation may be a good start.
March 5, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Editor Eric Lundin interviews two individuals who were key in establishing product flow at Superior Tube Co. Inc., tracing the big steps the company took to go from a conventional push system to a lean pull system.
February 18, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Manufacturing is cool again, and fabricators wanting to sell their business are benefiting from a seller’s market. Nevertheless, high revenue concentration, a shallow talent pool, poor cash flow, reliance on sales from a single sector, and other factors still throw up red flags.
February 17, 2015 | By Steve Benson
When bending with a hand brake, you can use the tooling that came with the machine, but investing in a tool with a radius on the punch nose has its benefits.