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.

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EuroBLECH 2012 recap: Fighting for more efficiency - TheFabricator.com

EuroBLECH 2012 recap: Fighting for more efficiency

December 3, 2012

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A terrible economy has forced European metal fabricators to focus on shortening turnaround time on jobs. If they attended EuroBLECH 2012 in Hannover, Germany, in late October, those fabricators probably discovered some tools that could help them accomplish their goals.

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2013 Forecast: Rosy for some, sterling mediocrity for others - TheFabricator.com

2013 Forecast: Rosy for some, sterling mediocrity for others

December 3, 2012

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Consumer spending is up. Even housing is up. Yes, pundits preach global uncertainty, even gloom and doom. But as owners of small or medium-sized businesses, metal fabricators have orders to fill, and next year many expect the volume of orders to continue or even increase a bit.

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3-D CAD: Productivity, reliability, and responsiveness - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Productivity, reliability, and responsiveness

November 9, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis discusses when formality should enter a CAD operator's workflow and offers up an example of how a simple CAD task might go.

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Taxes and the deficit: The perils of oversimplification - TheFabricator.com

Taxes and the deficit: The perils of oversimplification

November 9, 2012

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Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, Lawrence, Kan., offers a reasonable look at taxes and what they mean to business planners.

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How a fabricator can stand out to customers - TheFabricator.com

How a fabricator can stand out to customers

November 9, 2012

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The best metal fabricating partner in a supply chain is the one that not only provides on-time delivery of quality products, but also provides complete and open communication. Today the only means to do that is by opening up information technology systems to those important customers.

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Beyond mere convenience - TheFabricator.com

Beyond mere convenience

November 9, 2012

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As this Q&A with Plante Moran's Jeff Mengel reveals, an innovative approach to a customer relationship can lead to a very successful supply chain partnership.

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Growth opportunities worth trumpeting in manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

Growth opportunities worth trumpeting in manufacturing

November 9, 2012

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The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association 2012 Salary/Wage & Benefit Survey is out, and it proves a lucrative career awaits those fabricators willing to put in the work to hone their skills.

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Stationary parts don't make money - TheFabricator.com

Stationary parts don't make money

November 9, 2012

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Seeing bins of parts lying around in your shop? Maybe it’s time to get away from the large-batch method and try one-piece flow. Rather than make a large quantity of Component 1, then Component 2, then Component 3, while a welder downstream waits for Component 3, you could set up a system of one-piece flow that sends a kit of three components. The key to implement this strategy is the bender software.

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Capital spending forecast up again - TheFabricator.com

Capital spending forecast up again

November 9, 2012

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According to the 2013 Capital Spending Forecast, to published by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, projected spending for U.S. metal fabricators climbed 4 percent over last year. The total amount is just shy of readers' projected spending before the recession.

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Expasion joints camera-fold style

Industrial espionage?

November 5, 2012

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Exactly what falls under the umbrella of industrial espionage? Do you think it’s possible for another company to steal your product design and processes? Learn from one fabricator’s experience.

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Why the little things matter - TheFabricator.com

Why the little things matter

November 2, 2012

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The issue for Laser Access employees wasn't getting the equipment running, it was the time they spent away from the machine, hunting for the right tools and material. That's why the Michigan shop took steps to keep the necessary tools nearby and neatly organized.

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How to develop the next-generation leader - TheFabricator.com

How to develop the next-generation leader

October 19, 2012

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Preparing a plan to develop the next-generation leader requires a comprehensive, objective analysis. It should cover where the business should go over the next several years, and what skills the next leader will need to take the company in that direction.

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US Flag, vote

The decision of a lifetime

October 19, 2012

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There are elections, and then there are watershed elections, such as those in the U.S. in 1800, 1860, and 1932. Voracious student of history and longtime engineer Jim O’Leary believes the 2012 election falls into this category, as "unrest with the governmental status quo has reached an epic high tide."

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Cellular manufacturing meets the front office - TheFabricator.com

Cellular manufacturing meets the front office

October 19, 2012

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Quick-response manufacturing takes a time-based approach that looks at the entire process from start to finish. This includes one vital element: restructuring the organization away from a job-function approach and toward lead-time reduction. To reduce lead-times, you need to restructure your organization so that people shepherd projects through multiple steps.

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The rebirth of a metal fabrication business - TheFabricator.com

The rebirth of a metal fabrication business

October 19, 2012

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In September 2011, thanks to changing weather patterns and unintended consequences of water management, GT Fabrication was flooded yet again. The family business has been through this before. Why stay in the game? Because the metal fabrication community was there to help.

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