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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Global manufacturing economy pushes forward

December 8, 2014 | By Dan Davis

New bending, welding, and laser technology on display at the world’s largest metal fabricating and forming tradeshow helps manufacturers in their pursuit of achieving higher levels of production efficiency.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Cap-offs, springs, and threads

December 3, 2014 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis shows CAD operators how to use two separate design functions to create the same cap-off treatment.

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Vessels for coal mines

Upsizing in a downsizing economy

November 25, 2014 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Different shops have different ways of coping with and surviving business downturns. Some downsize, while others take advantage of opportunities and invest in people and equipment. Upsizing paid off for Wilson Works, Morgantown, W.V.

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Does outsourcing HR make sense?

November 10, 2014 | By Dan Davis

Outsourcing helps to keep shop floors busy all over the world, but the philosophy also might be feasible for some front-office activities, too, such as human resources. In fact, given the constant changes associated with employment law and the challenges of hiring workers, companies need good HR input, and outsourcing is a quick way to achieve that.

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Piecing together the continuous improvement puzzle

November 10, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Various improvement initiatives related to 5S, part flow, communication, management structure, and planning led to a stark change at Miller Welding & Machine Co., a contract fabricator in western Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, everything just clicked.

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What is good company culture, exactly?

November 6, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Good culture may boil down to giving people an opportunity to contribute beyond their traditional job description, and rewarding them for it.

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Classes for the masses

November 5, 2014 | By Eric Lundin

Frustrated by an OEM that always makes easy products complicated, uses unrealistic tolerances, or leaves out critical information? You’re in good company—every manufacturer experiences this type of thing once in a while. Superior Tube Products Inc., Davenport, Iowa, deals with this by providing classes that teach the finer points of bending tube and pipe.

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5 steps to improve the welding environment

November 5, 2014 | By Allan Hilbert, Stephanie Lowney

Achieving the optimal welding environment is important for many reasons, including worker health and safety and OSHA compliance. These five steps can help you achieve that environment.

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The human side of selling a business

October 30, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Cancer greatly altered the ownership sitatuation for GH Metal Solutions in 2005, but several years of hard work to put the company on a new growth path helped the fabricator to find just rhe right owner.

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Uncovering waste with an all-encompassing metric

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing critical-path time, MCT, is a broad metric that encompasses the entire enterprise. The shorter an organization's MCT, the more adaptable and successful it can be.

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Staffing the comeback

October 22, 2014 | By Dick Kallage

It’s no secret—this industry has a tough time finding people, and as demand has increased in recent years, the problem has gotten worse. Just how many people does this industry need to compete, what talents do they need to have, and how can a company attract the best? To address these questions requires realistic planning based not on perceptions, but on facts.

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Fabricating thin with photochemical etching

October 20, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Faspro Technologies identified a manufacturing need inthe alte 1990s that could be met with the use of photochemical etching technology. It has since built a successful business serving the electronics industry.

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12 tips to improve your value stream maps

October 20, 2014 | By Anthony Manos

Value stream mapping can be a tool to help identify and eliminate waste, but it’s easy to get lost in the details. These tips will help you keep your eye on the big picture, to ensure your VSM remains an effective tool for continuous improvement.

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In-die indeed

October 17, 2014 | By Max Linder

Take stamping production to its limits—and beyond—by taking advantage of in-die and inline capabilities afforded by state-of-the-art servo technology that integrates additional operations into the stamping process.

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Sales and operations planning meets contract fabrication

October 16, 2014 | By Dan Marino

O’Neal Manufacturing Services, one of the country’s largest contract fabricators, has implemented a strategy called sales and operations planning, or S&OP, a process designed to improve not just sales forecasting, but the entire enterprise.

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