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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A moral argument for manufacturing

August 6, 2012

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Despite media coverage and political candidates’ speeches about the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy, the sector continues to struggle. Why? What will it take to address the various problems plaguing manufacturing? A longtime industry professional offers his opinion founded upon recent historical events.

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3-D CAD: Design optimization - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Design optimization

August 3, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis begins his exploration on how cost management tools in 3-D modeling software can be used to deliver cost-efficient and functional part designs.

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Staying safe shipping metal products - TheFabricator.com

Staying safe shipping metal products

August 3, 2012

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The days of a trailer being loaded with metal products before it leaves the shipping deck are over. Because customers want their parts delivered as soon as possible, lighter-than-truckload shipments are a normal part of shipping operations. This, however, requires additional attention to detail to keep both products and people safe.

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Putting a label on metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

Putting a label on metal fabrication

August 3, 2012

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Micron Metalworks is a classic precision sheet metal job shop, with short runs and numerous job changeovers. To optimize part flow and overall efficiency, it’s the little things that really matter--including a simple label on a drawer.

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Set design meets advanced manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

Set design meets advanced manufacturing

August 3, 2012

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A Broadway and TV set fabricator mixes set-building tradition with advanced manufacturing technologies, from welding and cutting to abrasive waterjet cutting. Complicating matters are the demands of modern performance media--especially high-definition broadcasts.

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Fabricating the American Dream - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating the American Dream

July 16, 2012

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What’s the current state of the American dream? So many seem to work hard and do everything right--but just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Metal fabricator revamps raw material purchasing strategy - TheFabricator.com

Metal fabricator revamps raw material purchasing strategy

July 16, 2012

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General Sheet Metal Works revamped the way it handles raw material purchases. Floor personnel now release specific orders, while the purchasing department communicates with suppliers about future demand and negotiates contracts. Most important, the company order just what it needs--and no more.

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Bringing stamping work back from China - TheFabricator.com

Bringing stamping work back from China

July 16, 2012

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Ross Liberty, founder of Factory Pipe, has been making exhaust systems for two-stroke engines since he was a teenager. He recently brought his decades of manufacturing experience and his substantial product knowledge to bear on an exhaust pipe that had been produced at Factory Pipe and subsequently sourced from a competitor in China. Liberty developed a new design, cutting the weight and cost substantially, thereby getting the contract back from the Chinese company.

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Big Ass Fans

Beating the summer heat

June 26, 2012

Summertime and the factory is even hotter. Here’s a look at one option for making conditions more tolerable and safer for your workforce.

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3-D CAD: Modeling with product variation as the design intent - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Modeling with product variation as the design intent

June 26, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis provides a guide to connecting dimensions and custom properties to equations, which will make part design changes much easier to deal with down the road.

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The vitality of purposeful work - TheFabricator.com

The vitality of purposeful work

June 15, 2012

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The median age of the Vita Needle emloyee is 73. The company practices what one anthropologist calls eldersourcing. Considering the knowledge they've gained over the years, the elderly may become one of metal fabrication's greatest assets.

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Update from Germany - TheFabricator.com

Update from Germany

June 13, 2012

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Interviews with several TUBE exhibitors revealed that the energy industry remains the biggest driver in the tube and pipe industry. The opportunities aren’t just in oil and gas, but also wind and even nuclear, despite the Fukushima incident. Meanwhile, a few vendors have come up with machines and processes that reduce tube and pipe consumption and waste, helping the industry deal with fluctuating metals prices.

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3-D CAD: Modeling with product documentation as the design intent - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Modeling with product documentation as the design intent

June 13, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis focuses on creating better illustrations and models to make life easier for parties involved in downstream operations.

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Shop grows by staying small - TheFabricator.com

Shop grows by staying small

June 13, 2012

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EVS Metal, Riverdale, N.J., which started as a 5,000-square-foot fabricating shop in New Jersey, is now a $30 million operation with four locations. The size of the company gives its customers confidence that they are dealing with a metal services supplier that will be around for the long term. The multiple, smaller locations give the fabricator the flexibility it needs to be responsive to customers' needs.

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Keeping up with the Joneses - TheFabricator.com

Keeping up with the Joneses

June 13, 2012

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Jones Metal Products has deep roots in Mankato, Minn. It began as an industrial fabricator, which took rough concepts and saw them through design, fabrication, and installation. Today, the company in one sense is following that tradition.

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