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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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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3-D CAD: Handling imported data during sheet metal design - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Handling imported data during sheet metal design

October 19, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis is ready to rip into the process of converting imported 3-D parts to flattened parts.

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Back to shcool for welder - TheFabricator.com

Wisconsin fabricator ramps up in-house training

October 12, 2012

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As the skilled labor crisis continued unabated, Schuette Metals launched a unique in-house training program. Sources said that more than anything else, good training will be key to the fabricator’s future success.

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Hundred dollar bill

The incredible economic power of manufacturing

October 8, 2012

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It’s no secret that the U.S. economy is in a precarious state. How did we get where we are, and what can be done to improve conditions? Longtime industry professional Jim O’Leary believes the answer lies in encouraging manufacturing and the time to choose a pro-manufacturing agenda is now.

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FABTECH 2013

Metal fab heads west

October 8, 2012

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It’s been four years since FABTECH® made its debut in Las Vegas, and in that time we have been exposed to a great deal of change. We’ve elected a new president and are on the tail end of another presidential campaign. We saw the end of the recession in 2009, and in the second quarter of this...

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How do welding emissions fit into your emissions inventory? - TheFabricator.com

How do welding emissions fit into your emissions inventory?

September 7, 2012

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Most EPA inspectors used to pay scant attention to welding fumes; these days they warrant much more attention. Regrettably the EPA relies on AP-42, a document that is thorough in some areas but not too detailed in welding processes. This means an overly zealous inspector might rate your facility as emitting more than it really does, forcing you to implement expensive and unnecessary controls

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3-D CAD: Setting up a costing tool - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Setting up a costing tool

September 7, 2012

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Cost analysis within 3-D modeling software won't replace cost estimating, but it still can be a helpful tool.

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Balancing sales forecasts with reality - TheFabricator.com

Balancing sales forecasts with reality

September 7, 2012

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How can a fab shop use customers' sales forecasts effectively for in-house production planning, but at the same time not rely on them too much? It's a balancing act, but if done effectively, it can prove to be highly beneficial for a fabricator.

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The financial benchmark for metal fabricators: Survival of the fastest - TheFabricator.com

The financial benchmark for metal fabricators: Survival of the fastest

September 7, 2012

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The results are in from FMA's 2012 Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey and the message is clear: Raw material and work-in-process inventory eats cash. Successful fabricating shops have figured out a way to avoid excess inventory scenarios.

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How quick response drives profits in metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

How quick response drives profits in metal fabrication

September 7, 2012

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CR Metal Products Inc., St. Louis, follows the lessons of quick-response manufacturing, which preaches decreased capacity utilization of equipment and increased attention on just how jobs can be turned around in the quickest manner possible.

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