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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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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The FAB 40: It's delivery time - TheFabricator.com

The FAB 40: It's delivery time

June 13, 2012

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The FABRICATOR's FAB 40 suggests that the manufacturing revival in the U.S. is alive and well.

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Visual reality - TheFabricator.com

Visual reality

June 13, 2012

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To pursue visual art or science, that is the question. Polar-opposite interests? Yes. But who says the two can’t intersect somehow. After all, elements of science are alive in metal forming and fabricating, but to make it visually pleasing, an artist’s touch is necessary. Metal art, it would...

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Being big, acting small - TheFabricator.com

Being big, acting small

June 13, 2012

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Minnesota fabricator rebrands itself, standardizes operations, and remains nimble, even after years of aggressive growth. Managers expect the firm to grow another 18 percent this year. That’s not small potatoes for one of the country’s largest contract metal fabricators.

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Fabricate, install, maintain - TheFabricator.com

Fabricate, install, maintain

June 8, 2012

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The Roberts Co. isn’t a heavy industrial metal fabricator. It’s not a erector, general contractor, maintenance services provider, or engineering firm. It’s all of the above.

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3-D CAD: Bill of materials construction in project documentation--PartII - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Bill of materials construction in project documentation--PartII

May 3, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis has populated the bills of material with data and now focuses on the model that will accompany the BOM to the manufacturing floor.

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How CRM can help— and not hinder—the sales rep - TheFabricator.com

How CRM can help— and not hinder—the sales rep

May 3, 2012

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Customer relationship management, or CRM, software has a bad reputation. Many consider CRM to be simply a burden on salespeople. Nex Solutions’ CRM doesn’t fit the software implementation stereotype. The platform isn’t all-encompassing; for example, it doesn’t link sales reports to quoting systems, accounting, scheduling, or other modules that might go into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing execution system (MES). Instead, it simply helps salespeople be more responsive and build relationships with existing and potential customers.

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