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When family matters

November 17, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Huffman Welding & Machine Inc., a family-owned and -operated job shop in southeastern Iowa, has always had big goals to grow and thrive in a competitive economic climate. So far they have been able to strike the right balance between pursuing those goals while maintaining the emphasis on people and their community – their family.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Modeling a ribbon cable

November 8, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis considers techniques for adding ribbon cable connections to 3-D models

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Making sense of manufacturing acronyms

November 8, 2016 | By Stu Johnson

The enterprise software space has hundreds of three-letter acronyms—from MRP and ERP to MOM and MES—that represent technologies that help make managing business processes easier.

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Job security in manufacturing: Why all the negativity?

November 7, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The labor market is tight. Wages are going up. In metal fabrication, small companies are paying just as well if not better than bigger firms, according to a recent survey from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International®. Considering all this, why all the negativity? High uncertainty about the future may have something to do with it.

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Share the lean manufacturing knowledge

November 7, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

As you pursue your lean journey, you create knowledge. What you do with that knowledge can predict how successful your lean efforts will be. If you tell the workforce only the bare minimum, then you are probably leaving lots of improvement potential on the table.

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Structural fabricator has trial-by-fire leadership succession

November 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Bass Mechanical, a mechanical contractor and structural fabricator in southeast Pennsylvania, has transformed during the past two years. The company founder died unexpectedly, and his 27-year-old son, who at one point did not plan to enter the family business, is setting the stage for long-term growth.

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What is metal fabrication and where is the industry headed?

November 3, 2016 | By Aaron Continelli

Today’s metal fabrication shops are far different from those operating in the booming post-World War II economy. A fluctuating market, cyclical industries, and the need for sophisticated equipment and quick turnaround times in both production and output have shops scrambling to maintain profitability.

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Hourly or Salaried? Exempt versus nonexempt employees in metal fabrication

October 27, 2016 | By Dannah Rodriguez, Jonathan Martin

The Labor Department estimates that several hundred thousand workers in over 60,000 primary metals and fabricated metal products establishments will be affected by new regulations that change who qualifies for overtime.

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Bet on FABTECH® 2016

October 24, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Whether your company is preparing for growth, a slowdown, a process upgrade, or hiring new workers, FABTECH brings together every aspect of the metal fabricating industry in one location to educate, inform, entertain, and provide networking opportunities to you.

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Learning to take cybersecurity seriously

October 14, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Cybersecurity expert Steve Douglas shares his thoughts on why metal fabricators need to pay attention to just how they are protecting their internal information and files. Shops may not think they are targets, and that's when they are at their most vulnerable.

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6 steps to delegation success

October 14, 2016 | By Mark Ernst

Managers need to delegate. Delegation helps employees learn new skills and allows a business to grow. But delegation isn’t easy, and these six steps should help managers overcome the challenges.

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Closing the skills gaps through apprenticeships

October 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis

As manufacturers look for the manufacturing engineers and machine operators to replace retiring baby boomers, they are finding that traditional recruitment efforts are lacking. Many find that it’s easier to groom their own workers rather than hoping that they turn up on the doorstep.

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Metal fabrication investment strategy: Keep buggering on

October 13, 2016 | By Tim Heston

This year’s “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from the FMA shows an industry that’s facing tight competition, but also one that is pushing on, investing, and making efficient use of resources.

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Customer communication and the metal fabricator

October 13, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

Poor communication can lead to serious waste and missed opportunities. That’s why the communications process really should be seen as an extension of continuous improvement.

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The smart factory of the future

October 10, 2016 | By Will Healy III

Metal fabricators hoping to survive a global economy and shrinking workforce can look at the trends and “what-ifs” in the next industrial age of connected machines.

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