December 15, 2016
Considering the competitive state of the automotive industry, any kind of best practices sharing and collaboration among automotive OEMs would seem counter-intuitive. Yet, on the important topic of the environment, major automakers and top suppliers have been doing just that since they formed the...
December 7, 2016 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis shows seven different ways to deliver the same 3-D model.
December 6, 2016 | By Jonathan W. Michael, JD
When Prince died, dealing with his estate wasn’t simple. Believe it or not, owners of metal fabrication and manufacturing businesses could learn a lot about how to preserve the value of their companies and other assets by studying the rock icon’s death.
December 5, 2016 | By Tim Heston
As shop metrics go, sales per square foot is elegantly simple. One New England fab shop has a sales-per-sq.-ft. metric that’s twice the industry average. Its success shows how having so little space can be a blessing in disguise.
December 5, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes
If you analyze the entire quote-to-cash cycle for an order, you’ll find that it spends most of its time in a gray area, sitting between operations—both on the shop floor and in the front office. So if a shop really wants to improve, it should tackle this gray area.
December 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Anchor Investments has manufacturing companies located in two states, with the original being Anchor Fabrication in Fort Worth, Texas. It has had success bringing these acquisitions into the family because it has an ERP system that is flexible enough to match the operational style of the individual divisions, while also being able to deliver the necessary information for company management to make the correct strategic corporate decisions.
November 29, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Before the election, industry watchers predicted more of the same slow growth the economy has seen for years. After the election, stock markets unexpectedly soared on the backs of companies that may benefit from a Trump presidency. One thing is for sure: The American political sphere heads into the unknown.
November 29, 2016 | By Robert Colman
At EuroBLECH 2016 the world’s machine tool makers and software developers showcased innovations aimed at reducing the time between part conceptualization and final delivery to the customer.
November 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Structural fabrication is on the cusp of some big changes, and the entry-level employee of today will grow in a field that’s becoming increasingly digitized.
November 28, 2016 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis continues a series of columns that address one of the most important activities related to shop profitability: job estimating. In this second installment, he describes how an estimator can use the shop’s manufacturing history to refine the predictions of future expense.
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.
November 8, 2016 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis considers techniques for adding ribbon cable connections to 3-D models
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.
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.
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.