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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Fab 40: Impulse Manufacturing tackles downtime with data

June 27, 2014

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You can't improve something you don't measure. Impulse Manufacturing wants to cut down the time between jobs—specifically, between the last good part of the previous job to the first good part of the next job.

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STIHL Inc. camp inspires youth to pursue manufacturing careers

June 23, 2014

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Think you might be interested in starting a summer camp to attract youth to manufacturing careers? STIHL Inc. did just that, found the endeavor worthwhile, and has even created a template for other companies to use in promoting manufacturing technology to youth.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Legends and Logos

June 23, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis investigates the CAD jockey’s role in the creation of markings on metal products, the different ways that these markings can be created, and some tips for ensuring the final marking is done correctly, no matter the process.

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Artist’s career goes into overdrive

June 18, 2014

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Dominique Martinez, founder of Rustic Steel Creations, does a little of everything—using found objects and new metals, making functional items like handrails and decorative items (artistic sculptures), making items for sale and working under contract, working for profit and donating pieces for fundraisers—and in doing so, has built his company into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

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Maybe we all need a little boot camp

June 18, 2014

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Military vets with experience in fixing and maintaining equipment can be a valuable asset to high-product-mix fabricators. Their military experience helps them develop standards and processes out of the chaos.

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Winning in commoditized markets

June 18, 2014

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The lowest-cost-producer business model is simple. If you have the lowest costs and prices, you win. But this model can be ruthless, too.

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FAB 40: How Nu-Way Industries uncovered a new way

June 17, 2014

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The Illinois contract fabricator ramps up its efforts toward operational excellence.

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Fabricator/entrepreneur makes the most of everything Texas has to offer

June 16, 2014

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Native Texan and farmer Aggie Devin Gerland earned a degree in agricultural engineering and took a succession of engineering positions in and around Bryan, Texas. Now an entrepreneur with his own fabrication shop, Gerland is putting his farming and ranching experience to work, developing his own line of farm implements.

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FAB 40: Team approach helps Robinson Metal scale up

June 12, 2014

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Robinson's fabrication division has an internal structure that helps the company adapt to growth.

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FAB 40: Data analytics meets high-volume contract fabrication at OMS

June 12, 2014

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O'Neal Manufacturing Services, a nationwide fabricator with 11 locations, makes smart use of data to refine capacity planning and sales forecasting.

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FAB 40: Super Steel ramps up parts tracking

June 12, 2014

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Super Steel's initiative to track where jobs stand has effectively increased throughput and inventory accuracy, preparing the company for increased business. According to Super Steel's CEO, 2015 could be a breakout year.

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FAB 40: BTD and the quest for continued diversification

June 12, 2014

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BTD has gained a reputation for its ability to rapidly ramp up part programs. Now managers are looking at available markets and asking some big questions.

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Big-time fabricating

June 11, 2014

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Greiner Industries, Mount Joy, Pa., has been able to expand over the years because its owner senses opportunities that other shops want no part of. As a result, the company has emerged as an atypical fabricator with incredible fabricating capabilities.

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FAB 40: The story behind dramatic growth at MEC

June 11, 2014

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After a major acquisition, Mayville Engineering Co.—No. 1 again on the FAB 40—is poised for serious growth in the years to come.

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FAB 40: Growing on a bedrock of data

June 9, 2014

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For many fabricators in this year’s FAB 40, smart use of information has become the bedrock of high-product-mix metal fabrication. As that bedrock becomes stronger, fabricators may continue to grow even larger.

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