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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Fabricating a mobile lounge

March 30, 2016

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Gorilla Fabrication in South Carolina has made a name for itself in fabricating food trucks. A request for a mobile bar, however, forced it to expand its building skills.

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The industry shifts gears

March 29, 2016

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The staff at Messe Düsseldorf provides an overview of the steel tube and pipe market. The recent drop in the crude oil price has taken much of the attention off of the energy industry, and automotive has pulled ahead. The article contains quite a bit of information on the latest research into alloys for the automotive industry, specifically from three Tube® Düsseldorf exhibitors.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Using animation tools in design review

March 28, 2016

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Columnist Gerald Davis shares some best practices when it comes to creating animations and movies for design review purposes.

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New ideas spur success at Minnesota metal fabricator

March 21, 2016

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Bermo, a stamper and fabricator in Minnesota, takes idea generation seriously. Some of the company’s latest initiatives, including rapid prototyping and automated quoting, have come from employees starting a sentence with, “Wouldn’t it be great if …”

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So you want to buy a metal fabricator

March 21, 2016

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Buying a company isn’t just about getting a certain multiple. A buyer needs to define a buying strategy, analyze a seller’s business model, and uncover what the seller’s company truly is worth.

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Can industrial fans and welding mix?

March 17, 2016

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How do large industrial fans affect shielding gas coverage in welding environments? The truth is it is tricky but not impossible. With the right testing and support, overhead HVLS fans can work in most welding facilities, while variable-speed column fans can take care of the rest.

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Ready, set, interview

March 17, 2016

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Yuba College welding instructor and Practical Welding Today Editorial Advisory Committee member Dan Turner has been on both sides of the interview process. In this first installment of Viewpoint, Turner shares advice for job-searching welders on the art of the job interview.

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Financial benchmarking in metal fabrication

March 16, 2016

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The world is full of surveys these days, and some really don’t have much purpose. Others, however, can be extremely valuable. Industry benchmarking surveys, for instance, can be a vital tool for any company looking to improve. This includes the “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from FMA.

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Getting standard work instructions right for fabricating

March 16, 2016

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The goal of any fabricating operation is to discover the safest and most efficient method to produce quality parts. That goal can be achieved only with clear work directions for shop floor employees. Fabricators that follow some basic guidelines, or implement the right software, can make sure they are putting together work instructions that anyone can follow.

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Optimizing your welding process with ventilation, tables

March 14, 2016

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Is there room for improvement in your welding operation? Choosing the right ventilation system along with flexible worktables can go a long way toward optimizing your welding process.

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The case for kaizen activities

March 2, 2016

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Continuous improvement activities don't always have to involve classroom time dedicated to training and excessive resources. They can be brief, direct, and have immediate impacts. That's where kaizen activities come in.

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Fabricating food trucks

March 1, 2016

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A 70-year-old metal fabricating business in Buffalo, N. Y., came under new ownership in 2012 and in the ensuing years, the shop worked hard to get any business it could to build cash flow and a positive reputation. Two years later, the shop emerged with a maker of food trucks and custom hot and cold food stations for grocery stores. The fabricating business hasn't been the same since.

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Improving metal forming performance

February 18, 2016

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What does your stamping operation do to improve metal forming efficiency? The key is to learn more about the metal, conduct practice runs in the virtual world, and pass along knowledge to co-workers.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Using 3-D geometry to create interactive documents

February 15, 2016

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Columnist Gerald Davis reviews the similarities between drafting and illustrating. The use of dedicated software is considered.

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How to crunch chronic defects with variables search

February 11, 2016

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Variables search is not a well-known quality tool, but it can be helpful in rooting out factors that produce scrap and rework at metal fabricating facilities. All that’s needed to identify the sources of quality problems is a dedicated group and a disciplined approach to the investigation process.

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