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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step file

Your friend, the STEP file

January 30, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis reviews the STEP file and how it can be used to interact with customers in a more complete way.

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FABTECH 2013

FABTECH breaks records—again

January 28, 2014

The manufacturing sector appears strong for the near term. New technologies are emerging to help make fabricating a more productive exercise. Fabricators have positioned themselves to grow. All appears right in the metal fabricating world.

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truck bodies

Controlling its own fabricating future

January 27, 2014

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Altec, a manufacturer of truck bodies and related products, tried the outsourcing route me to stay on top of expanding fabricating jobs, but the headaches were too great to maintain such an arrangement. The company decided to take metal fabricating back in-house by setting up a new facility in Burnsville, N.C., and with the addition of some key equipment, it hasn't looked back.

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Job shop estimating: Efficiency matters - TheFabricator.com

Job shop estimating: Efficiency matters

December 6, 2013

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Columnist Gerald Davis explains how the process of estimating can be evaluated in terms of what the business needs.

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Want to make your own products?

December 6, 2013

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This column is a bit of a change of pace, but like all the previous ones it is targeted to the real issues I see with contract manufacturers and fabricators. This column focuses on products, specifically, the products you may want to build and market under your company’s auspices versus someone...

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Hinging Success—on Hinges - TheFabricator.com

Hinging Success—on Hinges

December 2, 2013

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Midlake grew from a small garage shop to a precision sheet metal manufacturer with an unusual focus--on hinges.

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Big improvements in a short time - TheFabricator.com

Big improvements in a short time

December 2, 2013

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A.J. Antunes started down the path of lean manufacturing about a year ago. Its managers say they are in the "baby steps" of lean--but those steps have been pretty big.

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The right equipment for the application - TheFabricator.com

The right equipment for the application

December 2, 2013

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When any discussion takes place about metal fabricating in Europe, the focus almost always centers on automation because these shops have to cope with high-priced labor and strict regulations. That’s not so much the case for all European fabricators, however. Shops in Belgium are more interested in increasing throughput, and sometimes that may not call for advanced automation. They want equipment that is the right fit for their shops.

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2014 forecast: The big question mark - TheFabricator.com

2014 forecast: The big question mark

December 1, 2013

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2014 could be a banner year for the metal fabricaton business, or it could be a dud. Uncertainty reigns, and at the end of 2013, most of it focused on Washington.

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Job shop estimating: Control and feedback methods - TheFabricator.com

Job shop estimating: Control and feedback methods

November 26, 2013

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Columnist Gerald Davis explains how the process of estimating is supported by buddy checks, databases, and report cards.

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Four ways to measure team performance - TheFabricator.com

Four ways to measure team performance

November 25, 2013

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Most organizations assess their teams by looking at lagging indicators. But would it not be beneficial to diagnose a team’s potential and performance in real time? These four strategies can provide immediate feedback.

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The hidden costs in manufacturing

November 25, 2013

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Taken individually or in combination, hidden costs greatly affect a company’s financial and competitive performance.

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How one job shop retains skilled talent - TheFabricator.com

How one job shop retains skilled talent

November 25, 2013

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Southern Metalcraft Inc.’s average employee tenure is 20 years. Speaking on a shop tour during The FABRICATOR’s 2013 Technology Summit, the company founder described why employees rarely leave.

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The potential of collaborative manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

The potential of collaborative manufacturing

November 6, 2013

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As globalization took hold in recent decades, Tony Chirchirillo was keenly aware of how many viewed manufacturing. He decided to change that perception in an unconventional way—by forming a network of noncompeting, complementary companies.

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A metal fabricator’s quiet transition - TheFabricator.com

A metal fabricator’s quiet transition

November 6, 2013

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The management buyout of the Schott metal fabrication division was, for many employees, a quiet affair. But transitioning to become an independent enterprise did call for major changes behind the scenes.

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