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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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Comparison of two animation tools for creating walk-through tours

May 23, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis reviews methods for creating walk-through animations. The use of a camera following a path is discussed.

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Moving beyond the traditional coordinate measuring machine

May 12, 2016 | By Dr. Jan Antonis

Coordinate measuring using robust camera technology means that fabricators may no longer have to construct jigs or learn programming software to conduct quality checks of parts.

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Metal fabrication on the move

May 9, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Koester Metals Inc. conquered its growing pains after the recession. It moved to a new facility to follow demand, improved and formalized training, and invested in new technology.

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Do you manage scrap properly?

May 2, 2016 | By Thom Romer

A metal fabricator checks incoming raw material before signing off on it. Doesn't it make sense to pay as much attention to the material leaving the facility? The potential return on the effort suggests "yes."

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Tennessee metal manufacturer ramps up research

April 27, 2016 | By Tim Heston

MECO, a metal manufacturer in east Tennessee, has a history both in product line and contract manufacturing. Moving forward, company leaders consider R&D the key to future growth.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: A review of animation tools to improve the work flow for moviemaking

April 18, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis reviews methods for creating animations. The use of dedicated software is discussed.

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Saying “yes” to complex projects has benefits

April 14, 2016 | By Bryan Elmore, Edward Dunn Jr.

Fabricating operations interested in taking on more complex projects now have additional motivation: The R&D Tax Credit is permanent and could pay off for those companies involved in solving manufacturing problems.

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Big-league metal fabrication

April 13, 2016 | By Tim Heston

In September 2015 contract fabricator BTD expanded to the Southeast with its purchase of Impulse Manufacturing. The deal hints at just how scalable custom metal fabrication may be.

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FMA Annual Meeting: Navigating into metal fabricating’s future

April 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis, Tim Heston

This year’s FMA Annual Meeting, held in San Diego in February, celebrated the technology companies need to compete and the worker skill shops need to sustain that success through the generations.

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Demand variation: Challenge or opportunity in custom metal fabrication

April 4, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

For custom fabricators, demand variation is a fact of life, but this doesn’t mean that a shop can’t mitigate its effect. Lean consultant Jeff Sipes describes several options that can help make life easier, even for shops that deal with extreme shifts in demand.

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What brings youth to the sheet metal business?

March 31, 2016 | By Tim Heston

How can a fab shop bring talented youth into the fold? Two members of FMA’s Young Professionals’ Council tell what sparked their interest--and it isn’t what you might expect.

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Fabricating a mobile lounge

March 30, 2016 | By Dan Davis

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 | By Eric Lundin

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 | By Gerald Davis

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 | By Tim Heston

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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