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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Manufacturing Fundamentals first, then improvement

November 10, 2015

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Sustaining improvement efforts remains difficult for many shops, but sustaining may not be so difficult with a foundation of good business fundamentals in manufacturing. This includes accurate bills of materials, accurate routings, good inventory control, a documented system for materials planning and procurement, concise business rules, and employee training.

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Looking out from the inside

November 9, 2015

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Artist and furniture-maker Louie Tozser has enjoyed a rich and varied career, working in metal, stone, glass, and polycarbonate, and does everything from one-off pieces to contract manufacturing. It’s much more than a business, though. Tozser’s latest plan it to introduce local children to art and perhaps inspire some to pursue a career in art as well.

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Why manufacturers should get ISO-certified

November 9, 2015

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All manufacturers should get their ISO certification because the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-terms costs. Here’s why.

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Using failure modes and effects analysis in a reliability-centered maintenance program

November 6, 2015

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If a metal fabricator or former does it correctly, a failure modes and effects analysis can provide a solid foundation for predictive maintenance planning.

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How SWOT and lean go together

November 5, 2015

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A SWOT analysis covers a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But how do you really define strengths and weaknesses? Much of it can come from data gleaned from a good flow assessment.

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Thermal spray and fabrication

November 4, 2015

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Thermal spray is being used in metal manufacturing more each year. Fabricators need to be familiar with what it is, what benefits it can provide, and who can provide it.

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What makes an effective quality system in manufacturing?

November 4, 2015

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When designing an effective quality system, manufacturers need to consider the cost of quality (COQ), customer and industry quality demands, and their company’s specific set of value propositions.

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Celebrating the people in manufacturing

November 4, 2015

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Manufacturing Day celebrates what’s at the heart of the real world of progressive manufacturing. It’s about people talking and working together to make their lives, and the lives of their customers, easier.

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Building a better bike

November 2, 2015

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Bike-making may represent a potential business opportunity for skilled metal fabricators looking to diversify their businesses. Several bike-makers discuss how they got into the business and how they build their bicycles.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: In-context modeling

October 28, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis continues his work on a go-cart body. This time the focus is on modeling weldments with an eye on accommodating future edits.

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Customizable welding tables simplify operations and enhance productivity

October 28, 2015

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The best welding tables are multipurpose and designed for maximum efficiency and productivity. Here’s what to look for when choosing tables for your operation.

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How managing by valuation is changing Farris Fab

October 26, 2015

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Farris Fab has grown to become a $24.5 million enterprise. Within the past year company leaders have started to manage by valuation. They have no intention to sell, but maximizing the value of the company also happens to improve the overall operation.

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Real job shops

October 22, 2015

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Some metal fabricating operations produce the same product day in and day out with little variation. Real job shops, which are becoming rarer, have a much tougher row to hoe, one that requires constant innovation and high skill levels.

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What comes after the fiber laser purchase?

October 19, 2015

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Fabricating metal parts today using the same approaches and technology from 10 years ago is a time-intensive exercise. New technology introduces efficiencies to the fabricating process shops need to embrace if they are to maximize profitability and stay ahead of the competition.

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Reassurance in purchasing raw materials

October 19, 2015

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Supply Dynamics, Loveland, Ohio, has just announced a secure, anonymous, and reliable way to accurately benchmark the prices you pay or have been quoted for many common ferrous and nonferrous metals.

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