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.

Filter Content

Optimizing your welding process with ventilation, tables

March 14, 2016 | By Benjamin Howell

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.

Continue Reading


The case for kaizen activities

March 2, 2016 | By Steve A. Norsworthy

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.

Continue Reading


Fabricating food trucks

March 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis

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.

Continue Reading


Improving metal forming performance

February 18, 2016 | By Bill Frahm

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.

Continue Reading


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

February 15, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

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

Continue Reading


How to crunch chronic defects with variables search

February 11, 2016 | By Joseph Dunn

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.

Continue Reading


Strength in numbers: How the Industrial Internet of Things applies to fabricators

February 11, 2016 | By Anders Lindh

Just what is the Industrial Internet of Things, and what could it possibly mean to fabricators? Here’s how it can improve a welding operation.

Continue Reading

Process audits in manufacturing: Do as the accountants do

February 10, 2016 | By Dick Kallage

The fab shop is ripe territory for unexpected (and usually bad) things to occur. The best operations prevent them by doing as the accountants do. They audit regularly.

Continue Reading


Part-marking on the move

February 10, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A new battery-operated, hand-held marking unit has capabilities and software that are often found only on much larger units.

Continue Reading


Managing metal fabrication through the generations

February 10, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Although the study of generations is an inexact social science, it may help company leaders empathize, minimize conflict, and get everyone on the same page.

Continue Reading


Keeping pace with fabricating technology

February 10, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Quality is a given, but delivery time is not. Sjoberg Tool & Manufacturing Corp., Hartland, WIs., knows that, so it has relied on the latest machine tools over the last 40 years to squeeze time out of the production process. It must be working because customers keep coming back—with ever-increasing demands.

Continue Reading


Lean manufacturing prepares lawn care OEM for the future

February 10, 2016 | By Tim Heston

After rapid growth, a commercial lawn care OEM prepares for the future with better part flow, better production controls, better communication, and better planning. The company’s continuous improvement initiative is well on its way.

Continue Reading


26 Commerce Road and the life of the small manufacturer

February 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston

A small industrial building just off the highway in northeast Pennsylvania has seen a few businesses come and go. Their stories tell a lot about what it’s like to be a small manufacturer in the U.S.

Continue Reading


Moving the family metal fabrication shop

February 2, 2016 | By Tom Brizek

Shop owner Tom Brizek knows all about moving a metal fabrication operation. His shop, TAB Industries, is in the middle of its fourth move in nine years. When, where, and how should a shop relocate? Brizek gives some insight.

Continue Reading


Technology Spotlight: Part-marking on the move

February 2, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A new battery-operated, hand-held marking unit has capabilities and software that are often found only on much larger units.

Continue Reading