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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Commoditization: Is it inevitable?

May 30, 2014

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The digital revolution has changed the game of metal fabrication. How can business owners differentate their companies? Contributing writer Dick Kallage begins a new series to answer that question.

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Putting 3-D CAD on the grill—Part II

May 29, 2014

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After defining the project in January, columnist Gerald Davis is now set to make a virtual prototype of the Shashlik Grill in 3-D CAD.

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Design like a pro! Three steps to creating eye-catching ads

May 27, 2014

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So you’ve decided to advertise and grow your business. Three steps are necessary for creating an effective ad that will make your audience take notice and act.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Product presentation

May 26, 2014

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Knowing the nuances of generating an image opens the door for a wide range of possibilities.

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Having a hard time relating to millennials?

May 26, 2014

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In this Q&A, Diane Thielfoldt, co-founder of The Learning Café, shares some ideas about how metal fabricating companies can convince young people that manufacturing is full of careers worth pursuing.

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Documenting a Defense

May 16, 2014

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Any product and its components could be subject to a liability claim. Just ask any car manufacturer and its suppliers. Do you know what you need to do in the event of even the hint of a lawsuit?

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Hitting print: The future of additive manufacturing

May 14, 2014

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Generations from now, when people everywhere simply may be hitting print to turn ideas into reality, making things won’t be so difficult—but determining when to hit print could mean the difference between success and failure.

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Wind energy meets the sail

April 21, 2014

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Metal fabricator Pete Agtuca launched a product several years ago, but it failed to gain acceptance in the marketplace. He now has his second wind. He’s applying the science behind that failed product—generator technology that can generate electricity at low rotations per minute—to wind power generation.

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Asking all the right questions

April 21, 2014

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Texas is known for two or three commodities, namely cattle, oil, and barbecue, but the state has plenty of manufacturing, too. It’s a good environment for a fabricator and an entrepreneur with the imagination to come up with new products and build prototypes, regardless of the industry or market. Devin Gerland, found of JackRabbit Manufacturing, is one such entrepreneur.

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MVEs: More valuable employees

April 18, 2014

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Drew Greenblatt firmly believes that Marlin Steel, Baltimore, is only as successful as the talented crew that works on the shop floor. That's why the company's management team has created a Skills Matrix, ensuring that the shop always has someone who can stand in and perform the job of someone else.

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80/20 homework

April 16, 2014

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Before a company looks to increase its inventory buffer as a step to improve on-time delivery, a shop should exhaust less expensive options first. These homework assignments may help fabricators explore those options.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Product visualization

April 16, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis walks the reader through a hypothetical production development design exercise to show just how different product development CAD work is from production-ready CAD assignments.

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A growing pie for the next generation

April 15, 2014

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How can fabricators attract the best and brightest? According to speakers at The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit, held earlier this year in Austin, Texas, it's about growing the business through progressive management and open communication.

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A foundation for 5S

April 7, 2014

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Macksteel Warehouse, a service center and job shop serving area OEMs, has undergone significant transformations in recent years, including the way employees sweep the floor.

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Apprenticeship, North Carolina-style

March 31, 2014

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Max Daetwyler Corp., a Huntersville, N.C.-based contract manufacturer, has evolved significantly to serve the changing business needs in the custom machinery arena. Its approach to employee skill development has evolved as well, with a growing regional partnership founded on the concepts behind European-style apprenticeships.

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