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

So you want to buy a metal fabricator

March 21, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Buying a company isn’t just about getting a certain multiple. A buyer needs to define a buying strategy, analyze a seller’s business model, and uncover what the seller’s company truly is worth.

Continue Reading


Can industrial fans and welding mix?

March 17, 2016 | By Scott Moody

How do large industrial fans affect shielding gas coverage in welding environments? The truth is it is tricky but not impossible. With the right testing and support, overhead HVLS fans can work in most welding facilities, while variable-speed column fans can take care of the rest.

Continue Reading


Ready, set, interview

March 17, 2016 | By Dan Turner

Yuba College welding instructor and Practical Welding Today Editorial Advisory Committee member Dan Turner has been on both sides of the interview process. In this first installment of Viewpoint, Turner shares advice for job-searching welders on the art of the job interview.

Continue Reading

Financial benchmarking in metal fabrication

March 16, 2016 | By Dick Kallage

The world is full of surveys these days, and some really don’t have much purpose. Others, however, can be extremely valuable. Industry benchmarking surveys, for instance, can be a vital tool for any company looking to improve. This includes the “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from FMA.

Continue Reading


Getting standard work instructions right for fabricating

March 16, 2016 | By Dave Lechleitner

The goal of any fabricating operation is to discover the safest and most efficient method to produce quality parts. That goal can be achieved only with clear work directions for shop floor employees. Fabricators that follow some basic guidelines, or implement the right software, can make sure they are putting together work instructions that anyone can follow.

Continue Reading


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