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

money falling

2010 Capital Spending Report indicates rebuilding set to begin

January 14, 2010 | By Dan Davis

The metal fabricating and forming market isclearly in a rebuilding mode after theeconomic downturn in 2009. The 2010 FMACCapital Spending Survey indicates thatcompanies are interested in spending money oncapital equipment, around $1.3 billion worth,but that's down significantly from the $2.2that was expecting to be spent in 2008.

Continue Reading


h & h tube.

Small manufacturer, big heart

January 11, 2010

Founded in 1930 to supply radiator components to the budding automotive industry, H & H Tube was built on a tradition of seeking challenges—pursuing new customers in diverse markets, chasing manufacturing challenges, and often building its own equipment. This created a cycle of learning by doing that allowed it to pursue still more challenges. A change in management a few years back enabled the company to go further still in kaizen events, ISO certification, and so on.

Continue Reading

Sheet Metal Stamping 101, Part V

December 15, 2009 | By Art Hedrick

How are bending, flanging, coining, embossing, stretching, curling, hemming, ironing, necking, and drawing related? They all are common metal forming operations. Find out more about these processes in this final installment of stamping expert Art Hedrick's sheet metal stamping series.

Continue Reading


time analysis shop floor efficiency

Creating a time analysis to measure shop floor efficiency

December 2, 2009 | By William Whiteside

A time analysis in a fabrication business is much more than just a study of labor functions. When done correctly, time analysis considers the total picture of an operation.

Continue Reading


3d cad work session

3-D CAD design communication skills

December 2, 2009

If a face-to-face meeting can't be held, thenit is incumbent upon the 3-D CAD crew toproduce other kinds of documents tocommunicate the same information tocustomers. Gerald Davis provides examples ofhow to do this.

Continue Reading


stampers international globalizing customers

Want to export? Cozy up to your globalizing customers

November 30, 2009

While some stampers have experienced demand losses when their clients set up manufacturing facilities offshore, others have successfully co-piloted their customers' global expansions to supply to them in their new digs. In each case, the stamping manufacturers produce unique, and sometimes difficult-to-manufacture components and assemblies; and they have strong relationships with domestic customers that migrated offshore.

Continue Reading


stampers international globalizing customers

Want to export? Cozy up to your globalizing customers

November 30, 2009

Some stampers have adapted to their customers' global expansions by producing unique and sometimes difficult-to-manufacture components and assemblies and maintaining strong relationships with their domestic customers that have migrated offshore.

Continue Reading


custom welding fabrication

Welders to the rescue

November 6, 2009 | By Amanda Carlson

In times of trouble we depend on firefighters and rescue personnel to provide assistance.But who do they depend on when they need assistance, particularly when their equipment is worn down or broken? In the areas around St. Charles and Aurora, Ill., they depend on Custom Welding & Fabrication.

Continue Reading

Drafting useful drawings

November 3, 2009

No matter what drafting standards you adhereto, a CAD jockey should always strive todeliver information in the best and mostcomplete format to the manufacturing floor.

Continue Reading


Trimmed Parts

Sheet Metal Stamping 101, Part IV

October 27, 2009 | By Art Hedrick

Continuing his series about sheet metal stamping, tool-and-die expert Art Hedrick explains common cutting operations used in stamping: trimming, piercing, blanking, notching, shearing, lancing, and pinch trimming. Find out how they work and which applications are appropriate for each.

Continue Reading


Energy Plant Steam Plume

Scrubbing our industry

October 13, 2009 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Today's industrial scrubber technology can help make existing energy companies more environmentally friendly. Fabricators with the right equipment, capacity, knowledge, and opportunity might find a new market in making components for these systems. Find out what it takes.

Continue Reading


shoulderbolt precision

Bedeviled with the details

October 8, 2009

Columnist Gerald Davis shows readers how to deliver just enough detail for visualization in a 3-D drawing, not for manufacturing.

Continue Reading


glastender fabricating fast turnaround

Raising the bar, one sink at a time

October 7, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Glastender, a food service products manufacturer, takes bold moves and expands during this historic economic downturn.

Continue Reading


battery cage weldments

Drawing the bead on weldments

September 23, 2009

Columnist Gerald Davis has a new project thismonth: Model a cage that will hold about 528 lbs. (240 kg) of batteries. Because afictional project manager has not settled onthe specific battery spacing or on thestructural members to use, Davis showsreaders how to make it easy to change thesize as well as the materials used in the cage.

Continue Reading


3d sheet metal design

Flat responsibility in sheet metal modeling

September 23, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

The most important role of a CAD operator is to verify that the design can be flattened. Columnist Gerald Davis provides some guidance on that subject.

Continue Reading