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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Metalfab: All that glitters is metal

April 11, 2006

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Lights. Camera. Fabricate?! You get home from work after fabricating all day, kick back with a cool one, and turn on the tube just to see more metal fabrication, on-screen, as entertainment. If it's not "American Chopper" or "Monster Garage," it's "Biker Build-Off," "Monster House" or "American Hot Rod." What's the fascination with fabrication? Do shows like these put a new spin on the image of metal forming and fabricating? Have they inspired younger generations to consider metal fabricating as a profession? Why have TV producers zoned in on these types of shows?

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How to get a handle on your inventory

April 11, 2006

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Well-managed companies have taken aggressive steps to reduce "at-rest" inventory by revamping their supply chains to support smaller, more frequent shipments. Industry sources have reported that some of the best performing stamping companies are turning inventory 28 times annually.

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Metalform Nashville focuses on Southern manufacturing

March 7, 2006

As part of its new exhibit strategy , The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) is offering scaled-down regional shows, which will be held in even-numbered years. A larger show will return to the Chicago area in odd-numbered years.

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Working toward Six Sigma success

March 7, 2006

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Successful implementation of Six Sigma requires support from management, good planning, and undertaking of projects to move Six Sigma forward.

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The China-dominated manufacturing environment

March 7, 2006

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All manufacturers have to realize that what is going on in China will affect them in some way, no matter how small their business is. Protectionist policies from the U.S. government aren't on the horizon to help. Business owners and managers are negligent if they do not make an effort to understand the economic changes caused by China's movement to a market economy in some detail and then use that understanding to evaluate and likely modify their companies' business plans.

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Editorial Advisory Board Roundtable

March 7, 2006

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The FABRICATOR invited the members of its Editorial Advisory Board together to discuss the state of skilled labor in North America and what the future looks like for tomorrow's fabricating and forming employees and employers.

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Are you preparing for the worker skills gap?

March 7, 2006

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The skilled labor shortage many manufacturers already are experiencing is being joined by a skills gap as the aging work force retires and fewer young people pursue technical training. Manufacturers need to act now to cultivate and grow the future work force and bridge the gap.

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The big squeeze

February 7, 2006

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Three companies dominating the market is a distant memory as Japanese and European automakers' market shares steadily increase. The Big Three has evolved into the New 6 that includes Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler. Suppliers tied to the Big Three will have to make a negative adjustment to remain profitable.

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Are you still settling for good enough?

February 7, 2006

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A study of executives at several tube and pipe fab shops revealed that the executives and managers are ensnared by four potential traps: talking instead of doing, failing to see the big picture, avoiding listening, and failing to communicate.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 6

February 7, 2006

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When you price out your bid, you get to be the expert - but that also means a lot of responsibility. Learn what you need to know to price out your bid to the federal government.

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Making your way as a job shop today

February 7, 2006

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No matter how you start up your own job shop, it takes a delicate balance to become - and remain - successful. Profitability certainly helps, but so do flexibility and diversification.

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Finding direction for the welding industry

January 10, 2006

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The welding industry may be the only one forecast to show any growth between now and 2012, but growth in the U.S. is threatened by a number of factors: skilled worker shortages, welding rod litigation; and what some consider the need for greed among business executives.

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Is your business prepared for a pandemic?

January 10, 2006

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A recent CFO survey found that only 7 percent of businesses are preparing for a potential avian flu pandemic. Preparation is important for this and other events that can disrupt business and endanger employees. Guidelines include training and preparing an ancillary work force. Cross-training current employees and documenting processes can help.

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Bulletproof processes

December 13, 2005

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While some stampers are filing for bankruptcy, Alpha's lean manufacturing initiatives have propelled the Detroit-based stamper to a $50 million-dollar company and growing

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Characteristics of electron beam welding

December 13, 2005

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Electron beam welding is useful for many applications -- steel, aluminum, and exotic metals; thick, structural sections or thin, delicate components; and harsh conditions such as alternating loads and low temperatures. A programmable controller allows engineers to tailor the electron beam's power distribution, thereby creating a unique weld for each application. EBW often is used in applications that have stringent joint tightness and strength requirements and, in some cases, it is used for welds that cannot be done with any other joining method.

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