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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Lean tool and die

Lean tool and die solutions

September 11, 2007

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To achieve a competitive position against low-cost countries, tool- and diemakers must reduce costs by at least 25 percent and shorten lead-time by about 50 percent.

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Who will fill your shoes? - TheFabricator

Who will fill your shoes?

September 11, 2007

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Who will fill your shoes when you leave your company? What actions have you taken to develop the person who will be your replacement? Succession planning takes time and a well-thought-out strategy. This article can help you develop that strategy and identify potential successors.

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airplane image

A high-flying metal fabricator

September 11, 2007

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From its beginning in 1986 as a machine shop, Custom Tube Products has changed to a fabrication shop. Along the way it has adapted to the skilled worker shortage, mainly by trading in its manual processes for automation.

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Weld Schematic

Mode of least resistance

August 8, 2007

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With the advent of transistorized controls in resistance welding, power supplies are available in which feedback can be used to control current, voltage, or power delivered. The use and benefits of these control modes are not well understood, leading to underutilization of the technology. It is important to understand the fundamentals of the control modes as applicable to DC and inverter power supplies and the special situations that you might encounter in their application.

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Ridin' the storm out Part I

August 8, 2007

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While other automotive suppliers are struggling or going under, Tier II supplier of ride control components Tennessee Stampings established a lean program that merited a regional manufacturs' award and helped them grow 23 percent per year.

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Demmeler Modular Fixturing System

Get started with modular fixturing

August 8, 2007

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The Demmeler modular fixturing system for welding is an ideal tool for prototypes, repair parts, custom parts, process development or any other short run welding job, including short-run robotic applications. Precise fixtures can be ready in a matter of hours. The system includes a full range of...

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Connecting with employees

July 10, 2007

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Quickly growing companies find that keeping communication channels functioning and creating new ones are critical to sustaining the culture that made them good workplaces when they were small.

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For sale sign

Selling Chrysler

July 10, 2007

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Selling Chrysler only nine years after the merger is a de facto admission that it was a mistake. While some analysts publicly wondered if Daimler would not eventually sell Chrysler, the suddenness of the declaration was unexpected.

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Employment hunting on the web

Job hopping—A sign of the times

June 26, 2007

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The average employee no longer stays with the same company until retirement. Some change jobs frequently. Job hopping can pose problems for both employees and employers. When workers pursue jobs that are good fits for their skills and interests, and when employers strive to meet these workers' most important needs, everyone wins.

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Image of India

Don't underestimate India

June 12, 2007

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TPA recently hosted a tour of eight tube and pipe producers and fabricators throughout India. Although the country is not advanced, this tour and a recent report by Goldman Sachs reveal where it stands and where it is likely to go in the near future. Its capabilities are modernizing and Goldman Sachs expects its economy to overtake the U.S. economy by 2050.

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Manufacturing shop image

The rewards of rapid changeover

May 8, 2007

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As part of its conversion from traditional to lean manufacturing principles, Oregon Metal Slitters wanted to initiate quick-changeover practices in its production operations. It also wanted to achieve this internally, without the overview of an outside consultant, so that the practice would be sustainable for the future. OMS found a SMED program from Enna Inc. that helped the company start the process right.

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TECMA 2007

Making it in Mexico

May 8, 2007

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Mexico is the land of fabricating opportunity, and those that believe that could be found at TECMA 2007, March 6-9, in Mexico City.

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A tale of two cities

May 8, 2007

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Facing deep structural problems and mounting financial stress, Big Three executives publicly sought a meeting with President Bush to discuss how the federal government could assist the automotive industry, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans it employs.

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A little innovation goes a long way

May 8, 2007

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Although large organizations make national headlines and serve as Wall Street indicators, small organizations are making the kind of innovative strides that lead to business growth and robust financial performance.

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Hand spinning lathe

A new spin on metal forming

April 10, 2007

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Glenn Metalcraft Inc. started out as a tool and die shop in Minneapolis in 1947. Today it is an $8-million-a-year contract manufacturer that has created a niche in spin-forming circular and conical components up to 0.750 in. thick. Glenn has found a high-volume niche, producing wheels, brakes, and other components, using a process that traditionally was used almost exclusively for prototype and low-volume work.

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