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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Automated metrology system

Launching new cars sooner

March 23, 2010 | By Richard J. Gerth

Automakers and other manufacturers increasingly are using optical metrology to help reduce the time and money spent in new-product development while improving quality. What is this technology, and how does it work?

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Alphabet Soup

How to get from ABC to ERP

March 23, 2010 | By Adria Iles

Ever wonder what all those business software acronyms mean and which, if any, package can help you cost-effectively run your shop more efficiently? Newer systems integrate with the basic accounting, spreadsheet, and human resource packages used by smaller companies.

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irwin seating company

Older than Oscar

March 9, 2010 | By Kate Bachman

Family-owned, fifth-generation manufacturer Irwin Seating Co., headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich. has been thinking about the comfort and functionality of the public seating it has manufactured for more than 100 years. The company's 35 presses are used to stamp the components that support the seats, mount them to the floor, and attach them to the backs; as well as pivots, brackets, and other internal mechanisms. Irwin does all the stamping, welding painting, and upholstery work in its 470,000-sq.-ft. facility. Some of the seating company's recent projects include the stadium seating for the New Jersey Devils, Miami Heat, and the Indiana Colts.

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Brown Dog Welding LLC

March 5, 2010

Josh Welton at Work Photo by Matt Trombley Mount Clemens, Mich. 586-258-8255 By Josh Welton OPENED: My wife, Darla, and I started Brown Dog Welding in the spring of 2008. WHY: It came out of my desire to weld. As a millwright...

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tray linked parametrically

Putting 3-D CAD on the grill—Part III

March 1, 2010 | By Gerald Davis

Working on a design for a Shashlik Grill,columnist Gerald Davis provides guidance so that the designer ends up with a design that allows him to explore various changes to the size of the overall product while having the component parts stretch or shrink automatically

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lean manufacturing

Why lean manufacturing won't make you rich — Part II

March 1, 2010 | By Chris Hoff

Manufacturers often believe at least one of three common lean manufacturing misconceptions. Knowing about these misconceptions and understanding why they're not true will help set you on a path to incorporating lean tools into your manufacturing structure.

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bends plane

Supply chain collaborates on bending project

March 1, 2010 | By Eric Lundin

Faced with a daunting bending contract and a short timeframe, Rick Williams of Rockford Process Control (RPC) sought cooperation from a tubing supplier, bending machine manufacturer, and a tooling supplier at the beginning of the project. The information exchange enabled RPC and its supply chain partners to develop a process, deliver a bender, and engineer and manufacture tooling without the benefit of tubing samples.

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Apple iPad

The Apple iPad in manufacturing

February 23, 2010 | By Martin Bailey

On Wednesday 27th January 2010 Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, unveiled their latest creation - the iPad Tablet. Billed primarily as a consumer device, Jobs positioned the tablet somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop and priced it from an attractive US$499. But is there room for it in business,...

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Welder Image

Welders on welding

February 23, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

Based on feedback from "Welding Wire" subscribers, you have to wonder if interviewed any welders when compiling its 2010 list of the best and worst jobs. Welding was the No. 5 worst job on the list, and welders question its ranking.

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Waste not, want more

February 11, 2010 | By Dan Davis

In recent years General Metal Works, Mequon, Wis., has leaned heavily on practices that eliminate waste in its shop floor operations and kept its work force engaged. The efforts have paid off in that no layoffs have occurred during the recent economic downturn, and the company is still on track to finish with $10 million in sales revenue in 2009. The company also has been named the winner of The FABRICATOR's Industry Award 2010.

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Fabricators Graph

21st century marketing for fabricators

January 19, 2010 | By James Soto

As existing customer bases shrink, fabricators must take advantage of all possible mediums to attract new customers. Those who establish a strong online presence stand the best chance of reaching prospective buyers, 60 percent of whom begin the buying process online.

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Patriot Welding & Fabrication LLC

January 15, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

534 Mammoth Road Pelham, NH 03076 603-635-9755 By: Bill and Christen Grinley 1/15/2010 OPENED FOR BUSINESS: My wife of 19 years, Christen, and I opened in the summer of 2002 as a sole proprietorship. Today, nearly 10 years later, we operate as an LLC with a 51/49...

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sketch product concept 3 d

Putting 3-D CAD on the grill

January 15, 2010 | By Gerald Davis

Gerald Davis begins this year with a series of product development case studies, taking an idea and creating the virtual model of it.For this first installment, Davis designs a barbecue grill.

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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.

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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.

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