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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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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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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Selling your company?

April 10, 2007

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If you own a midsized company, one valued at $2 million to $250 million, and you're thinking about selling, you should consider hiring a financial adviser to guide you through the process. This is likely to be the biggest and most important business transaction of your career, so finding an adviser who understands you, your business, and your industry is key in negotiating the best price.

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Competing with global sourcing in a 'knowledge economy'

April 10, 2007

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Western companies believe that although India and China are receiving a lot of manufacturing sourcing jobs, they cannot compete with Western skills. However, with developing "knowledge economies" and an openness to change and progress sometimes lacking in Western companies, these countries could easily become top world economies. This article explores how one Indian stamping company had great success implementing a knowledge management system.

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Abuse of power in the workplace

April 10, 2007

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Workplace bullying can negatively affect an employee's work performance, home life, and health. Seventy-one percent of bullies are bosses. What constitutes an abusive boss, and what can employees who are abused do to correct their harmful working conditions? This article lists different types of abusive bosses and offers tips for combating the abuse.

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Whirlpool stove

Appliance demand flat

March 13, 2007

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2007 U.S. appliance shipments are forecast to grow only 1 percent because of a sluggish housing market. Shifts in channel preferences; successful market penetration by offshore brands; a strong demand for high-priced, innovative white goods; and the Maytag/Whirlpool merger are changing the industry's landscape.

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Metal forming certification

FMA jumps on the certification bandwagon

March 13, 2007

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Many industries and careers rely on certification programs to train workers. The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.®, has identified a need to certify precision sheet metal workers and is launching a certification program. This article explains the program's goals, outlines the development process, and describes how industry professionals can participate.

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An exception to the industry rule

March 13, 2007

IRMCO, a 93-year-old manufacturer of environmentally friendly lubricant technologies for the metal forming industry, is not only surviving but thriving in an industry that's facing tough times with plant closures, downsizing, and fierce foreign competition.

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The adult learner: Training your labor force

March 13, 2007

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Training programs enhance worker skills, encourage employee/employer loyalty, and help reduce employee turnover. This article defines what is important to an adult learner, describes the different types of adult learners, and details the components of an effective training program. It also discusses trainer requisites.

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Rotary bevel head

Up with energy prices and wind towers

March 13, 2007

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With the recent increases in gasoline and natural gas prices, more attention than ever is focused on alternative energy sources. One fabricator, Aerisyn LLC, investigated manufacturing towers for use in the wind power industry. To produce towers efficiently enough to compete against imports from Asia, Aerisyn relied on an equipment vendor that had experience in demanding fields such as aerospace, nuclear, and wind power.

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Hansen steel services

Big shoulders, long strides

February 13, 2007

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Family-owned Hansen Steel Services started six years ago with a 600-ft. long empty building and a combined 144 years of experience and built it into a thriving job shop that shoulders large plate fabrications.

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