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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How bankruptcy and restructuring are changing the Detroit Three

August 1, 2009

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With GM and Chrysler both undergoing bankruptcy restructuring procedures, the North American automotive industry of late 2009 and beyond will be forever different from that which preceded it.The Detroit Three that emerge from this crisis will be smaller but infinitely more focused. GM has...

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Ellipticalcut Precision

Top-down modeling

July 1, 2009

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A reader has a question about modeling an assembly comprised of three plates and tubing. Columnist Gerald Davis provides guidance.

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Fabricating

Validating processes, procedures, and products

June 23, 2009

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The relatively new concept of validation likely will be used more and more by customers and certifying agencies to ascertain that all conceivable means were used to guarantee that a manufactured product indeed meets all requirements, including hidden characteristics not readily verifiable. This article gives an overview of typical applications.

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Bill Precision Figure 1

The most important output of 3-D CAD modeling

June 1, 2009

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The most important output from a CAD system is the bill of material. Columnist Gerald Davis gives us an idea of just how much detail should go into creating a BOM.

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carbide drill lines prevention

Technologies help to make shops structurally sound

May 19, 2009

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Tough economic conditions have hit the construction industry as hard as they have many other industries. These problems in commercial construction are affecting structural steel fabricators. New technologies are especially benefiting four important structural steel fabricating processes by reducing labor costs. These represent some of the bigger developments in recent years.

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Love of loft in 3-D CAD modeling

May 1, 2009

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Leaning to use the loft tool in 3-D CAD modeling takes some work, but it can come in handy in certain circumstances.

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Machine Tool Device Holder

Redesigning parts for cost savings

April 28, 2009

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This technical article from TRUMPF takes a look at how parts can be redesigned to include less material and to be processed much more efficiently.

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Crimson Fire Shop Floor

Putting out fires, the lean way

April 14, 2009

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Crimson Fire, a lean fire truck OEM, enjoys record orders, but prepares for challenges ahead.

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Sheet metal stamped parts

Sheet Metal Stamping 101, Part I

April 14, 2009

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Metalworking professionals who possess diverse proficient skills have an edge in a tight job market. In this first installment in a series, tool-and-die expert Art Hedrick presents an overview of the metal stamping industry and describes the various careers available in the sector.

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Getting swept away in 3-D CAD modeling

April 1, 2009

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Like an extrude or revolve, a sweep is a tool for modeling a 3-D shape. A sweep consists of three basic elements—a profile, a path, and a set of rules for "sweeping" the profile along the path. A sweep can be a powerful tool when modeling 3-D shapes, according to columnist Gerald Davis.

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Selling during good times, bad times

March 19, 2009

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Although tough times are upon us, an economic downturn doesn't have to put all plans on hold. If you own a middle-market company (one that has a transaction price between $5 million and $250 million) and you are interested in selling it, a slumping economy is no reason to hesitate. In fact, putting your company on the market during a slowdown can have several benefits.

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'Greenergy'—the Next Big Thing

March 10, 2009

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Since the dot.com boom and bust, everyone from investors to manufacturers to geeks have been looking for The Next Big Thing.

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circle precision

Modeling in a 3-D CAD system

March 1, 2009

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Among the tools in the 3-D CAD toolkit—extrudes, revolves, sweeps, and lofts—the first two can be used to create identical parts, but they don't work the same way. Depending on which process you choose, the time the computer needs to model and rebuild the part can vary substantially.

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Resistance spot welding

Welding fasteners: Spot or projection?

February 24, 2009

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Both spot and projection weld fasteners have their place. Choosing which process to use—spot or projection welding—depends, like anything else, on the application

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Rapid Creek Cutters—The second time around

February 24, 2009

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At a time when companies are thinning the worker ranks, many people may be thinking about going into business for themselves. Pat Burrington, the owner of Rapid Creek Cutters, has worked for others and for himself. He recommends the latter.

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