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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Balancing work and life

January 11, 2005

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To remain competitive in today's cutthroat economic environment, companies are doing more with fewer people. The tight job market can make even those employees whose work loads haven't increased feel they have to expend more effort—or even create an illusion of having to expend more effort—simply to keep their jobs. No longer is it just the workaholics among us who are working harder and putting in longer hours.

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Leadership lessons from the forge

January 11, 2005

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One of the benefits of coaching individuals and teams across the country is that I have the opportunity to meet bright, insightful, and creative people. The inspiration and much of the content of this article come from one of those people—Bob Nichols.

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Providing a comfortable, safe environment for workers with disabilities

December 7, 2004

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Editor's Note: Much of the following information was taken from a U.S. Department of Justice comprehensive list of questions and answersabout the Americans With Disabilities Act.Does your company have 15 or more employees? If so, it must comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) that...

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Pipelines to China

December 7, 2004

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Joe Shooshani was smoking a cigarette outside Hall 4 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC). He had traveled from Los Angeles where he owns Bobco Metals, a metals service center offering a range of services, including forming, bending, welding, and fabricating. Shooshani was in...

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Growing interest in a growing market

December 7, 2004

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Although India had a heavily socialist economy for much of the past few decades, the country has experienced remarkable growth since the opening of its economy in the early 1990s.

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ME Four-Twelve concept car

The evolution of automotive stamping

December 7, 2004

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Magna International is an excellent example of a supplier adapting to OEMs' demands for suppliers to increase their capabilities. Magna not only provides parts, but also currently assembles the Jeep Grand Cherokee® in Graz, Austria.In August Magna announced plans to open a facility to assemble...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 12

December 1, 2004

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Editor's Note: This is the twelfth episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about establishing a continuous improvement program."Continuous improvement," I grumbled. There are excellent books on this topic and I have read a...

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U.S. manufacturing – A look at the future work force and its needs

November 9, 2004

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When I entered the manufacturing work force more than 34 years ago, the work environment, work force, and the future of U.S. manufacturing looked a whole lot different.

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The meeting of the manufacturers

November 9, 2004

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A new organization in Rockford, Ill., thinks job shops working together
is a MARRVelousidea.

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Managing Success: The value of rewards

November 9, 2004

Editor's Note: This column was prepared by the staff of Winning Workplaces, a not-for-profit organization that helps small and midsized businesses create better work environments.Employee reward programs can be a great way to motivate staff. If set up correctly, they are a win/win proposition that...

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On the road again

November 9, 2004

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Contract manufacturer Morton Metalcraft talks about how it faces challenges in fabricating weldments and assemblies for heavy-duty equipment, including ramping up after a slowdown—with machines, manpower, and material, and revising material flow.

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Why use multiple-impulse resistance welding?

November 9, 2004

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Multiple-impulse welding isn't uncommon, but it's not usually the first choice for most resistance welding applications. However, experiments with this type of resistance welding demonstrate that it has a wider range of applications, especially when its modified heat balance is understood

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Successful stamping: It's a 'we' thing

November 9, 2004

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As a consultant and educator, I travel to numerous die shops and stamping plants, and almost all of them have the same basic request:"Can you show these tooling guys how to make the dies run better?"I hear comments like "We sure have a lot of downtime and scrap, not to mention the usual problems...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 11

November 1, 2004

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Editor's Note: This is the eleventh episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." He has been advised to develop a feedback system and to become a master of metrology.My guru missed my joking attempt at yoda-speak. "Meteorology is the study of weather,...

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 1

October 14, 2004

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Editor's Note: This is the first in a 10-part series intended to help fabricators develop a plan to obtain a government contract. This series is a follow-up to John DiGiacomo's article "Fact, fiction, and the feds: Dispelling myths about selling to the government." Several steps are necessary to...

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