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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10 steps to successful value stream mapping

September 1, 2009 | By Chris Hoff

Value stream mapping is an invaluable tool used to identify waste in day-to-day operations. Fortunately smaller companies can follow 10 specific steps to prepare for and achieve value stream mapping.

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Getting the SPA treatment

September 1, 2009

You may think your gas welding and fabrication operation is on track, but what you may not see could hurt you in the long run. Performing a safety and performance audit will help you evaluate the safety and efficiency of your operations, minimize liability, and help ensure compliance with local state fire and safety requirements.

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Learning to adapt

September 1, 2009

Production Cutting Services opened for business in 1985 as a service center, and in the ensuing decades has turned itself into a fabricator with a finisher under the same roof.

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Sheet Metal Stamping 101, Part III

August 25, 2009 | By Art Hedrick

Continuing his series about sheet metal stamping, tool-and-die expert Art Hedrick focuses on die basics, including die materials and rudimentary maintenance. He also explains the cutting process and what happens to metal when you cut it with a stamping die.

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Faith in the face of a recession - TheFabricator

Faith in the face of a recession

August 25, 2009 | By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

Leadership isn't for the faint-hearted, particularly in stressful times such as a recession. You can learn to manage your attitudes and behaviors to help you and your organization more effectively weather the storm and emerge even stronger.

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The job shop CRM revolution

August 11, 2009 | By David Lechleitner

Implementing a customer-focused strategy can position companies for long-term health. A loyal customer will stick with a company through tough economic times, employee turnover, and even the occasional price increase. This article focuses on how integrated customer relationship management tools can help job shops achieve business objectives.

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Plasma cutting and how it works

August 11, 2009 | By Kent Swart

What is plasma cutting, and when is it your best metal cutting option? What information do you need to choose the right plasma system? This article answers these questions and more about plasma cutting.

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Beginning the lean manufacturing journey

August 1, 2009 | By Dan Davis

LAI International, Scottsdale, Ariz., is a precision manufacturer that supplies specialized parts to many of the most-demanding OEMs in the world. Even with that success, the company realized there was still room to improve. As a result, it embarked on a lean journey and is seeing immediate results.

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Don't forget the fixturing

August 1, 2009 | By Bill Morgan

Don't forget a component of the system sometimes can dictate whether a robotic welding integration succeeds or fails: the fixturing.

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How bankruptcy and restructuring are changing the Detroit Three

August 1, 2009 | By Bernard Swiecki

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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Top-down modeling

July 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

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

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Validating processes, procedures, and products

June 23, 2009 | By Elia Levi

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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The most important output of 3-D CAD modeling

June 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

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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Technologies help to make shops structurally sound

May 19, 2009 | By Michael Bishop

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 | By Gerald Davis

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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