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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carbide drill lines prevention

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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Redesigning parts for cost savings

April 28, 2009 | By Annette Doyle

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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Sheet metal stamped parts

Sheet Metal Stamping 101, Part I

April 14, 2009 | By Art Hedrick

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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Crimson Fire Shop Floor

Putting out fires, the lean way

April 14, 2009 | By Tim Heston

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

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Getting swept away in 3-D CAD modeling

April 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

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 | By George Spilka

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 | By Kate Bachman

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

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Modeling in a 3-D CAD system

March 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

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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Brennan Palmiter Meeting

Teen race car driver promotes manufacturing careers

February 24, 2009 | By Traci Tapani

Need help motivating young people in your area to train for manufacturing careers? Want to get them fired up about pursuing their passions? Seven Minneapolis technical schools turned to race car driver Brennan Palmiter to help them accomplish these missions. They are glad they did.

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Rapid Creek Cutters—The second time around

February 24, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

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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Resistance spot welding

Welding fasteners: Spot or projection?

February 24, 2009 | By Rich Bryda, Ron Foreman

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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Survival—Are factors other than the economy dragging down your operation?

February 10, 2009 | By Art Hedrick

Art Hedrick, longtime consultant to the sheet metal stamping industry, has observed three internal factors that can negatively affect an operation. In this economic climate in which so much is at stake, you want to make sure that your business does not suffer from these self-destructive characteristics.

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Shickle Corp Employees

'We are all Shickels'

February 10, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Shickel Corp., Bridgewater, Va., has a very diversified customer base, a strong manufacturing tradition, and a commitment to exposing youngsters to the exciting world of manufacturing. For all those reasons, this 70-year-old company is the recipient of The FABRICATOR's 2009 Industry Award.

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 Precision molded dimensions figure 1

Dimensioning in a 3-D CAD system

February 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis explains that preparing a 3-D CAD model without dimensions may look great, but it doesn't really do anybody any good. For example, a 3-D CAD model with dimensions helps quality control inspectors.

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