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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Nobody's favorite word—Layoffs

November 25, 2008 | By Vicki Bell

Mass layoffs are occurring with greater and greater frequency. With proper planning, some may have been avoidable. Some troubled companies may be able to find alternatives to layoffs, and all can take steps to minimize layoff pain for both the displaced workers and those who remain on the job.

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Waterfall scene

The price of green: Stewardship and prosperity

November 11, 2008 | By Simon Wainwright

Time spent researching green cleaning products and determining what's right for your operation is time well spent. Approach your green initiative as a new business venture. Be wary of greenwashed products and make smart decisions. Both the planet and your bottom line will thank you.

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Falcon 9 Rocket SpaceX

Rocket science, entrepreneur-style

November 11, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Managers, designers, and manufacturing engineers at Space Exploration Technologies have come up with a new way to design and manufacture a rocket.

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3-D CAD drawings in a 2-D world

November 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis discusses the importance of delivering a clear illustration and how it can make an impact on the final fabricated product.

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Japanese metal fabrication

Japanese metal fabrication: Manufacturing on a bedrock of data

October 14, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Overseas, metal fabricators have many of the same issues as those stateside, including lack of skilled labor and outsourcing to low-labor-cost countries. In Japan, fabricators tackle those issues by taking automation to new levels.

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FSI Fabrication Welder

Growing season: Fabricating for agriculture

October 14, 2008 | By Tim Heston

FSI Fabrication makes products that help farmers quickly and accurately transport feed, grain, and other material.

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Thinking inside the box

October 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis delves into why top-down design might be useful when modeling a metal fabrication in 3-D CAD.

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Enterprise resource planning

Automated collection of real-time production data

September 30, 2008 | By James Finnerty

Considering that raw data from the shop floor forms the basis for all production reports, companies need to eliminate possible shortfalls in collecting this data. That's where automatic data collection can help.

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Weld training

But anybody can weld, right?

September 16, 2008 | By Rick Cowman

Welding is a craft that requires both proper training and practice. Training your welders can have a very positive effect on your operation. A well-trained welder is more likely to produce high quality welds efficiently and weld safely. He also may be more satisfied with his job and stick around longer

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3-D CAD strengthens customer bond

September 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis asks his fabricating readers if they know what it truly takes to keep up a fully functioning 3-D CAD software system.

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Heavy Plate Fabrication Welder

Ultrafabrication, ultraexpansion

August 26, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Ultra Machine & Fabrication, through significant capital outlays, has built an infrastructure ready to complete in the heavy plate market.

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Lori and Traci Tapani Closeup

Cycling through a business transition

August 26, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Lori and Traci Tapani, co-presidents of Wyoming Machine, aren't your typical metal fabrication managers. Together, they've managed to diversify their family business into a thriving, stable enterprise.

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5S—The foundation for lean and safe

August 26, 2008 | By Michael Taubitz

Lean, a popular term in manufacturing, most often is associated with organizing and eliminating waste on the shop floor. However, lean is also very effective in the office environment. Having a lean operation across the board improves efficiency, productivity, and safety. This article discusses the benefits of 5S and how to implement it.

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ASME and AWS welding codes—Similarities and differences - TheFabricator.com

ASME and AWS welding codes—Similarities and differences

August 26, 2008 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Welding codes are designed to improve the quality and efficiency of welding and are used to qualify welders. Predominate among welding codes in the U.S. are those authored by ASME and AWS. This article provides a brief overview of the similarities and differences in these codes.

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Angle Grinder

Shake, rattle, and the toll

August 26, 2008 | By Amanda Carlson

Operating an angle grinder is a tough job. Find out what angle grinder manufacturers are doing to make the tools more user- friendly, including lightening the weight, enhancing antivibration measures, and improving safety.

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