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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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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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 10

October 12, 2004

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Editor's Note: This is the tenth episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about understanding that your niche is only part of the strategic planning job."Remind me of what you have tried so far to improve your cash flow," my...

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A growing force in Washington, D.C.

October 12, 2004

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If you take a thorough look at federal bureaus and agencies, you'll see quite an array of departments intended to promote a variety of industries and business-related activities. Many of them have been around for decades, and some are more than a century old. The United States Department of...

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When hurricanes come

October 12, 2004

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Many people watched with awe as the recent barrage of hurricanes hit the Caribbean and southeastern United States. Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne caused destruction that totaled billions of dollars and, regrettably, took the lives of many people. We sympathize with all those who experienced Mother Nature's wrath and had their lives turned upside down.

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Stamping CEO hopes to strengthen U.S. manufacturing

October 12, 2004

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Using his experience in the manufacturing industry, Don Wainwright plans to help improve the U.S. manufacturing industry through his position as chairman of the Department of Commerce's newly created Manufacturing Council.

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Fact, fiction, and the feds

September 14, 2004

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The government is looking for companies like yours: machine shops, fabricators, and other manufacturers, that can provide it with what it needs to fulfill its mission and that of the armed forces. However, many myths stop businesses from thinking about doing business with the government.

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Skilled workers make new press brake technology even more valuable

September 14, 2004

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This article grew out of an FMA discussion board posting about new press brake controllers and software in which someone asked, "Do I really need all of these bells and whistles?" A profound fact of today's technology-intensive world is that skilled press brake operators are now unnecessary. After...

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Winning with Lean

September 14, 2004

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Larry Martin hates the term lean manufacturing."When someone mentions lean manufacturing, it usually conjures up visions of layoffs and a stark, militarylike plant," said Larry Martin, vice president of Utah-based Martin Door Manufacturing Inc.He blames lean manufacturing's bad reputation on...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 9

September 14, 2004

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Editor's Note: This is the ninth episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about business network tiers, and the guru has asked Gerald to identify which tier his job shop is in.I sucked in my gums and tried to ape his sagacious...

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