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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Marelli Seconn

Nothing standard about this fab shop

February 12, 2008

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Rob Marelli left a family-owned metal fabricating company four years ago with the intention of doing things his way. Joined by a loyal group of managers and employees, he's found success at Seconn Fabrication. In the short time the company has been open, it has earned revenues of $9 million. And the company has done this by doing things other metal fabricating competitors aren't.

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2007 FABTECH photo

It's a wrap

January 15, 2008

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A recap of the 2007 show, including products, the the panel discussion, and final attendance numbers.

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Manufacturers in the dark on lighting waste?

January 15, 2008

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Lighting is typically the last line item on the budget operators worry about or assess. Many companies feel as though they have no control over their energy costs, so they never take a critical look at the expenditure. It's just an item on the budget that has to be paid no matter what the cost. However, such costs can result in millions of dollars of lost revenue each year, not to mention tons of wasted energy and a negative impact on the environment.

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Tube southeast asia expo

Tube Southeast Asia expo sheds light on Thailand, region

January 15, 2008

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It's a vacationer's paradise—beaches in the south, mountains in the north, nightlife in the capital city, and low prices on nearly every consumer good under the sun. Like all emerging economies, it has a vibrant and growing manufacturing sector. It also happens to be centrally located in...

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Essential CAD: A starting point

January 1, 2008

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Before a company purchases a CAD software package, the management team should start with a list of priorities that it expects the software to address. Of course, these priorities should be tailored to the company's mission. It's also important to keep in mind some of the basics of the virtual design world before the actual purchase takes place.

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Image of computer in the sky

Maximizing your shop floor automation investment

December 11, 2007

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In the world of shorter-run and engineered-to-order production, fabricators want to keep their machines at near or full capacity, which means the business is making money. To accomplish this, the flow of information coming out of the front office has to be fast enough to drive the shop floor automation.

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Structural Steel

6 structural steel lessons not found in books

November 6, 2007

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Unfortunately, the proper structural steel education is not taking place before young men and women hit the shop floor. Trade and welding schools give you the basics about fabricating, but you learn a lot more on the job. To help that information exchange, an old-school structural steel fabricator shares six thoughts.

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Sargent current building

Not your average job shop

October 23, 2007

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Sargent Metal Fabricators, Anderson, S.C., is not your average job shop. In an economic climate in which many U.S. fabricators have suffered, the company has stayed focused on its goals, invested in new equipment, grown by leaps and bounds, and positioned itself for future growth. How? By concentrating on key factors.

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Numeric Key Image

Strategic sourcing for stampers

October 9, 2007

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Material is the largest cost component for stamping companies, but does not receive much management attention. An annual material buy program can help stamping plant managers make substantial cuts in their material costs and other costs associated with the purchasing department.

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Ridin the storm out

Ridin' the storm out

October 9, 2007

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While other automotive suppliers are struggling or going under, Tier II supplier of ride control components Tennessee Stampings established a lean program that merited a regional manufacturs' award and helped them grow 23 percent per year.

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Welding Teacher

Cure for the welder shortage

October 9, 2007

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What can be done to combat the skilled welder shortage? Longtime welding educator and inspector Tina Buchanan has some ideas that require cooperation among educational facilities at all levels, industry, and parents. Among her recommendations are restructuring educational programs, more industry involvement, and parental support of children's career interests.

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Deteriorating Bridge

Rebuilding the infrastructure
Skilled workers must be trained now

October 9, 2007

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Recent news, such as the Minneapolis bridge collapse, confirms that the nation's aging infrastructure needs an overhaul. New materials will help make bridges and other structures stronger, but finding the work force to build them won't be an easy task. The state of West Virginia is launching an initiative that may speed up worker training.

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Fabricating: Employment or enjoyment?

October 9, 2007

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Robert Warnett didn't take many vocational classes in school, never spent much time reading about welding or fabricating, and never had a job in a shop. However, he made quite a few friends in the fabricating industry and made a hobby out of fabricating. Being a hands-on type of guy, he has capitalized on the knowledge and experience he has acquired over the years to do something that many people only dream about doing. He builds custom motorcycles.

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Press maintenance program

Creating a pressroom preventive maintenance program

September 11, 2007

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A press maintenance program should be designed to minimize downtime, enhance machinery output, and establish a formal record keeping system for ongoing inspections.

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Employee loyalty—An elusive goal?

September 11, 2007

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Today's employees likely will work for several companies throughout their careers. This does not mean that retention efforts on your part are ineffective or a waste of resources. The right strategies can help you achieve the most from your valuable employees and possibly extend the time they work for you.

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