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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Ace Metal crafts executives

Getting lean, job shop style

August 26, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Ace Metal Crafts has promoted its own brand of lean that, more than anything, gives employees ownership over the process.

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SeaWorld Orlando

(Un) memorable fabrication

August 12, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Oceaneering's structural fab operation has built "dark ride" vehicles for theme parks around the world. It has custom-fabricated and erected aluminum components for a mammoth advertisement overlooking Times Square. It has welded a structural mount that holds up the recovered World Trade Center antenna, now on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. And it has fabricated and erected duplex stainless steel bridges over killer whale pools at the San Diego and Orlando SeaWorld® parks. That's quite a portfolio of jobs, and all of them quietly have gotten their start at a structural fabrication facility on the outskirts of Baltimore.

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One easy piece to model

August 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis believes it's a shame when a shop doesn't use its 3-D CAD software to its fullest potential. That's why he takes the reader through a modeling tutorial.

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Intelligent business investments in uncertain economic times

July 29, 2008 | By Dave Lechleitner

When the going gets tough, businesses have a tendency to make broad, sweeping budget cuts, sometimes without taking into consideration the long-range effect of the proposed cuts. Key investments in certain areas can streamline processes, improve operations, and ultimately have a positive effect on the bottom line.

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Car body frame

Getting work from the New Domestics

July 15, 2008 | By Kate Bachman

Stampers can take some steps to position themselves for work from automotive "transplants." In some cases, it's just a matter of being there, literally, by locating nearby. Furthermore, it's important to adhere to the unique requirements for materials and practices.

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3-D CAD Modeling Figure 1a

Getting a handle on 3-D CAD modeling

July 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis provides the reader with a brief overview of some of the handy 3-D CAD tools he uses when doing basic modeling techniques.

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Chemical Containers

What fabricators need to know about REACH

June 30, 2008 | By Vicki Bell

The registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals (REACH) legislation enacted by the European Union is a complicated chemical management program that could affect manufacturers worldwide, including metal fabricators. This article sheds light on the legislation and provides resources to answer fabricators' questions about REACH.

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defibrillator

A matter of life or death

June 30, 2008 | By Vicki Bell

Journalist Tim Russert's death from a heart attack caused many of us to think about what might transpire should a cardiac arrest or other life-threatening event happen to us at work. Responsible, sensible companies have first-aid programs designed to minimize damage and increase the likelihood of survival.

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Kaikaku pie chart

Automotive toolmaking tricknology : Applying NUMMI's concepts to tool and diemaking

June 17, 2008 | By Gary Gathen

In 1984 the Fremont, Calif. GM assembly plant shuttered under the strain of horrible management-labor relationships. Toyota offered to reopen the plant in a joint venture with GM implementing its Toyota Production System. Tool and diemaking shops can apply the same NUMMI concepts to revitalize their companies and reinvent themselves.

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Bankruptcy empty pockets image

When customers and suppliers file bankruptcy

June 17, 2008 | By Timothy McFadden

Although economic growth in recent years has resulted in fewer business bankruptcies, increasing signs of economic slowdown may mean that fabricators will soon see more of their customers or suppliers file for bankruptcy.

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Staybridge suites chicago

Building success with the staggered truss

June 17, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Developed during the 1960s by MIT graduate students, the staggered-truss system avoids the use of interior columns to transfer loads to the foundation; instead, trusses themselves carry the brunt of the load transfers. More than anything, the steel design method has potential to take various hotel, condo, and office-building projects away from other construction materials, like concrete, and that's certainly good news for structural steel fabricators everywhere.

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Stopwatch image

No time to waste

June 17, 2008 | By Eric Lundin

For the past decade or so, the headline stories have painted a grim picture for the world's economies. The Asian financial crisis (1997) was followed by a free-fall in stock prices (2000) and a recession that stalled many of the world's leading and emerging economies (2001), leaving many to wonder...

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Traci and Lori Tapani

Accounting for growth in lean manufacturing

June 17, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Lean manufacturing has a negative, often unexpected, impact on the balance sheet--but those negative effects are short-term.

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Torsion spring component

Silicon Valley stamper sizes up, down electronics

June 17, 2008 | By Kate Bachman

California electronics stamper Scandic Springs Inc. faces challenges of stamping ever-shrinking electronics components as well as stamping larger parts, such as enclosures.

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Unfolding truth about flats

June 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis reveals the usefulness of unfolding parts on the computer screen.

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