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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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 -

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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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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