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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Beating 'world' pricing

January 13, 2004

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During the depths of the manufacturing slowdown that has cost the fabricated metal products sector nearly 300,000 jobs since 2000, Steven Southwell, president of Des Plaines, Ill.-based Nu-Way Industries Inc., faced a depressing challenge from one of his multinational OEM customers??either meet the ??total cost of acquisition? achieved in China or purchase the part from the Chinese supplier, inventory it, and incorporate it into the family of parts supplied by Nu-Way.

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Family business going strong after 100 years

December 11, 2003

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The average lifespan of a family-owned business is 24 years, and 60 percent of family-owned businesses do not have a clear succession plan. Tell that to the Peddinghaus Corporation and you might be in for a big "Oh really?" In business for 100 years and with a Peddinghaus still at the helm, the family-owned manufacturer of steel construction industry equipment clearly is a statistical exception.

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Reflection—Getting the most from experience

November 20, 2003

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Leaders, what have you learned about yourself, your employees, and your company in the past year? What were your business blessings? What did you learn about your leadership style or methods? What do you intend to take into the new year, and what will you leave behind?

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Workers' compensation—Managing the process

November 20, 2003

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Editor's note: Portions of this article were published previously in an issue of FMA/TPA "Member Connections."State workers' compensation laws were enacted to ensure that covered employees who are injured on the job are provided with monetary benefits to cover medical expenses and to replace...

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Exercising control

November 20, 2003

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This three-phase, mid-frequency inverter is a dual-gun projection welding machine with a pneumatically operated lift table for the workpiece. Although mid-frequency technology isn't new, North American buyers are increasingly turning toward their benefits, equipmentmakers say.Getting control over...

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Is your company a breeding ground for workplace violence?

November 6, 2003

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Workplace violence—many of us think about it only when national or local media reports an incident. Most of us probably think it happens infrequently and never could happen where we work. And it's likely that workplace violence victims thought the same thing, before it happened to them.

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Shedding light on negativity—Part 2

November 6, 2003

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Read Part I.Negative thoughts, feelings, opinions, and comments are normal. Each of us thinks and expresses negative thoughts every day. Often the negatives illuminate problems that need to be addressed. When handled properly, they can lead to positive changes. But when negativity becomes chronic,...

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Meeting ISO 14001 requirements

November 6, 2003

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As of July 2003 all 5,000-plus Ford Motor Company suppliers were required to be ISO 14001-certified. In 2002 General Motors required all of its suppliers to implement environmental management systems (EMS) that conform to ISO 14001. The trend will continue for the auto industry and others.

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March for manufacturing

October 23, 2003

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As the "jobless" recovery continues, the job cleansing of the U.S. manufacturing base tops 2.7 million. These millions now without jobs remain faceless, statistical footnotes to mainstream media reports about how the recession ended in 2001, production is on the rise, and how job losses are singularly attributable to productivity gains. The outsourcing of the American dream for small manufacturers proceeds unabated.

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Pinpointing future laser welding markets

October 23, 2003

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Aficionados of laser welding technology at times must feel a little like telephone vendors beamed back to 1603. They know almost everyone is going to use them in the future, but getting buy-in today can be like hawking loans at 25 percent-lots of interest and few takers.

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Shedding light on negativity—Part 1

October 9, 2003

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Read Part II. Are you a negaholic—someone who almost always sees the glass as half or totally empty? Do you live or work with one? If you answered, "No" to both of these questions, I'd like to know what planet you live on.These days—which are rife with economic uncertainty,...

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Camp Manufacturing

October 1, 2003

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Ah, the memories of summer camp. Swimming, sunscreen, hiking, bug spray, camping, arts and crafts. And the promise of an exciting experience with friends. Like youths all over the U.S., 10 students from the Rockford, Ill., region have their own summer camp recollections. Theirs are from a one-week experience the last week of July, but it wasn't necessarily like the camp you may remember.

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Budget cuts hit welding hard

September 25, 2003

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Bill Garner is outraged when he hears that Connecticut, where he teaches welding, would rather import welders than keep adult vocational education programs that train the state's own residents."I don't think that the people making this decision understand that welding is used in business today,"...

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Any good news in manufacturing?

August 14, 2003

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This article was inspired by a reader's reaction to Part IIof David Goodreau's two-part series about the state of manufacturing, The Perfect Economic Storm and the 100-year Flood in Manufacturing. The reader asked, "Can you find ANY good news out there for the industry?" While you may have to look...

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Keep it clean

August 14, 2003

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Are you having problems with wastewater discharges from your metalworking facility? Have you received a violation notice from your sewer use authority? Do your environmental experts speak a language you don't understand or continually reject new fluids you would like to use? Or perhaps you would like to use new or improved lubricants, cleaners, rust preventives, or detergents, but the products you've tried have failed the waste treatment tests.

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