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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Weld nuts diagram

Projection welding for nut and bolt attachment

February 12, 2008 | By John Larsson

Projection welding, also known as resistance fastener welding, is the most common method for nut and M- or T-thread bolt welding. This article examines recent experiments with projection welding of those components to various high-strength steel components.

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Tube southeast asia expo

Tube Southeast Asia expo sheds light on Thailand, region

January 15, 2008 | By Eric Lundin

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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Manufacturers in the dark on lighting waste?

January 15, 2008 | By Dave Riggle

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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2007 FABTECH photo

It's a wrap

January 15, 2008 | By Amanda Carlson

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

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Essential CAD: A starting point

January 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

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 | By Lars Hedman

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 | By Jim Caudle

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 | By Vicki Bell

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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Fabricating: Employment or enjoyment?

October 9, 2007 | By Eric Lundin

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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Deteriorating Bridge

Rebuilding the infrastructure
Skilled workers must be trained now

October 9, 2007 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

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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Welding Teacher

Cure for the welder shortage

October 9, 2007 | By Tina M. Buchanan

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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Ridin the storm out

Ridin' the storm out

October 9, 2007 | By Kate Bachman

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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Numeric Key Image

Strategic sourcing for stampers

October 9, 2007 | By Frank Rubury

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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airplane image

A high-flying metal fabricator

September 11, 2007 | By Eric Lundin

From its beginning in 1986 as a machine shop, Custom Tube Products has changed to a fabrication shop. Along the way it has adapted to the skilled worker shortage, mainly by trading in its manual processes for automation.

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Who will fill your shoes? - TheFabricator

Who will fill your shoes?

September 11, 2007 | By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

Who will fill your shoes when you leave your company? What actions have you taken to develop the person who will be your replacement? Succession planning takes time and a well-thought-out strategy. This article can help you develop that strategy and identify potential successors.

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