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.

Filter Content

How to strengthen brand awareness and grow your business through advertising

March 17, 2014

By:

Should you advertise your fabricating business? The answer depends on whether or not you want your business to grow.

Continue Reading

Maximizing service, minimizing risk

March 14, 2014

By:

O’Neal Steel, founded in 1921 in Birmingham, Ala., originally was a fabrication shop, and the founder later added metal distribution to the company’s repertoire. Over the decades the business model changed, fabrication disappearing altogether at one point. Eventually the company resurrected its fabrication arm, but one thing has been a constant: The company’s small-town, close-knit, neighborly culture.

Continue Reading

Why the stigma attached to factory work?

March 14, 2014

By:

People should spend less time pushing every student toward college and spend more time realizing what people are actually doing on a shop floor of progressive fabricating shops. They aren’t “laborers,” but skilled machine operators and technicians—typically without a traditional four-year degree. Any stigma that exists about today’s factory worker is no longer relevant.

Continue Reading

Sustainable growth in the sunny Southwest

March 13, 2014

By:

You might have noticed the employees of CAID Industries Inc., Tucson, Ariz., walking around FABTECH 2013 with bright yellow shirts indicating that the fabricator was hiring. The company is looking for the right talent to help turn the $40-million-a-year business into something much larger.

Continue Reading

Rolling induction

Rolling induction preheating for roll-welded pipe

March 10, 2014

By:

Preheating pipe before welding can be a cumbersome, tedious task. A new technology, rolling induction heating, addresses some of the concerns associated with other heating methods.

Continue Reading

Preventing weld defects through proper consumables care

March 10, 2014

By:

SMAW electrodes are magnets for moisture if they aren’t properly stored, maintained, or handled. Moisture—hydrogen—can ultimately lead to cracks when deposited into the weld puddle. You can minimize moisture pickup with proper electrode storage and handling procedures to ensure that consumables operate at optimal levels.

Continue Reading

TUBE expo exhibitors agree that signs bode well for the coming year

March 3, 2014

By:

It’s no secret that Düsseldorf’s biennial tube and pipe expo, TUBE®, is a good way to gauge the industry’s health. The expo is 3 percent larger in 2014 than it was in 2012, and the exhibitors interviewed for this article expect good things from the industry in the coming year. These in-depth perspectives also revealed that upheaval in the U.S. energy industry is leading to changes that will have repercussions for decades.

Continue Reading

An 80/20 primer

February 28, 2014

By:

The 80/20 management method seeks to maximize results—such as sales or profits—by systematically deploying available resources only to the drivers that have the most impact. It sounds straightforward, but columnist Dick Kallage explains why this management approach is sometimes hard to execute.

Continue Reading

millennials

How millennials will make a difference

February 28, 2014

By:

Millenials have gotten a bad reputation. But the best of them may find a metal fabrication career extremely rewarding.

Continue Reading

Barnes Metalcrafters

The Fabricator Spotlight update-Part I

February 24, 2014

By:

From 2010 through early 2013, thefabricator.com profiled various metal fabricating shops in “The Fabricator Spotlight.” How have these businesses fared since their profiles were published? Here’s a look at two profiled at the beginning of 2010: Barnes Metalcrafters and Brown Dog Welding.

Continue Reading

Lean manufacturing

Where lean manufacturing meets quality control

February 24, 2014

By:

Lean manufacturing may have once been little more than a buzzword, but it is way of life for many in the metal fabrication industry. Meanwhile, the pursuit of quality is as critical as ever. Conference facilitators and participants discussed how these can go hand-in-hand at the 2013 EDTR roundtable event, Lean Manufacturing and the Quality Imperative, Sept. 15-17, Silverton, Ore. The outcome was a series of stories and tips that any fabricator could use to run leaner and maintain a quality product.

Continue Reading

Hobart Welding Certificate

Welding education - the good, bad, and ugly

February 17, 2014

By:

Welding education has come a long way from cast-iron repair and forge welding taught by blacksmiths. Today’s welding students have training options that can lead to different career paths.

Continue Reading

mission-critical

Mission-critical metal fabrication

February 17, 2014

By:

No matter how eye-popping the technology, the means of getting a job done is secondary; the result is primary. This is where General Tool Co.'s "team of experts" appraoch comes into play.

Continue Reading

Roy Mackey

Art for art's sake

February 10, 2014

By:

Metal sculptor Roy Mackey took a long, circuitous route to become an artist, and occupies an unusual niche. With no specific art classes or vocational education in his background, he learned metalworking bit by bit, and spends quite a bit of his time making sculptures that are realistic, but too unusual to represent real objects.

Continue Reading

stamping

How stamping and fabrication work together

February 4, 2014

By:

At Fisher-Barton South Carolina, historically a stamping operation, now gets half of its revenue from products that use metal fabrication. But there's not a stamping and fabricating "side" to the business. In fact, the part flow shows just how complementary fabrication and stamping can be.

Continue Reading