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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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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The Perfect Economic Storm and The 100-Year Flood in Manufacturing—Part 2

July 24, 2003

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Editor's note: This article discusses the final three of six factors contributing to the current state of manufacturing — technology investment, the elimination of industrial arts programs, and the lack of industry leadership — with a focus on California manufacturing. Part I, which appeared...

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Tuning a piano—making the most of your best resources

July 24, 2003

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Editor's Note: Is your company in survival mode? There are questions you should be asking and steps you can take to improve your company's position—instead of shooting the pianist.Ever listen to someone playing a piano that's out of tune? Remember the sound? Completely sour. Even hitting a...

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The Perfect Economic Storm and The 100-Year Flood in Manufacturing—Part 1

July 10, 2003

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Editor's note: This article discusses three of six contributing factors to the current state of manufacturing—global competition, high business costs, and supply chain management and consolidation—with a focus on California manufacturing. Part II discusses technology investment, the...

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What price workers' compensation insurance?

July 10, 2003

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It's a Catch-22 for many manufacturers. Not having workers' compensation insurance can put them out of business. Paying for workers' compensation insurance can put them out of business. How is a company to survive?

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Managers are not necessarily leaders

June 26, 2003

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Often we are told that leadership is the key to the success of any business or organization. What is leadership? Is it the same as management? And what separates would-be or so-so leaders from world-class leaders?

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The end of the (welding) world as we know it?

June 26, 2003

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The end of manufacturing is near for the state of Connecticut, some fear.

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The future of vocational education

June 12, 2003

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The death knell is sounding for vocational programs throughout the U.S. Readers who responded "Yes, vocational programs have been cut" to thefabricator.com's recent question regarding the status of vocational programs where they live outnumbered those responding "No, vocational programs are intact" three to one.

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Inline process auditing

June 12, 2003

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Imagine this: The line is running smoothly, delivery is tight but on schedule, it is 10 minutes to shift change, and suddenly Art the quality control inspector runs by the office window shouting, "We've got bad parts coming out!" You shut the line down, your production supervisor comes running, Art is grabbing as many parts as he can to start checking, and the operator is thinking, "I should run now and let the second shift deal with it."

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