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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Longer slabs, lower costs

August 8, 2002

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Unshored, deep steel decking that spans 20 feet—it's a good concept on paper, but can it serve customers in the real world? At least one engineer is convinced it can, and he's taking his message to the masses.

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Committing to consistent preventative maintenance

June 27, 2002

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Why do we pay lip service to preventative maintenance but seldom practice it?

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Manufacturing in Mexico

June 27, 2002

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The recession in the U.S. was also felt by Mexico, the 2nd largest trading partner of the U.S. But, through the maquiladora program, which has been in effect for 37 years, the blow was softened.

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Staying lean in a lean economy

June 18, 2002

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Slow times call for some desperate measures, but losing sight of a lean approach to manufacturing should not be one of them. Take an opportunity that slow times present to evaluate your business and take appropriate steps towards a lean operation.

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Forge welding process diagram

Electric resistance welding at a glance

June 13, 2002

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This article provides an overview of electric resistance welding (ERW). It dicusses high-frequency ERW (contact and induction) and rotary wheel contact welding (AC, DC, and square wave). It describes the differences among the processes, as well as the power supplies and weld rolls.

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A case study in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma

June 12, 2002

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You never know who in your company might be a diamond in the rough, waiting to shine. Giving everyone in your company the opportunity to take risks and learn from their mistakes is the best investment an employer can make.

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Robotic welding systems

Now's the time to AUTOMATE

May 30, 2002

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This article outlines some of the challenges fabricators are facing and how robotics and automation equipmentmakers are trying to address these challenges. Also addressed are different equipment and technological advancements and other factors affecting welding automation.

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Establishing quality systems for welding

May 16, 2002

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Welding codes and standards exist for a reason. They provide a framework for welders and shop managers to keep quality a top priority in their work.

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Forklift truck diagram

Buying a used forklift—wisely

April 15, 2002

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When purchasing a used forklift truck carefully look at maintenance records, give the vehicle a thorough inspection, and a test drive. The article features an in-depth inspection checklist.

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Getting the cash flowing

April 12, 2002

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Despite generous write-off allowances, the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 isn't inciting the type of industrial buying spree politicians had hoped for.

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Performance appraisals are an ongoing process

March 28, 2002

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If you make continuous feedback a part of your managerial style, the annual performance appraisal becomes and affirmation of a positive working relationship instead of a drudgery merely to be tolerated.

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Organizational planning

March 28, 2002

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The author discusses the importance of eliminating duplicated responsibilities, even in small job shops. The effectiveness of a company is improved when each person is responsible for specific tasks.

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New machines do not a world-class company make

March 28, 2002

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Buying top-shelf equipment doesn't necessrily make you a top-shelf operation. Much more important is the behavior of the people behind the equipment.

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Taking a look at performance appraisals

March 28, 2002

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If you make continuous feedback part of your managerial style, the annual performance appraisal becomes an affirmation of a positive working relationship.

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Build it or buy it?

March 28, 2002

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This article discusses the ins and outs of choosing a workable IT system for fabricators. It begins with the "envisioning phase" and works through analysis, development, and customization of systems.

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