May 8, 2007 | By Colin McLoughlin
As part of its conversion from traditional to lean manufacturing principles, Oregon Metal Slitters wanted to initiate quick-changeover practices in its production operations. It also wanted to achieve this internally, without the overview of an outside consultant, so that the practice would be sustainable for the future. OMS found a SMED program from Enna Inc. that helped the company start the process right.
April 10, 2007 | By Vicki Bell
Workplace bullying can negatively affect an employee's work performance, home life, and health. Seventy-one percent of bullies are bosses. What constitutes an abusive boss, and what can employees who are abused do to correct their harmful working conditions? This article lists different types of abusive bosses and offers tips for combating the abuse.
Western companies believe that although India and China are receiving a lot of manufacturing sourcing jobs, they cannot compete with Western skills. However, with developing "knowledge economies" and an openness to change and progress sometimes lacking in Western companies, these countries could easily become top world economies. This article explores how one Indian stamping company had great success implementing a knowledge management system.
April 10, 2007 | By George Spilka
If you own a midsized company, one valued at $2 million to $250 million, and you're thinking about selling, you should consider hiring a financial adviser to guide you through the process. This is likely to be the biggest and most important business transaction of your career, so finding an adviser who understands you, your business, and your industry is key in negotiating the best price.
April 10, 2007 | By Eric Lundin
Glenn Metalcraft Inc. started out as a tool and die shop in Minneapolis in 1947. Today it is an $8-million-a-year contract manufacturer that has created a niche in spin-forming circular and conical components up to 0.750 in. thick. Glenn has found a high-volume niche, producing wheels, brakes, and other components, using a process that traditionally was used almost exclusively for prototype and low-volume work.
March 13, 2007 | By Sue DiBianca
With the recent increases in gasoline and natural gas prices, more attention than ever is focused on alternative energy sources. One fabricator, Aerisyn LLC, investigated manufacturing towers for use in the wind power industry. To produce towers efficiently enough to compete against imports from Asia, Aerisyn relied on an equipment vendor that had experience in demanding fields such as aerospace, nuclear, and wind power.
March 13, 2007 | By Phil Evans
Training programs enhance worker skills, encourage employee/employer loyalty, and help reduce employee turnover. This article defines what is important to an adult learner, describes the different types of adult learners, and details the components of an effective training program. It also discusses trainer requisites.
March 13, 2007
IRMCO, a 93-year-old manufacturer of environmentally friendly lubricant technologies for the metal forming industry, is not only surviving but thriving in an industry that's facing tough times with plant closures, downsizing, and fierce foreign competition.
March 13, 2007 | By Jim Donaldson
Many industries and careers rely on certification programs to train workers. The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.®, has identified a need to certify precision sheet metal workers and is launching a certification program. This article explains the program's goals, outlines the development process, and describes how industry professionals can participate.
March 13, 2007 | By Kathleen McLaughlin
2007 U.S. appliance shipments are forecast to grow only 1 percent because of a sluggish housing market. Shifts in channel preferences; successful market penetration by offshore brands; a strong demand for high-priced, innovative white goods; and the Maytag/Whirlpool merger are changing the industry's landscape.
February 13, 2007 | By Stephanie Vaughan
Tarter Gate, a captive tube mill operation and tube and pipe fabricator, is the largest manufacturer of animal management equipment in the U.S. Learn how the company has used a marketing plan to increase sales and maintain growth in this family-owned and -operated business.
February 13, 2007 | By Kathleen McLaughlin
As the Big Three try to return to profitability, most of their suppliers, many with a negative cash flow, are starting to crack under the pressure. Declining OEM unit volume and mix issues, pricing pressures, and high sustained raw material costs continue to constrain cash flows and limit balance sheet improvements that, in some cases suffered significant deterioration in 2006.
February 13, 2007 | By Kate Bachman
Family-owned Hansen Steel Services started six years ago with a 600-ft. long empty building and a combined 144 years of experience and built it into a thriving job shop that shoulders large plate fabrications.
February 12, 2007 | By Vicki Bell
The January 2007 "Fabricating Update" asked subscribers to choose their No. 1 concern from a list of factors affecting metal manufacturing. It also asked whether the Democrat-controlled Congress sworn in Jan. 4 will have a positive, negative, or no effect on their businesses. This article presents the survey findings.
February 6, 2007
SituationToyota's 900,000-sq.-ft. Hebron, Ky., facility is its largest parts distribution center in the world.Given the size of the facility, the company was forced to overheat during cold months to compensate for the majority of the warm air rising to the ceiling. Monthly utility bills were...