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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Finding direction for the welding industry

January 10, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

The welding industry may be the only one forecast to show any growth between now and 2012, but growth in the U.S. is threatened by a number of factors: skilled worker shortages, welding rod litigation; and what some consider the need for greed among business executives.

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Is your business prepared for a pandemic?

January 10, 2006 | By Vicki Bell

A recent CFO survey found that only 7 percent of businesses are preparing for a potential avian flu pandemic. Preparation is important for this and other events that can disrupt business and endanger employees. Guidelines include training and preparing an ancillary work force. Cross-training current employees and documenting processes can help.

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Bulletproof processes

December 13, 2005 | By Kathleen McLaughlin

While some stampers are filing for bankruptcy, Alpha's lean manufacturing initiatives have propelled the Detroit-based stamper to a $50 million-dollar company and growing

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Characteristics of electron beam welding

December 13, 2005 | By B.E. Paton, Kevin Bartels

Electron beam welding is useful for many applications -- steel, aluminum, and exotic metals; thick, structural sections or thin, delicate components; and harsh conditions such as alternating loads and low temperatures. A programmable controller allows engineers to tailor the electron beam's power distribution, thereby creating a unique weld for each application. EBW often is used in applications that have stringent joint tightness and strength requirements and, in some cases, it is used for welds that cannot be done with any other joining method.

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Measuring up: Benchmarking your workplace practices

November 8, 2005

Manufacturers that track and address the effectiveness of their workplace practices make recruiting and retaining talent a key part of their strategy—a huge competitive advantage.

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Reverse engineering

November 8, 2005 | By Elia Levi

Typically, the idea for a fabricated product evolves into a manufacturing project from a complete set of engineering documents that define the product's scope, function, and limits and express its requirements. However, occasionally the necessary supporting documentation is unavailable and must be reconstructed.For example, you might want to study an old sunken Roman or Viking vessel to gather information on ancient materials and technology and to understand a past civilization.

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Reality TV: Frame-making in the U.S.

November 8, 2005 | By Dan Davis

Sumitomo Metal Mining USA (SMMU) Inc. has supplied cathode ray tube frams to some of the largest, high-end television manufacturers in the world from its Oceanside, Calif., facility. Despite the trend in moving manufacturing overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor pools, SMMU believes it is poised to remain competitive while maintaining its U.S. base of operations.

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Removing the obstacles to success

October 11, 2005 | By George Spilka

Owners of mid-sized businesses (those that sell for $2 million to $250 million) should know that the environment for selling such a business has grown increasingly harsh over the past 25 years or so. Many of the competitive forces at work in the global arena that have made manufacturing overseas attractive have made overseas manufacturing companies attractive investments, to the detriment of U.S. business owners. However, knowledge and planning can help an owner of a mid-sized manufacturing firm get a premium price for his business.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 5

October 11, 2005 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

When you want to bid on a government contract, getting the technical data you need, including specifications and drawings, is critical.

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Product liability

October 11, 2005 | By Dave Ludwin

By recognizing the myths and understanding the realities of protecting your business, you can make simple strategic refinements to help give you true peace of mind when it comes to product liability.

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Making the sale

October 11, 2005 | By Phil Pratt

Many customers are brand-loyal. How you sell to these individuals, some of whom may have preconceived notions of what they want, will determine your sales success.

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Selling to GM – A tough customer gets tougher

October 11, 2005 | By Bernard Swiecki

The automaker's relentless focus on cost cutting has made few friends in the supplier community. GM recently made several announcements that may signal an even greater focus on price.

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Waste replaced

October 11, 2005 | By Stephanie Vaughan

If your welding shop hasn't implemented lean manufacturing initiatives, it's only a matter of time, the experts say. Learn and brush up on your understanding of lean manufacturing to see what tools might help boost your productivity and efficiency.

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Successful tradeshow tips for attendees and exhibitors

October 11, 2005 | By Pat Lee

Getting the most from a tradeshow takes more effort than just being there. Following a few common tips, both attendees and exhibitors can maximize the tradeshow experience.

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Want a firsthand look at manufacturing in China?

September 13, 2005 | By Eric Lundin

China has been in the news extensively during the past couple of years, and developments in 2005 have intensified the focus on the world's most populous country. Chinese companies Hair and China National Offshore Oil Co. put in bids on U.S. companies (Maytag and Unocal); meanwhile, the People's Bank of China unhooked the yuan from the dollar in favor of linking the yuan to a basket of foreign currencies. This is the perfect time to embark on a tour to get a better understanding of the country's manfacturing capabilities, so FMA, TPA, and Thermatool Corp. teamued up to organize the tube- and pipe-oriented tour of the country.

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