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.
March 26, 2014
It’s easy for metal fab shop owners and managers to fall into the habit of complaining about the lack of skilled talent in the marketplace. Executives at of General Sheet Metal Works, South Bend, Ind., recognized that their employees had plenty of knowledge and skill. The fabricator just didn’t have a strong structure to channel that knowledge and build a better company.
March 24, 2014
Columnist Gerald Davis shows that when you are 3-D modeling a tubular structure, it helps to be comfortable with 3-D sketching.
March 20, 2014
More and more businesses are seeking LEED certification. Among them is Hypertherm, a provider of cutting systems for the metal fabricating industry. The company met challenges along the way and exceeded its expectations in achieving LEED Gold.
March 17, 2014
Should you advertise your fabricating business? The answer depends on whether or not you want your business to grow.
March 14, 2014
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.
March 14, 2014
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.
March 13, 2014
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.
March 10, 2014
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.
March 3, 2014
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.
February 28, 2014
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.
February 24, 2014
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.
February 24, 2014
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.