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.
October 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Why do employees leave for a few cents more an hour? It goes back to culture—but what is culture, really? Rutland Walker of Atlanta-based The Academy of Marketing gives a relatively concrete explanation. It’s about connecting with employees with a shared purpose or belief.
October 15, 2015 | By Jeffrey Dean
The customer is not always right if it means a shop has no chance of earning money--even with a long-term perspective--while trying to meet the customer's expectations. In these cases, it's easier to have a difficult conversation with the customer before venturing down the path of future unprofitability.
October 15, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Listening to people on the shop floor is one thing, but really hearing what they’re saying is something else entirely.
October 12, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Advanced Laser Machining Inc. launched in 1996, just when laser cutting was becoming a metal fabrication mainstay and software was changing everything. Today managers are hoping to put a structure in place to grow the company even more. In 10 years ALM may be a $75 million enterprise
October 7, 2015 | By Tim Heston
The people at Prince Precision Products may be fabricating thin sheet one hour and thick plate the next hour. Managers at PPP call their operation a hybrid—part job shop focusing on small runs, part production operation. Juggling it all requires focus on good communication and minimizing rework.
September 28, 2015 | By Timm Boettcher
A collaborative approach between industry and education brings purpose to a student’s learning experience, gives them a realistic road map to help them develop future plans, all while helping meet local and regional workforce needs.
September 28, 2015 | By Stephanie Lowney
Implementing safety measures in the welding environment doesn’t need to be a top-down activity. Involving employees and encouraging them to provide insight can go far in establishing a safe welding operation and maintaining it. Choosing dependable safety equipment is also important. More durable products last longer, which reduces costs. Safety products that fit well and are easy to use also reduce downtime and increase worker acceptance.
September 10, 2015 | By Bill Frahm
Using reliability-centered maintenance to create an effective maintenance schedule helps to avoid critical stoppages in the production of parts.
September 8, 2015 | By Bob Sproull
As stated in the theory of constraints, the constraint process governs the pace of manufacturing. In job shops, the constraint may change from job to job. Identifying a controlled constraint, or control point, can simplify scheduling even in the complex world of high-mix, lowvolume manufacturing.
September 8, 2015 | By Dan Davis
The huge economic rebound that normally follows a recession has never really materialized, but metal fabricators appear to be making the most of the slow and steady climb from the economic doldrums of the late 2000s. The 2015 “What Keeps You up at Night?” survey suggests that fabricators are looking to take the steps necessary to support continued growth in their businesses.
September 2, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Employee surveys can either be an important tool for improvement or virtually useless. For surveys to be useful, they need to have a purpose and, most important, spur action.
September 2, 2015 | By Tim Heston
According to the Labor Department, American workers aren’t as productive as they once were. But how do we measure productivity? Perhaps most important, do customers value it?
September 1, 2015 | By Tim Heston
Career metalworker Tom Lipton shares his insights on something that’s often taken for granted in the fab shop: hand tools.
August 26, 2015 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith
Coal mining has long been an important industry in some areas of the U.S. As coal mining has fallen out of favor with environmental groups, the EPA, and the administration, these areas have had to adapt to remain viable and provide jobs.
August 17, 2015 | By Benjamin Howell
Welding fixtures, an important component of the fabrication process, have come a long way. Today’s fixtures make railing and frame welding easier, safer, more productive, and cost-efficient.