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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Thermal spray and fabrication

November 4, 2015 | By Dale Moody, Peter Foy

Thermal spray is being used in metal manufacturing more each year. Fabricators need to be familiar with what it is, what benefits it can provide, and who can provide it.

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What makes an effective quality system in manufacturing?

November 4, 2015 | By Dick Kallage

When designing an effective quality system, manufacturers need to consider the cost of quality (COQ), customer and industry quality demands, and their company’s specific set of value propositions.

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Celebrating the people in manufacturing

November 4, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing Day celebrates what’s at the heart of the real world of progressive manufacturing. It’s about people talking and working together to make their lives, and the lives of their customers, easier.

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Building a better bike

November 2, 2015 | By Jeffrey Dean

Bike-making may represent a potential business opportunity for skilled metal fabricators looking to diversify their businesses. Several bike-makers discuss how they got into the business and how they build their bicycles.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: In-context modeling

October 28, 2015 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis continues his work on a go-cart body. This time the focus is on modeling weldments with an eye on accommodating future edits.

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Customizable welding tables simplify operations and enhance productivity

October 28, 2015 | By Michelle Howell

The best welding tables are multipurpose and designed for maximum efficiency and productivity. Here’s what to look for when choosing tables for your operation.

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How managing by valuation is changing Farris Fab

October 26, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Farris Fab has grown to become a $24.5 million enterprise. Within the past year company leaders have started to manage by valuation. They have no intention to sell, but maximizing the value of the company also happens to improve the overall operation.

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Real job shops

October 22, 2015 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Some metal fabricating operations produce the same product day in and day out with little variation. Real job shops, which are becoming rarer, have a much tougher row to hoe, one that requires constant innovation and high skill levels.

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What comes after the fiber laser purchase?

October 19, 2015 | By Frank Arteaga

Fabricating metal parts today using the same approaches and technology from 10 years ago is a time-intensive exercise. New technology introduces efficiencies to the fabricating process shops need to embrace if they are to maximize profitability and stay ahead of the competition.

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Reassurance in purchasing raw materials

October 19, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Supply Dynamics, Loveland, Ohio, has just announced a secure, anonymous, and reliable way to accurately benchmark the prices you pay or have been quoted for many common ferrous and nonferrous metals.

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Why fabricators need to think about career paths

October 19, 2015 | By Dan Davis

A focus on a career path in fabricating typically might be centered around an individual’s perspective. Fabricating companies, however, are finding that by being up-front about skills development and career progression, they are building more engaged and productive organizations.

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ISO 9001 and ERP: A united approach

October 15, 2015 | By Mike Sweet, Steve Pettyjohn

Attaining ISO 9001 certification and selecting ERP software are not easy tasks. But companies can accomplish their desired objectives and even thrive as a result of ERP and ISO 9001 initiatives, when done thoughtfully and properly.

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Diversification: The true competitive advantage in metal fabrication

October 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston

According to recent benchmarking surveys from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, debt ratios remain manageable, EBITDA steady, yet revenue concentration remains high for some. The numbers show areas for opportunity as well as challenges.

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How to build loyalty in manufacturing workers? Go off-script

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.

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Learning to say “no”

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.

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