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.

Filter Content

Closing the skills gap

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.

Continue Reading

Creating a safe welding environment

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.

Continue Reading

An introduction to reliability-centered maintenance

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.

Continue Reading

Scheduling by constraint in metal fabrication

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.

Continue Reading

2015: What keeps you up at night?

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.

Continue Reading

The metal manufacturer and the employee survey

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.

Continue Reading

Are workers really less productive?

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?

Continue Reading

Metal fabrication basics: 5 insights on the humble hand tool

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.

Continue Reading

Fabricating in the coal mining region undergoes transformation

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.

Continue Reading

What to look for in railing and frame welding fixtures

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.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Table-driven design

August 12, 2015 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis walks the reader through the creation of a hex nut and shows how this exercise can be applied to other threaded creations.

Continue Reading

4 tips on avoiding property tax sticker shock

August 4, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Planning for your next commercial property tax assessment boils down to having the right information at the right time, and using the right strategy.

Continue Reading

Organizational energy

August 4, 2015 | By Dick Kallage

To attain high organizational energy, a company’s people need to be aware of the environment in which the company operates, and have the fitness and will to improve.

Continue Reading

Simulating the workplace in welding education

July 29, 2015 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

West Virginia has launched an educational initiative designed to help welding instructors better prepare students for the workplace. Welder and educator Carlisle Smith explains the program, which is showing promising results.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design alignment

July 21, 2015 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis offers an overview of how to use CAD to address the inclusion of a flat-head screw and a countersink in a 3-D design..

Continue Reading