April 7, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Accrotool Inc., New Kensington, Pa., had a 1,500-W laser cutting machine from 2001 that needed to be replaced. A fiber laser was deemed the perfect choice for the shop’s cutting chores. However, to be successful, the company’s management discovered that a new mindset was needed to accompany the new technology.
April 4, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Business leaders don't like unpredictability because it makes planning difficult. That's why they increasingly are calling on Congressional leaders to work together to chart some sort of course for the future.
March 28, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Turnaround time matters for the fabrication shops of NASCAR teams as they try to get the latest mechanical improvements to the car down to the track as soon as possible. That "need for speed" is something all metal fabricators can identify with. Often new manufacturing technology can provide that much-needed boost.
March 20, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Allowing employees to go off-site for training purposes improves the learning environment and shows everyone that the company wants to invest in the individual.
March 13, 2014 | By Dan Davis
As fabricators become more selective about jobs they accept, OEMs need to rethink purchasing procedures.
March 3, 2014 | By Dan Davis
KSM Industries Inc., Germantown, Wis., found success building rack mounts for power equipment, but as the business grew, the number of templates did as well. The company needed a better organization plan other than putting the templates on pallets, hoping to find them when they were needed again.
February 21, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Last week autoworkers at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., voted down a proposal to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. Fifty-three percent said “no” to the idea, even though Volkswagen did not actively oppose or support the vote. While the automaker may have tried...
February 14, 2014 | By Dan Davis
David Tilstone, president, National Tooling & Machining Association, is pretty certain precision metalworking shops across the U.S. need help. According to a 2013 NTMA survey of its membership, just over 70 percent have a job opening that they are having difficulty filling. At least a third have...
February 6, 2014 | By Dan Davis
During President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in late January, he made a point to focus on the development of more advanced manufacturing institutes, also called “hubs.” The idea is that these hubs would focus on advanced manufacturing technologies and possible commercialization...
February 3, 2014 | By Dan Davis
As I was watching the weather last night, the meteorologist mentioned that Chicagoland had already experienced the third most subzero-degree days in one winter, according to records that go back more than 140 years. That’s pretty depressing, considering that it’s not even February. So as the...
February 3, 2014 | By Dan Davis
How does a small western Michigan fabricating shop evolve into a key metal parts supplier to some of the most demanding OEM customers in the world? It is committed to lean manufacturing principles and has made strategic investments in new fabricating technology, but most of all, it has engaged employees that are comfortable with changes that come with continuous improvement efforts.
January 30, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Metal fabricators can’t find the right manufacturing talent. Customers are more demanding. The current workforce is overworked. How can fabricating companies keep up? The FABRICATOR’s Editorial Advisory Board has some suggestions.
January 27, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Altec, a manufacturer of truck bodies and related products, tried the outsourcing route me to stay on top of expanding fabricating jobs, but the headaches were too great to maintain such an arrangement. The company decided to take metal fabricating back in-house by setting up a new facility in Burnsville, N.C., and with the addition of some key equipment, it hasn't looked back.
January 24, 2014 | By Dan Davis
As metal fabricators claim they are unable to find young workers interested in working in metal fabricating for entry-level wages, the machine tool makers have responded by trying to take the “shop knowledge” that is commonly locked in the head of a few experienced shop floor workers and moving...
January 16, 2014 | By Dan Davis
Metal fabricating shops that perform well have well-performing workforces. It sounds too simple, but you’ll hear the same thing from managers in these high-performance organizations. Company owners and managers don’t debate about spending money on training programs that help to keep skills...