April 1, 2015
Burlington, Ky.-based Skilcraft LLC has changed a lot in the past decade. It has moved away from the traditional job shop model toward comprehensive contract fabrication. And it got there by scrutinizing every step of the manufacturing process, from quoting to shipping.
March 25, 2015
In recent years Ashcroft’s Connecticut plant has changed significantly. It’s an operation transitioning from batch-style production to lean part flow, and a new, flexible welding cell has helped the manufacturer prepare for future improvements.
March 24, 2015
Technology is the engine of metal fabrication, but people are behind the wheel. And how they drive really matters.
February 19, 2015
Investors worry about how the drop in oil prices will affect the energy boom. The people on the front lines—including the fabricators and pipe welders—don’t seem to be terribly worried. Some even welcome a slight slowdown, because it will give everyone time to catch up.
February 18, 2015
Manufacturing is cool again, and fabricators wanting to sell their business are benefiting from a seller’s market. Nevertheless, high revenue concentration, a shallow talent pool, poor cash flow, reliance on sales from a single sector, and other factors still throw up red flags.
February 17, 2015
Bob Moehlman has welded pipe for more than 50 years, including 30 years at Superior Pipe Fabricators, a Los Angeles-based shop he helped launch in 1984. The shop’s success hasn’t come by using the latest and greatest pipe welding technology, but instead through teaching—showing the inexperienced employees the ropes, developing their talent, and giving them a career.
February 4, 2015
Competing fabricators can invest in the same technology and software, but they can't employ the same people.
February 4, 2015
Modern forming technology has made kit-based part flow much easier. But when you’re dealing with a dynamically nested sheet, with kits of different parts, pieces can get lost in the mix. Fabricators can tackle this problem with intelligent nesting and part identification.
February 3, 2015
In their book Cashing Out of Your Business, authors Kathleen Richardson-Mauro and Jane M. Johnson tackle not just the nuts and bolts of selling an enterprise—revenue concentration, profitability, health of the market—but also the personal elements. When an owner sells a business, his or her life changes in a dramatic way.