October 29, 2013
Last week I flew to Chicago to attend LeanFab Workshop & Tours, a continuous improvement event devoted to the metal fabrication business, organized by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International. Dick Kallage of Barrington, Ill.-based KDC & Associates (and monthly...
October 15, 2013
When it comes to government, I don’t particularly want to know about the sausage-making—the bargaining, arguing, and deals made (and now almost always required) to get anything accomplished. I know reading about it would just infuriate me, because inside the beltway, at least, it seems that...
October 9, 2013
As revenue tumbled nearly 80 percent during the downturn, OMCO’s sales team searched for new markets that could carry them through the tough times and beyond. Ultimately, they found a sector that grew faster than anyone expected. They found solar.
October 9, 2013
This Minnesota fabricator took a pragmatic approach to lean manufacturing, one that takes the challenges of the job shop into account. Employees focused on communication, organization, and simplicity. The result was an operational and, most important, cultural transformation.
October 8, 2013
Whenever I think of the debt ceiling, I think of Vivek Gupta, managing director of Texas ProFab in Carrollton, Texas. In 2008—back when we were all debating whether we were really heading into a full blown recession (how quaint)—he told me that he not only pays the fabricator’s bills on...
September 26, 2013
When it comes to a lot of things about the economy, I’m a glass half-empty kind of guy. Will the government shut down soon because of the mess inside the beltway? Yeah, probably. The jobless rates are down this week! Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts. Five years after the financial crisis and...
September 19, 2013
Five years ago, Dane Manufacturing, a small fabricator and stamper in Dane, Wis., made a bold move. As the credit market was freezing, Troy Berg, company president, began looking for a bolt-on acquisition. That bold move paid off. Read the article.
September 17, 2013
In hindsight, it’s ironic. It was early September 2008, and FABTECH was set to open in Las Vegas in a few weeks. Up until that point a hot bed of growth, especially in real estate. But then Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. Still, even a few weeks into the crisis, the metal fabrication...
September 9, 2013
How is Maersk’s new Triple E class containerships—nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall—like a job shop? Forget the fact that, as reported by BusinessWeek, the behemoth is designed to go only 16 knots to save fuel. Sure, heat-capture devices use heat from the massive ship...
August 9, 2013
Shops start improving by measuring and documenting what they already do, because they can’t improve what they don’t measure.