Wiley Tiki Talk

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Wiley-Tiki-Talk-BlogWelcome one and all to Tiki Talk!

First of all, what’s with the name right? Well, Tiki Talk comes from our fun project where we used scrap metal to build our unique Tiki Bar. At our scrap metal Tiki Bar we’ve shared a few cold ones and exchanged some pretty good (and also some pretty bad) ideas. We figured it would be a great name for our virtual gathering place.

Tiki Talk is our blog, but more importantly we want it to be a place where we can address your questions, share your comments and let you know what is going on with our company. We want everyone to take part...customers, potential customers, experts and novices alike. We hope it will be a fun and friendly exchange.

Look, if we could hang and have a couple of beers and play a round of golf with everyone, we would do that. Believe me we would do that. For now, Tiki Talk is the place. Pull up a stool and join in.

5 Metal Fab Shop Customer Service Lessons from Amazon

Odds are very good this holiday season you or someone you know has ordered something from the online retail giant Amazon. Why is that such a certainty? Because Amazon now controls an estimated 45% of all online sales. They are shipping approximately 200 million packages per day and one in four of us have an Amazon Prime account, assuring us 2-day priority shipping free for our purchases. What does all of this have to do with manufacturing in general and metal fabrication in particular? Here are five metal fab shiop customer service lessons we can learn to better create an Amazon Customer centric strategy.

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2018 Manufacturing Outlook: Sustainable Growth, Risks, & Industries that May See Increases

2018 marks 10 years since the Great Recession. While many of us in manufacturing would never want to revisit that period, it has made us much better managers. We've learned to do more with less and we've become more productive. We also learned to temper our expectations a bit. Rather than hoping for a “robust” or “soaring” economy, we are quite happy with terms like “stable”, “solid”, and “sustainable”. As we head into 2018, it appears the manufacturing outlook for the new year is being described mainly in those terms.

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Quality Fabrication Fit-Up starts with Accuracy during Cutting and Forming Process

If you've ever done any painting you'll understand the importance of preparation. Filling and sanding aren't as much fun as applying the paint, but they need to be done properly if you're to be happy with the finished result.

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How Effectively Managing Metal Fabrication Scrap Inventory Can Increase Your Bottom Line

Through the years, we've discussed many subjects that impact the bottom line of manufacturers and metal fabrication shops. We've addressed management practices, inventory control, improving productivity, and thinking outside the box. One area that is often overlooked is scrap metal management.

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Cellular Manufacturing Shop Floor Layout Can Increase Efficiency

Some manufacturing shop floors have the appearance of organized chaos, with some more organized than others. There are those that are carefully laid out to improve workflow and others that kind of grew seemingly on their own.

As more manufacturers move toward lean manufacturing processes, they discover the value of a well thought out and designed shop floor and the efficiencies that come with it. One such strategy is that of cellular manufacturing.

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Four Ways of Preventing Rust in an Overlapping Weld Joint

Steel loves oxygen but whenever the two get together there's trouble of the corrosive kind. Atoms of O bond to Fe, and the result is rust that flakes away, quickly destroying your steel fabrication. That's why we strongly encourage a protective coating. Powder, paint or galvanizing can all do the job, but if your design incorporates an overlapping weld joint there's a good chance the red devil will soon raise his ugly head.

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The 5s of an Organized Metal Fabrication Shop

Lean manufacturing is nothing new to metal fabrication shops as they seek to improve their processes. Lean manufacturing improves productivity, limits waste, and can even improve safety. Recently, talk in the industry has turned to the 5s system as part of the lean manufacturing process.

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5 Tips for Reducing Bevel in Plasma Cutting

There are a lot of ways to cut metal, but one of our favorites is plasma. It's fast and if done correctly, the resulting edge needs little clean up before welding. Notice the use of that little qualifier there though: “if done correctly”.

Plasma cutting is quite tricky to do well. One of the biggest challenges is minimizing the amount of bevel on the cut edge. Bevel is when the edge isn't square to the surface of the plate or sheet. A non-square edge needs a lot finishing if it's to be welded. That takes time and can lead to problems with maintaining size tolerances. So, here's what we know about how to reduce bevel.

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How to Increase Inventory Turn for Your Metal Fabrication Business

One of the more common metrics used in determining performance and in improving cash flow in manufacturing is inventory turn or inventory turnover. Inventory turn is the number of times your company's inventory will cycle through on an annual basis. It is often determined by taking the annual cost of sales and dividing it by the average inventory level.

Generally speaking, low margin companies will have a higher inventory turn than those of larger margin companies. In manufacturing, a six to eight times inventory turn is a solid average.

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Gartner's 3D Printing Hype Cycle Gives Insight Into When Additive will Go Mainstream

Remember 3D TV? Virtual Reality? Drone delivery services? Not long ago we thought they were the Next Big Thing but they're pretty quiet just now. Most likely they've fallen into the “Trough of Disillusionment” that typically follows the “Peak of Inflated Expectations.”

No, we're not making up these terms; they're phases of the “Gartner Hype Cycle.” This describes how new technology goes from invention to mainstream. Looking at where a new technology is in the cycle offers an insight into when we might all be using it. Here's more about the Hype Cycle and where 3D printing sits on it today.

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