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How to Combat a Distressing Drop in Productivity at Shift Change

Question: I'm not happy with the drop in productivity on the shop floor at shift change. While I expect some decline, I wonder whether there might be some tactics to help us in this area. Any thoughts? Answer: It's not clear if it's a supervisor, manager or someone else who might have written this question about the productivity drop at shift change, but I do have some thoughts. First of all, I'd encourage the reader to change expectations, i.e. "While I expect some decline..." This is the first problem that must be addressed. Why would we have lower expectations about running effectively at shift changes -- especially since leaders tend to get what they expect? Unfortunately, this is a comm

Made-in-Erie dog toys offer a tail-wagging good time

Jon Meighan, the owner of Lake Erie Rubber and Manufacturing in Fairview, developed the toy with help from the Northwest Pennsylvania Innovation Beehive Network. Jon Meighan toyed with the idea for a while. He wanted his rubber manufacturing business, which usually fills orders for other companies, to develop a new product. It would be a first for the business he bought and consolidated into Lake Erie Rubber & Manufacturing, in Fairview Township, in August 2017. “I was brand new and excited,” Meighan said. “I thought, ‘OK, well now’s the time to shake it up and try something different.’” He landed on a product that the plant was already equipped to manufacture: a rubber dog toy. The first to

How to Optimize Your Metal Fabrication Shop

Metal fabrication is integral to manufacturing, which is why so many shops and plants seek to incorporate value-adding fabrication services. Success in this manufacturing requires being able to provide a product quicker and faster than the competition, without compromising quality. Optimizing the fabrication process can help ensure your success. Keep the fabricator involved — In many cases, metal fabricators are not included in the product design process: they don't see the part they're meant to manufacture until the finished designs cross their desk. This is a big problem if, as in most cases design and fabrication are two separate responsibilities, you work with an off-site designer, or th

Technical center students playing vital role as RoboBOTS competition nears

The Crawford County Career & Technical Center won't field a team at this year's annual RoboBOTS competition, but it will make its presence felt. On March 30, 41 teams from 21 schools are set to clash with 15-pound robots doing battle in a round-robin tournament at Meadville Area Senior High School. There's no RoboBOTS team from the technical center's precision machining program — but not because its students aren't interested. They're helping other high school teams iron out design issues as well as machining parts for other teams. It's all they can do because the technical center's students are in demand already by area manufacturers. "We've got 10 seniors (in the program), but they're all

10 Tax Planning & Business Tips for Privately-Held Companies

The federal, state and economic environment is in a state of constant change. The end of 2017 was the Tax Cuts Jobs Act – the biggest federal tax change in 30 years. Last year’s Wayfair v. South Dakota sales tax case now requires out-of-state sellers of goods and services to collect sales tax if they have no physical presence. We also saw the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiated and new tariffs imposed on imported products. While we always advise tax and business planning be done annually, these changes make it more crucial than ever. Here are 10 business and tax planning tips to boost your business. Review Your Business Plan: Review it, revise it, implement the revisions and com

High-Paying Trade Jobs Sit Empty, While High School Grads Line Up For University

Like most other American high school students, Garret Morgan had it drummed into him constantly: Go to college. Get a bachelor's degree. "All through my life it was, 'if you don't go to college you're going to end up on the streets,' " Morgan said. "Everybody's so gung-ho about going to college." So he tried it for a while. Then he quit and started training as an ironworker, which is what he is doing on a weekday morning in a nondescript high-ceilinged building with a concrete floor in an industrial park near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Morgan and several other men and women are dressed in work boots, hard hats and Carhartt's, clipped to safety harnesses with heavy wrenches han

Are Unions Still the Voice of the Employee?

“As I sit at the negotiating table, a place where I have been for over 20 years, I barely recognize the conversation,” Paul Shearon, president of the International Federation of Profession and Technical Engineers told me. “The issues we are talking about are those that we had never ever considered, and this gives me great hope for the continued role of the voice of employee in the workplace.” When tracing the formation of unions, and guilds before that, it boils down to a method for employees to have a voice in the conditions of their employment. However, it’s truly more than a voice -- it’s a contract. And it’s the contact that is at the core of the employee-employer relationship. I asked S

Bollman Hat Turns 150!

On This Day In Bollman History: Fred G. Bollman was born February 22, 1905. He began working at Bollman Hat Company at age 16 and was involved in all aspects of the operation of a hat factory. He later became Treasurer for the company. Fred was one of five brothers who ran the company from 1940 until 1974. #AmericasOldestHatmaker To see more of Bollman's illustrious history as an employee owned company based in Pennsylvania, click here. Originally published: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/activity:6504648050051465216/ .

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