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HomeCommentaryMachining and Fabrication Teams are Different—Here Is How to Manage Them

Machining and Fabrication Teams are Different—Here Is How to Manage Them

After Engineered Fabrication pursued and obtained ISO 9001 certification, there was no significant impact on its business and profitability. Although that would have been an ideal outcome, management wanted the shop ISO certified because it provided the guideline for standardization and improved quality control. Company implemented an enterprise resource planning software few years before ISO project, which made it easier for the team to follow project management steps. The challenge that the management faced is related to unique characteristic of the company – they combine large scale CNC manufacturing and one-off customizable limited parts runs. Teams in charge of these two different business units have different mindsets and different approaches to their jobs. While having employees work four 10-hour days a week worked for CNC shop, it was not optimal for fabrication personnel. Documentation for ISO 9001 process was also much different for these two units. In essence, being forced to document process made the two units function better as a part of the same company, as the ISO process tied them into one, seamless workflow.

Key Takeaways:

  • The business uses both CNC machining and custom one-off fabrication, but has to manage them differently.
  • While machining employees favor four 10-hour shifts per week, fabrication workers would tire from 10-hour days.
  • Working solo, machinists can sign off on their own work, but fabrication has many people involved on the same part.

““I felt like we were already doing the sorts of things, holding to the sort of process consistency, that ISO requires,” Mr. Carr says. But that was only a feeling. “If we did ISO, it would prove we were the shop I felt we were, and it would also make us better.””

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