Welcome to the Thomasnet Need-To-Know Guides
About Us
  • Maybe you're just looking for some ground-level information. Maybe you need to make an informed sourcing decision. Whatever the reason, whatever you're looking for, these primers, briefs, articles and guides serve as your gateway to learning more. Each resource category offers a wealth of information aimed at providing you with the background and facts you need. Whether you're trying to track down the basics on a certain manufacturing process or deciding between various equipment vendors, Thomasnet's Need-to-Know Guides connects you to key industry info.
Daily Bite
Fancy RestaurauntAre Paywall Restaurants Upon Us?

NFT ownership, members-only credit cards, and private "clubstaurants" are just some tactics modern restaurants are employing to help potential diners jump the reservation line. Read more

employee workingWhy Tuesday Is the Most Productive Day of the Week

If Monday is known for Monday blues, and Wednesday is hump day, what can we call Tuesday? Read more

Person using GoogleYou Will Never Guess What Google Was Once Called

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin appear to have been fans of wordplay when it came to naming their newly created search engine back in 1996. Read more

Featured Guides
Nickel Plated NutsThe Electro Nickel Plating Process
Electro nickel plating, also known as nickel electro-deposition, is becoming an increasingly popular process for a variety of different manufacturing applications. Electro nickel plating is a process that uses an electrical current to coat a conductive material, typically made of metal, with a thin layer of nickel. Other metals used for electroplating include stainless steel, copper, zinc, and platinum. Benefits of Electro Nickel Plating In general, electroplating improves a wide range of characteristics not inherently present in the base material. Some of these benefits include: Increased...
Hot ForgingHot Forging Vs. Cold Forging
A brief discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of hot and cold forging.
laser cutting machineLaser Cutting Vs. Waterjet Cutting
This article offers a general overview of some of the differences between laser cutting and water jet cutting, as well as preferred materials and applications for each.
Recently Published
Horseshoe MagnetTypes of Magnets

There are three main categories of magnets: permanent magnets, temporary magnets, and electromagnets. Each type features a different composition and distinct applications. Read more

What Is Procurement Management? Key Steps and Importance of Managing Procurement in an Organization

For companies in any industry, smart procurement practices are essential for ensuring efficient operations and an optimal bottom line. Put simply, procurement comprises all activities and processes involved in acquiring needed goods and services from external parties. This may include everything from office supplies, furniture, and facilities to heavy equipment, consulting services, and testing and training. Read more

Metal SpringHow Springs Are Made

There are many types of springs available for load-bearing and energy storage and transfer applications. Spring manufacture is a relatively simple process that, given the proper equipment, can be performed by an individual or, in longer runs, by automatic machinery. Read more

Metal Casting WorkersThe Basic Raw Materials Involved With Metal Fabrication

Metal fabricators have numerous standard raw materials at their disposal that can reduce cycle times and workflow. This guide discusses the various types of raw materials that are typically used in metal Read more

5 Key Factors to Consider When Conducting a Supplier Evaluation

A strong supply chain is the backbone of a successful business. Regardless of your industry, close working relationships with your suppliers will streamline production timelines, minimize operating costs, and guarantee the quality of your products. Read more

Procurement Vs. Purchasing - Is There a Difference?

Although the terms "procurement" and "purchasing" are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to two different processes, and fully understanding the distinction can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Read more

The 5 Stages of the Procurement Process - Managing Procurement from Start to Finish

Procurement is the process involving the acquisition of products or services needed for a company to carry out its operations. With direct impact on your bottom line and day-to-day functionality, effectively managing your company's procurement process is critical. Finding the right supplier who can provide you with high-quality goods at a reasonable rate is key to keeping your costs in check and your profits growing. Read more

What is Demand Planning? Key Steps Involved in Forecasting for a Supply Chain

Demand planning involves using past demand patterns and forecasts in order to reliably predict demand for different items throughout the supply chain. When implemented, this useful tool can help companies more accurately forecast their revenue streams, match inventory levels with anticipated demand levels, and increase their products' profit. Most importantly, it can better inform your sales and operation (S&OP) process. Read more

What is Inventory? Keeping, Maintaining and Managing Inventory Risk for Companies

Put simply, inventory is defined as the products within a company's supply and control that are available for sale. While inventory is generally thought of as a company's stock of product or goods, it can take many different forms. Read more

What is MRO? A Brief Guide to Maintenance, Repair, and Operations for Manufacturers

MRO may include spare parts, equipment such as pumps and valves, consumables such as cleaning supplies, plant upkeep supplies such as lubricants, and activities completed to restore or maintain the functioning of needed equipment. Anything used in the manufacturing of but not employed in a final product may be considered MRO. Read more

Hoists - A Complete Guide (Types, Suppliers, and Important Attributes)

A complete guide to Hoists, including types, suppliers, and important attributes and considerations. Read more

Torque WrenchTorque Tensioning

It is important to determine proper torque tensioning preload rates for different bolts and materials. Figuring it out can be difficult, but there are standards used across the industrial spectrum. Read more

Types of Plain Bearings (Bushings) - A ThomasNet Buying Guide

Plain Bearings (Bushings) are mechanical elements used to reduce friction between rotating shafts and stationary support members. Typically, a bushing relies on soft metal or plastic and an oil film to support the rotating shaft on the hardened shaft journal. Read more

Coupling ThumbnailTypes of Shaft Couplings - A ThomasNet Buying Guide

Shaft Couplings are mechanical devices used to connect rotating shafts and absorb misalignments between them. Couplings can be rigid or flexible depending on the alignment accuracies of the system and torque requirements. Read more

Plastic wood compositeWood Plastic Composite

Wood plastic composite, a hybrid of wood and plastic, is a material commonly used to replace wood in various applications. The composition of wood plastic composite, as well as material characteristics, are explained here. Read more

Top Suppliers
Top Manufacturers In Memphis, TN

This article summarizes the top manufacturers in greater Memphis according to Thomasnet.com user session data. Read more

Top Manufacturing Companies In Utah

This article provides a look at manufacturing in Utah, ranking the top manufactures and custom manufacturers by their Thomasnet traffic in order to help you source a supplier. Read more

Top Engraving Services Suppliers and Manufacturers in the USA and Canada

The top engraving services suppliers in the USA and Canada according to sales and revenue, and Thomas' featured suppliers of engraving services. Read more

Top Stainless Steel Bar Suppliers and Manufacturers in the USA and Canada

This article summarizes information on the leading stainless steel bar suppliers and manufacturers in the United States and Canada, including company location, company size, and estimated annual revenue. Read more

Top Stainless Steel Tubing Suppliers and Manufacturers in the USA

This article summarizes information on the leading stainless steel tubing suppliers in the United States, including company location, company size, and estimated annual revenue. Read more

Top Metal Forming Companies and Suppliers in the USA

This article summarizes information on the leading metal forming companies in the United States, including company location, company size, and estimated annual revenue. Read more

Top Electronic Contract Manufacturing Companies and Suppliers in the USA

A guide to the top electronic contract manufacturing companies in the USA based on sales as well as the top featured suppliers on Thomas. Read more

Top Aluminum Extruding Manufacturers and Companies in the USA

This article provides a summary of the top U.S.-based providers of aluminum extrusions. Read more

Top Steel Plates Suppliers and Manufacturers in the USA and Canada

This article summarizes information on the leading steel plates suppliers and manufacturers in the United States, including company location, company size, and estimated annual revenue. Read more

Top Wire Baskets Manufacturers and Suppliers in the USA

A list of the top wire basket manufacturers and suppliers in the USA, including the top wire basket companies with diversity status and quality certifications. Read more

Recent Articles
The 8 Best 3D Printers under $1000 According to 3,200+ Enthusiastic Reviewers

The 8 best 3D printers under $1000 based on 3,000+ 3D printer reviews including the best 3D printer under $700, and the largest and fastest 3D printers under $1000 on Amazon. Read more

What is 3D Printing and How Does it Work?

This article provides a summary of the field of 3D printing, including what it is, how it works, the different technologies and materials that are used, as well as some of its applications and advantages Read more

The Best Tool Box Organizer, According to 5,000+ Happy Reviewers

Browse through our selection of the best tool box organizers to keep everything from wrenches to nails and bolts organized and tidy. Read more

What is Inventory? Keeping, Maintaining, and Managing Inventory Risk for Companies

Properly managed inventory is crucial for ensuring smooth, efficient business operations. Read more

The Best Welder Generator, According to 7,000+ Customer Reviews

This article includes a list of the best welder generators for welding, with combo models, and standalone generators for all your welding needs on the go. Read more

The Best Concrete Cleaner, According to 14,000+ Customer Reviews

Find the best concrete cleaners including acidic cleaners, alkaline cleaners and pH neutral cleaners. Good for oil stains, grease stains, and more. Read more

The Best Concrete Sealer, According to 5,800+ Customer Reviews

Find the best concrete sealers for all concrete surfaces. Including penetrating sealers, acrylic sealers, polyurethane sealers and epoxy sealers. Read more

The Best Stump Grinder, According to 1,000+ Customer Reviews

The best stump grinders to buy for professional and residential use, including walk-behind grinders and tracked stump grinders for stumps up to 31 inches. Read more

The Best Commercial Coffee Grinder, According to Hundreds of Customer Reviews

A list of the best commercial coffee grinders, including commercial espresso grinders, flat burr grinders, hopper capacity, stepless grinders, and more. Read more

What is CMMC Compliance and Certification and Who Needs It?

This article provides information on the DoD CMMC Compliance process and the underlying framework for that model. Read more