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Mission NOT accomplished

October 17, 2014

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A brief look at some unemployment and employment numbers provides reason for optimism for the state of the labor force. It's too soon to say "Mission accomplished" or anything like that, because getting people back to work is an ongoing process, but the trends are encouraging nonetheless.

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High-powered fiber translates into a more versatile tool

October 16, 2014

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A new 6-kW fiber laser cutting machine holds the potential to expand the cutting opportunities for metal fabricators.

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Still Building America: Calling young metalworkers

October 16, 2014

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I’d like to introduce a new project I’m working on for The FABRICATOR®, “Still Building America.” I will continue to write my normal bimonthly posts about welding in addition to starting a new series focusing on youngish (under 35), skilled tradespeople, manufacturing entrepreneurs,...

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Open your eyes at FABTECH

October 15, 2014

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From an attendee’s perspective, FABTECH is akin to Christmas morning, when all the new toys and possibilities are revealed, complete with a soundtrack. At least that’s how Barnes MetalCrafters’ Nick Martin sees it.

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From the Web: Harley jewelry; U.S. manufacturing renaissance or fantasy?

October 14, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles—Utica, N.Y., company decorates Harleys; manufacturing renaissance—maybe, maybe not; women provide manufacturing muscle; and predicting metal costs.

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The information age of automation

October 14, 2014

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These days automation and efficiency are givens. Today, more executives are talking about something that, in the high-product-mix world of metal fabrication, can be incredibly complex. They're talking about information.

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Every day should be Manufacturing Day

October 11, 2014

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Manufacturing Day has come and gone, but if metal fabricators really want to see people forget the old stereotypes associated with manufacturing, they should take every opportunity to welcome the general public into their facilities--not just waiting for one special day out of the year.

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Humans and machines: The possibilities are endless

October 9, 2014

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The strength of human will and spirit joined with the power and permanence of machines could be a fascinating future.

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From the Web: Sisters making it in the USA; welding after midnight; improving 3-D printing

October 8, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— Ohio sisters passionate about manufacturing; a look at some Manufacturing Day events; 3-D printing still evolving; and welding after midnight.

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Waiting for a mega-payday

October 8, 2014

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Mega-payday isn't the day a lucky lottery winner claims the Mega Millions proceeds. It's one of 15 or so Fridays every year that 90 million people receive a check of some sort, whether it’s from an employer, the Social Security Administration, or some other government agency. Some retailers have a vested interest in the mega-payday cycle, but the reasons for this expose the downside to current economic trends.

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Manufacturing Day, and the joy of making things

October 3, 2014

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Manufacturing Day celebrates continuous improvement, excellence, and, perhaps most important, the tinkerer in us all.

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Skilled labor crisis, or a crisis of character?

October 1, 2014

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We call it a "skilled labor crisis," but is it really about skill? Skills can be taught. The real challenge may be much broader.

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From the Web: Manufacturing Day and comebacks

October 1, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— Obama to participate in Manufacturing Day; Wisconsin fabricator wins #MfgDay14 video contest; students take to the road for heavy metal tour; an industrial ghost town seeks rebirth; and Rockford, Ill.-based Roper Whitney experiences a comeback.

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The art of welding versus welding art

September 25, 2014

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How do you make those sculptures? How can I make them? Not easy questions to answer, but not for the reasons you may think.

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An upgrade can be a game-changer

September 18, 2014

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When a fabricating shop sees its limits being pushed, it may be time for an equipment upgrade. Sometimes a new machine can be a real game-changer.

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