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Augmented reality meets the press brake.

The future of fabrication is now

March 23, 2017 | By Dan Davis

Augmented reality and verbalizing operating instructions to machine tools may be coming to your shop floor sooner than you realize.

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Your shop’s No. 1 priority

March 2, 2017 | By Vicki Bell

Many aspects vie for your attention in your shop. You have to juggle many plates and wear many hats. One priority comes before all else. The failure to make it No. 1 has some serious consequences.

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You can’t make all customers happy all of the time

February 21, 2017 | By Nick Martin

Custom fabricating shops see all kinds of jobs, large and small. Flexibility is important. But when a small job results in multiple changes that require a revised quote and the customer isn’t happy, it might be better to let the job go. Yes, you need to please customers, but you also need to make money.

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A Big Easy education

February 16, 2017

Metal fabricators aren't known to take a lot of time away from the shop, but sometimes they need to break away from the daily grind to think more strategically about the business. The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit at the FMA annual meeting in New Orleans, March 8-10, is just the place where these metal fabricators need to be.

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Illegal immigration and manufacturing—a conundrum?

February 16, 2017 | By Vicki Bell

We all have thoughts on the prevailing concerns in the U.S. these days. Families, friendships, and marriages are breaking up over differing opinions of who should be in the White House and what should be done about various issues—Obamacare, the Keystone Pipeline and the environment in general, and immigration, particularly the current illegal population and refugees. In resolving all of these and other matters, we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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What shop owners really look for in employees

February 9, 2017 | By Vicki Bell

Metal fabricating covers a wide range of technical skills. What shop owners are looking for in new hires depends on the shop’s processes and the services it provides. In this post, three shop owners share some new-hire criteria.

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Is it time to take your fabrication business global?

February 2, 2017 | By Dan Davis

With international branches in Europe and India, Cleveland-based AT&F is demonstrating that doing business globally isn't just for large organizations.

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Leaving Detroit

February 1, 2017 | By Vicki Bell

When life dumps lemons on you the size of boulders, you have to find a way out from under them before you can even begin to think about making lemonade. If this is a learning experience, what are the lessons to be learned, and where is that proverbial silver lining? Josh Welton might be able to answer those questions, if not now, eventually.

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It’s not your father’s manufacturing, but …

January 17, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing's image is not just about how plants look, but also about what plant employees do.

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How Carl, Jackie, and Wally began their welding careers

January 12, 2017 | By Vicki Bell

How did you find yourself where you are in your career? Are you happy with your profession and your current job? At least three individuals in the welding industry can answer “yes” to both parts of that last question. Read about their career journeys.

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ICYMI – The most viewed articles and posts in 2016

January 5, 2017 | By Vicki Bell

Remember when the Internet was in its infancy? My how it’s grown. So much content vies for your attention that you may have missed the most popular articles and blog posts published on in 2016. Here are four items you may not have seen or may want to revisit.

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Tis the season—Give wisely and invest in the future

December 15, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

It’s that time of year when organization after organization asks you to open your wallets and contribute to their cause. Some are legitimate and upstanding; others are not. Here are two examples of programs worthy of fabricators’ consideration.

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Visualizing products made from flat patterns—a valued job shop skill

December 14, 2016 | By Nick Martin

Take a flat-patterned drawing and visualize the end product, complete with all of the necessary bends in the correct sequence and orientation. Can you do it? This skill is much appreciated in a metal fabrication shop.

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Trust and turnarounds in manufacturing

December 13, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Lack of communication and trust may lie at the heart of a lot of problems at a lot of companies, in manufacturing and elsewhere.

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Moving pains

December 6, 2016 | By Vicki Bell

Things change and businesses move. Change and moving aren’t always easy, but acceptance and good planning can help make the transition as seamless and painless as possible. Remember, it is what it is. Make the best of it.

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