April 2, 2014
The tool- and diemaker shortage may be blamed on the educational system's bias toward college preparatory coursework, but it's likely that other factors come into play as well. These include the 2008 near-death knell for the stamping and automotive industries, manufacturing's lingering negative image, and the expense of setting up "shop" classes in today's highly technical industrial age.
April 1, 2014
Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— How Fabricating Metal Products fared in March; an interesting animal-related product development; the future of a U.S. manufacturing nemesis; college graduates’ job search; and fabricators selling through Etsy.
March 28, 2014
Turnaround time matters for the fabrication shops of NASCAR teams as they try to get the latest mechanical improvements to the car down to the track as soon as possible. That "need for speed" is something all metal fabricators can identify with. Often new manufacturing technology can provide that much-needed boost.
March 25, 2014
Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— a sourcing firm sees gradual manufacturing improvement in the U.S. over the next two years; China’s manufacturing sector has hit a wall; the last big U.S. bicycle maker keeps rolling; a Nebraska fabricator gains national exposure; and a female welding instructor weighs in on working in a “man’s world.”
March 18, 2014
Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— manufacturing production improves; new hubs struggle to create jobs; the state of Minnesota and a robot supplier are doing their part to help train workers in the Midwest; and a Florida fabricator helps build Park Avenue’s funky sculpture.
March 17, 2014
Industrial capacity utilization soured in the booming 1990s. Today average utilization is lower, and yet the overall value of manufacturing output continues to climb. Over the long term, is capacity utilization really an accurate barometer for demand? If a fabricator's capacity utilization drops, is the shop struggling, or has it gotten more efficient?
March 14, 2014
The recent opening of two automotive assembly plants in Mexico is just the latest sign that Mexico is emerging as a major manufacturing hub for the world. However, in today's economy, global trends shift pretty quickly, and Mexico will have to evolve from just being a land of low-cost labor if it is to remain a major manufacturing player.
March 13, 2014
Editor’s note: This is welder and artist Josh Welton’s inaugural blog post for thefabricator.com. Welton, of Brown Dog Welding fame, will be writing twice monthly. This introductory post highlights important lessons learned in Welton’s welder training.