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Congress approves manufacturing program--with an asterisk

January 9, 2015

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Congress fulfilled President Barack Obama's wish to set up a network of manufacturing innovation centers across the U.S., but there is a catch: The effort won't have its own budget. The endeavor will have to be funded through existing budgets in the Department of Energy and the Pentagon.

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Winning with improvisation—Repairing an air compressor part

January 7, 2015

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Everyone is familiar with the workaround. You don’t have the ideal part or solution, but you improvise and come up with a workable plan. Here’s how welder Josh Welton used the tools on hand to repair an air compressor part and avoid a trip to a big-box store.

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A new year and a better image for manufacturing

December 22, 2014

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As 2015 approaches, manufacturing's image is in pretty good shape, all things considered.

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Is the production meeting a relic of the past?

December 19, 2014

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In today's manufacturing world where more is done with less, many metal fabricators don't see the need for a daily production meeting. It's one more example of manufacturers adjusting to the times because of lack of time.

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Seeking normal and missing life—one welder’s odyssey

December 18, 2014

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Most of us strive for a “normal” life and look forward to that magic day when everything falls into place. This quest can keep you from living a full life today. Something to think about as you approach the new year.

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The patio furniture reshoring test

December 15, 2014

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Businesses are reshoring when it makes sense to do so. This includes items requiring quick-response, such as seasonal items that hinge on less predictable demand factors, like the weather.

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Manufacturing communities program ready for second round

December 12, 2014

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The U.S. Department of Commerce wants to reach out to more communities in an effort to boost the manufacturing economy.

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EPA pushes for new ozone regulation

December 12, 2014

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The Environmental Protection agency wants to reduce ozone-causing emissions levels even though the current regulations haven't been fully put into effect.

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The energy boom, welding, and the modern-day cowboy

December 11, 2014

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Welders are the mortar holding the energy boom together, and today, we need more mortar than ever.

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The unemployment rate keeps falling

December 11, 2014

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The headline unemployment figures provide quite a few reasons for optimism. The unemployment rate is low and falling, as is the number of layoffs. However, a deeper look paints a more complete picture of the current job market, and it reveals a few weaknesses.

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Still Building America: From ranch manager to welder and beyond

December 11, 2014

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Ambitions, interests, and careers evolve. Craftsman Jared Craver set out to be a professional landscaper, took the reins at a cattle/hunting ranch, saw a need for welding on the ranch, took welding classes, and now has his own business. Here’s how it all came together.

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Thanking your customers at Christmas

December 9, 2014

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There are traditions, and then there are the stories behind them—something we often don’t know. In this post, Nick Martin explains Barnes MetalCrafters’ tradition of thanking its customers at Christmas.

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Built, not bought: A welder’s Christmas gifts

December 3, 2014

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It’s that time of year when those who celebrate Christmas are looking for the perfect gifts for family and friends. If you’re a skilled welder and need some ideas, read on.

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FABTECH reporter’s notebook: A reason to smile

December 2, 2014

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According to November manufacturing data, industry hummed along in November, shrugging off the economic slowdown in much of the rest of the world. Drew Greenblatt isn't surprised.

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FABTECH reporter notebook: A reason to be thankful

November 26, 2014

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Managers at one shop did the moral thing back in 2009, and that moral decision turned out to be a smart business decision, too. That's something to be thankful for.

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