Blogs

Filter Content

Fabricating just enough, just in time

April 15, 2010

By:

Two weeks ago I talked with one fabrication shop owner who has what last year would have been considered an unusual problem. Bankers were lined up, eager to give the small business owner a loan--only he didn’t need one. Work is coming in the door, but it’s mostly small jobs, nothing to warrant...

Continue Reading

Manufacturing needs to ditch the celebrity spokesperson

April 9, 2010

By:

Bear with me for a minute. I'm about to bring up the name Jesse James, but I'm not about to spend 500 words on this tabloid fodder. (This would be the guy behind West Coast Choppers, not the American outlaw of the 19th century Old West.) Of course, James is also the guy that stepped out on Sandra...

Continue Reading

Welding passion leads to livelihood

April 7, 2010

By:

Two years ago, I wrote an article for thefabricator.com about Brennan Palmiter, a young race car driver and welder (then 16) who had teamed up with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA) Foundation and Practical Welding Today® magazine to introduce young people to manufacturing...

Continue Reading

Lots of lies? No surprise

April 1, 2010

By:

American Metal Market held its Third Annual Steel Tube & Pipe Conference March 22-23 in Houston, and if you’re a steel tube or pipe producer, you might give some thought to attending its fourth annual conference. It held something for everyone—industry overview, industry forecast, and a...

Continue Reading

Toyota's failure to communicate-a lesson for us all

March 31, 2010

By:

Cousin Roy called last night. We chatted about family, weather, and work — the usual topics of conversation. Roy's two brothers died last year, a few months apart — very sad news. Roy works for a Toyota dealership in Kentucky. More sad news. Or maybe not. Roy said that he's sold 25 cars this...

Continue Reading

Ford sheds another brand, thank goodness

March 29, 2010

By:

My 3-year-old daughter has never seen the lights on at a house up the street; the building has been empty and on the market longer than she’s been alive. I don’t know the owners or the situation, but I do know the asking price has steadily fallen. The owners probably just want to get that asset...

Continue Reading

Real-life concerns for metal fabricators

March 26, 2010

By:

"Worry about those things that you can control," my mom used to tell me. It's a great piece of advice, especially as we struggle to deal with the weak economic rebound and the political ruckus that passes for progress in Washington, D.C. So what's a metal fabricator to worry about? I don't run a...

Continue Reading

The inventor-manufacturer relationship

March 24, 2010

By:

Inventors and manufacturers are entities that truly go hand-in-hand, meaning you really can’t have one without the other, at least not in any substantive manner. Similar to "Love and Marriage", about which the song (written in 1955) says "you can’t have one without the other." (Not too sure...

Continue Reading

Health care and the angry citizen

March 22, 2010

By:

Talking with various contract metal fabricators over the past few months, I now realize what health care insurance means to them and other small-business owners across the country. Providing health care is a moral imperative. Sure, providing good benefits makes a shop competitive. But at the end...

Continue Reading

Offshoring not what it once was

March 18, 2010

By:

We live in extraordinary times. You can tell because people are creating their own words, and society adopts them without questions. It's fantabulous. Metal fabricators should embrace this new word with open arms: Re-shoring. Manufacturing jobs that once went overseas because of low-cost labor are...

Continue Reading

The green fields of America

March 17, 2010

By:

As I write this, it's March 17 -- St. Patrick's Day - - and as a member of the Irish diaspora, I'm wearing green and playing the CD Murphy's Irish Pub as I work. This is the one day of the year that I immerse myself in my ancestry. I’m an American first and foremost, but who I am as an...

Continue Reading

Do not count on those manufacturing backlogs

March 16, 2010

By:

Not a day goes by that I don’t remember how lucky I am. OK, I’m lying. Most days I don’t give it a second thought, though I know I should. My parents got a second mortgage so that I could leave college without having to worry about paying back student loans. How could they do this? Well,...

Continue Reading

Faith in metal fabricating

March 12, 2010

By:

I came across the Web site for JRS Custom Fabrication Inc. down in Ocala, Fla., last week. Someone sent me an e-mail so I checked it out. When you visit the site, you'll notice a Bible verse from 1 John 1:3. Make no mistake; this company's guided by the Lord's words. As its mission statement...

Continue Reading

'Our most-used machine is so old ...

March 10, 2010

By:

... that the hydraulic cylinder doesn’t have a conventional seal, but uses rings of packing to slow the flow of hydraulic fluid.'  This is just one of the comments we received yesterday in response to the March "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter that addressed companies' reluctance to invest in...

Continue Reading

The backbone of America

March 3, 2010

By:

The phrase "backbone of America" is used to describe various important U.S. entities: the Continental Divide, roads, steel, and small business, to name a few.  Just looking at this list, you can see how interconnected these four examples are. We need roads and steel bridges to cross the...

Continue Reading