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Sometimes it pays to listen to the new guy

June 10, 2011 | By Dan Davis

I was chatting with Jeremy Riniker, a buyer/estimator/designer for Giese Manufacturing, Dubuque, Iowa, the other day for an upcoming story. I was giving him a hard time about his plethora of responsibilities, but he said the multitude of job duties keeps each day fresh and exciting, even if he...

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New uses for conventional materials

June 9, 2011 | By Eric Lundin

Mankind has been making tools and gadgets from metals for millennia. The discovery of copper and tin ushered in the Bronze Age about 5,000 years ago, and new metal tools swept aside stone tools in a hurry. Iron and steel have been used widely for about 3,000 years, but these days it appears that...

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Metal fabricating by the numbers

June 1, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

Did you happen to see the mentalfloss.com article posted May 31 on cnn.com about 10 interesting numbers in the U.S.? Among the numbers listed were 2.3 (milligrams of B1, the amount recommended during World War II for very active men after the Selective Service discovered that about one in seven...

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The race for stateside manufacturing

May 31, 2011 | By Tim Heston

My dad was the first to call when I got home. He’s a retired history professor, so he usually doesn’t have that much input on my job-related travels, but last week was different. I had driven to Advanced Technology Sales & Service, a Mitsubishi dealer in Greensboro, N.C. ATS held its grand...

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Mexican manufacturing keeps moving forward

May 26, 2011 | By Dan Davis

An interesting thing occurred during my recent trip to attend FABTECH® Mexico, May 11-13, in Monterrey, Mexico. I ate fried crickets, but that wasn't it. I witnessed a spark of fabricating equipment innovation that originated within the country's own borders and from the minds of its talented...

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Factory workers and lawyers

May 25, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

A Fiscal Times article posted on money.msn.com May 23 noted that the U.S. labor market has been looking stronger in recent months as private-sector companies have added two million workers since early 2010, with the "overwhelming bulk" coming from small businesses.  As reported, so far this year,...

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Hiring heroes

May 18, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

Since the news of Osama Bin Laden's death at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals broke, I’ve shied away from writing about the event. It's been covered thoroughly by media and trumpeted at every opportunity as a major coup by the current administration—which you have to admit it is, no matter which...

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Good moments in metal fabrication

May 16, 2011 | By Tim Heston

This May has had some great moments, and the Navy SEALs’ heroic efforts at that mysterious, now famous compound in northeast Pakistan is just one of them. Some moments have been bittersweet. The Monday after tornadoes hit Alabama, I called one fabricator there who hadn’t received my e-mails;...

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Manufacturing renaissance?

May 11, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

Yesterday's "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter featured an item from businessweek.com that suggested the U.S. is undergoing a "manufacturing renaissance." The article, "Manufacturing booms as Deere exemplifies productivity surge," quoted Wells Capital Management Chief Investment Strategist James...

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How much should a gallon of gasoline cost?

May 5, 2011 | By Eric Lundin

The unthinkable has happened: Gasoline prices have crossed the $5.00-per-gallon threshold. Forget the official data. The Energy Information Administration says that the average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.96, but that’s not accurate for two reasons. First, it...

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Crying on the job

May 4, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

I was in the thick of writing about the federal gas tax and how mayors from metropolitan cities are in favor of increasing the taxes if more funds are spent on improving the infrastructure in these cities and less on highways, when a far more interesting topic caught my eye.  Perhaps you don't...

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Tis the season, four years later

May 1, 2011 | By Amanda Carlson

I've been at the PWT desk for a little more than four years, and I've found that one of the best parts of the job is meeting and talking to people who have a contagious energy about the welding industry and what they do. After about eight months on the job, I received a phone call from a guy named...

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Catching the wave of reshoring

April 28, 2011 | By Dan Davis

I'm working on our FAB 40 editorial feature for June. It's a collection of 40 metal fabricating companies that have submitted to us their revenue figures for 2010, projected revenue for 2011, and outlook for this year. The listing provides a great snapshot of the overall health of the fabricating...

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Class of 2011

April 27, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

Are you graduating from college this year, or do you know someone who is? This year's graduates may have something to celebrate besides their newly earned degrees. According to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more recent...

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Top 10 most stressful jobs

April 26, 2011 | By Eric Lundin

Careercast.com, a job search Web site, recently posted the results of a couple of surveys regarding stressful jobs. Two thoughts occurred to me immediately: The 91.2 percent of people who have jobs right now are just happy to have a steady paycheck, and the 8.8 percent who don’t are experiencing...

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