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Rethinking the knowledge worker

August 24, 2009

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I understand the term's intent, and that it describes workers who are ever-more-valued. I just have reservations about how the term is used. When people think of a "knowledge worker," they think of a white-collar IT professional, engineer, doctor, or others who think to innovate, using their...

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Put out the welcome mat

August 21, 2009

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I came across this story earlier this week and was reminded just how important it is for metal fabricators to open their doors to the community, in particular elected officials and government bureaucrats.In this case, Karen Mills, an administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),...

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No stimulus for manufacturing

August 17, 2009

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Buried within the Institute for Supply Management™'s July Manufacturing ISM Report on Business® is a telling quote from a metal fabricator."No stimulus for manufacturing." Technically, the government has set aside a bit of money. On Thursday the Treasury Department revealed...

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What is new is not so new

August 13, 2009

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I'm still recovering from a visit to Washington, D.C. It's not that I was taxed to death, even though I left with an empty wallet, or that I was roughed up during an angry AARP demonstration. It's just difficult to immerse myself back into the work world after being more than 750...

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Decline and rise of the fabricating empire

August 12, 2009

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According to early results of yesterday's "Fabricating Update" survey that asked metal fabricating industry professionals where their companies stand in the recession cycle, 32.5 percent are in serious pain, and 67.5 percent see signs of recovery.For an industry plagued with declining...

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Realigning value

August 7, 2009

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The numbers popping up in the media recently draw an interesting, perhaps conflicted picture of the state of business in the U.S. Here's why.First, there's unemployment. Like many, I expected the unemployment rate to continue its relentless rise past the symbolic 10 percent mark. It...

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Global cooling?

August 6, 2009

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Ask 10 people what they enjoy most about summer and you"ll get 10 different answers. Ask 10 people how they measure summer, and I"ll bet you"ll also get 10 different, and probably more interesting, answers. I suppose the younger-than-10-years-old set can"t quite wrap their arms around the endless...

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What have you done for us lately?

August 5, 2009

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Manufacturers are mad as Hades and speaking out about what they believe to be the lack of support from the Obama Administration.Dr. Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), said he has yet to see "anything remotely resembling a policy" from...

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Let us know you're a winner

July 30, 2009

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I talked with a metal fabricator this week that installed a precision punch press with a six-station tapping unit about four years ago. The turret punch has been working hard the past several years, but the company finally has gotten around to working with the tapping unit. It"s incredible how big...

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'I wanna shake his hand'

July 29, 2009

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The metal fabricating industry is made up of highly skilled, hard-working individuals who are passionate about their work and proud of what they create. But every now and then, along comes a slacker who does a half-backside job and creates all kinds of problems. Such is the case with the Northrop...

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Itching for economic recovery

July 27, 2009

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Rodie Woodard just finished a good week. When I talked with the president of Irving, Texas-based Maximum Industries Thursday, he told me he just closed a deal that will keep his contract fabrication shop humming 24 hours a day for several months. His customer in the signage industry is putting...

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This exciting fabricating opportunity won't last long ...

July 24, 2009

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Wanna talk about health care? Not really. The thought of a discussion gives me a headache, and I don"t think I could get around to seeing my doctor until next Tuesday.Wanna vilify China? I"ve got be careful on this one. I think a company from China actually owns my mortgage now.Wanna bash illegal...

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Guest column: Detroit Three restructuring—What it means for suppliers

July 23, 2009

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Editor's note: This post is from STAMPING Journal® columnist Bernard Swiecki, a director, market analysis, in the economics business group with the Center for Automotive Research.How bankruptcy and restructuring are changing the Detroit Three—What it means for suppliersBy Bernard...

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Speaking the same language

July 22, 2009

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If your business isn't doing as well as you'd like—and whose is these days—there may be internal factors that are making an already tough situation even worse. One likely suspect is waste. I know, you probably are so very tired of hearing about lean manufacturing, and you may...

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Boldly go!

July 20, 2009

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Firing up your plasma cutting system might be a fitting tribute to the momentous event that happened 40 years ago today. Here's why.When Neil Armstrong planted the first lunar footprint, the world was watching with an excitement most famously seen in our recently departed Walter Cronkite, who...

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