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760 manufacturing companies

July 17, 2009

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That number bounced around the blogosphere this week as CIT teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. CEO Jeff Peek told news outlets that 760 manufacturing companies could shut down if CIT collapses. And then comes the ripple effect, which is even scarier. CIT is a middle-market lender...

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To celebrate or not?

July 17, 2009

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The U.S.'s birthday has come and gone, and while most of us celebrated in the usual way—a day off from work, a cookout, and some fireworks—how many of us took the time to reflect on our nation"s place in the world? At 233 years, the U.S. is an awfully young country; on the other hand, with a...

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Summer bummer

July 16, 2009

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I got a vacation e-mail reply today from a gentleman in Sweden who said he would be gone "Week 29 to Week 31" and would only be checking e-mail on a weekly basis. I guess I'll just check back with him in Week 32? The whole concept of being away from work for a stretch lasting three to four...

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Fabricators and politics

July 15, 2009

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Yesterday's "Fabricating Update" lead item ruffled feathers, raised hackles, and had this editor ducking for cover as fabricators sounded off about comments from the Obama administration's recently released employment report.The item cited an article that appeared in The Washington Post...

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Credit crunch not going away soon

July 10, 2009

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I had a conversation a couple of months ago with a friend who is a manufacturing representative for several metal fabricating companies. The guy is sharp and runs the business as a one-man operation. He's busy and invests in software tools that help him keep track of deliveries and expedite...

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Nowhere to hide

July 9, 2009

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Over the past 10 years or so, the big and growing fear among manufacturers has been the steady, unrelenting intrusion of globalization. One pundit described it as economic Darwinism, a nowhere-to-hide environment in which firms that are flexible, adaptable, and aggressive overtake those that...

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A recession takes no prisoners

July 7, 2009

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It seems Paul Gordon of the Peoria Journal Star hit a chord last week.Two metal fabricators in Morton, Ill., southeast of Peoria, changed ownership on the same day: Friday, June 26. Morton Welding, previously owned by Michigan-based BHM Technologies, was brought back under local ownership by a...

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Beware the business books

July 2, 2009

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Got a note the other day that the FMA's Research Assistance Center acquired a new book that might be of interest. It's The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten. The book provides brief reviews of...

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How 'green' is 'green'?

July 1, 2009

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This blog post is rooted in a discussion my husband and I had yesterday regarding a news item I ran across about a 'green' race car that runs on vegetable oil and waste chocolate. I get vegetable oil, but where on earth does waste chocolate come from? Godiva, Ghirardelli, Hershey, Fannie...

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Innovators, gumption, and tenacity

June 29, 2009

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This country seems to be itching for the next big thing, those game-changing innovations that drag us out of our economic malaise. General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt knows this, and it's why his company announced a $100 million investment in an R&D center 25 miles west of Detroit. As the...

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Maybe they like Mr. Green Jeans instead?

June 26, 2009

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We are planning editorial for 2010 already around the offices of The FABRICATOR. We end up talking about trends, economic prospects, and requests from readers. Some of the ideas will emerge as features next year, and others will remain on the back burner.One trend that we have been following for a...

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Whatever happened to ... ?

June 25, 2009

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News stories come and go. Today"s topic of interest likely won"t hold many readers" attention tomorrow, so every day reporters pick up the hot topics and run with them after dropping any that are more than a few days old. Care to dust off a few aged issues? This isn"t the news. I guess you could...

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Proud to build the building

June 23, 2009

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Oprah, I'm not. And I don't have a book club. But this morning, I read about a book in USA Today that I believe might appeal to thefabricator.com's visitors. In fact, I'm guessing many of you could have written it. I plan to read it; maybe you'll want to also.The...

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Of popping bubbles and economic growth

June 22, 2009

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In the late 1990s I recall renting a VHS tape (remember those?) of a recently aired PBS series called "Triumph of the Nerds." It detailed the rise of the computer industry, from the garages of San Jose to the boardrooms of corporate America.It's an incredible story, really. The PC business...

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Who has time for R&D? You do.

June 18, 2009

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The R&D tax credit. Although it"s just a six-syllable phrase, it might strike more fear in the hearts of fabricators than any other phrase, including the shipment is late or the customer is demanding a refund. Heck, it"s probably worse than hearing a spouse say, My mother is coming to...

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