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Electric motorcycles? No thanks.

January 31, 2011 | By Eric Lundin

Everyone knows that liquids, mainly gasoline and diesel, have been the main fuels for vehicles for decades. Although steam and electricity competed with gasoline at the turn of the last century, gasoline won that battle and ruled the automotive industry ever since. However, the oil shocks of the...

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Welcoming women into welding

January 28, 2011 | By Dan Davis

I was reminded of reader demographics of our publications when a co-worker pulled out a letter from a reader that she had kept since 2001. She had placed it on a bulletin board, intending everyone to have a laugh, but I'm still somewhat taken aback by it. Here's a snippet of the letter: "It seemed...

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A tall, tall order

January 26, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

Did you listen to President Obama's State of the Union address? I didn't. As I have explained in years past, I prefer to read the transcript of the address first thing the morning after and form my own opinion, without being swayed by delivery; audience reactions (the transcript I read did indicate...

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Confirmation, tracking, and transparency

January 25, 2011 | By Tim Heston

If you’ve done this, you know that sinking feeling after you click the mouse. Last week I booked tickets to The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit, the 6th Annual Metal Matters, to take place in sunny Orlando, Fla. These days I’m probably not the only one who likes to think about warmer...

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Hu's on first?

January 21, 2011 | By Dan Davis

Perhaps you noticed that Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Washington this week. If not Jay Leno did and theorized his initial meeting with President Obama's kids went like this: "So what factories do you work at?" I laughed out loud when I read that joke. After spending the early part of this...

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Steel prices rising

January 19, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

Being an editor means putting yourself out there for criticism. No matter how objective or neutral you try to be, chances are someone, somewhere will read something you write and say, "That's quite the mouthful ... please just tell me how you can make that statement?"   How do I know? Because...

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Setting up for manufacturing growth

January 17, 2011 | By Tim Heston

Last week the federal government released a report saying exports grew for the third straight month. Despite the fact that new orders in November declined slightly, year over year new orders increased 12.3 percent from 2009 to 2010. Sure, the growth is coming off of some unprecedented lows, but the...

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OSHA is self-funded: Fact or fiction?

January 13, 2011 | By Eric Lundin

If you work in manufacturing, you’ve probably heard that some government agencies, notably OSHA and the EPA, have been mandated to become self-funding. I heard this in a discussion at a recent conference, and it seems reasonable. The government debt is $14 trillion, so why wouldn’t the...

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Metal stampers on reshoring

January 12, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

The December issue of "Stamping News Brief" featured an item about reshoring, one of several terms used to describe bringing jobs back to the U.S. After citing examples of reshoring by companies such as Ford Motor Co. and Caterpillar, which also were covered in a recent blog post, the newsletter...

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Detroit Auto Show gets serious about CAFE cars

January 12, 2011 | By Kate Bachman

Reports about the North American International Auto Show in Detroit indicates that the show has taken a serious turn toward fuel efficiency. According to a recent Wall Street Journal blog, the Detroit auto show has transformed itself from a showcase of the big, powerful, and outrageous to a...

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Head offices head to China

January 11, 2011 | By Tim Heston

If Dave Westphal doesn’t qualify as a lean manufacturing champion, I don’t know who would. The executive is director of global lean manufacturing for Nexteer Automotive, a $2 billion automotive supplier specializing in steering and front-axle components. Last year The FABRICATOR covered his...

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Putting the cart before the reputation

January 7, 2011 | By Dan Davis

If you are involved in any way with part design, you should check out Gerald Davis' column in The FABRICATOR. He spent 2010 talking about 3-D CAD tips and tricks while creating the plans for a barbecue grill. This year he's exploring the role 3-D design can play in a fabricator's business success,...

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Welding in top 10

January 6, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

December's "Welding Wire" e-newsletter featured an item about the book "Closing America's Job Gap" that describes new jobs being shaped by innovations in science and technology and how people need to learn "new skills" to attain these jobs. In this book, University of California San Diego...

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New year, next generation

January 3, 2011 | By Tim Heston

Tacking yet another new calendar to the wall makes me feel, well, old, and that in turn makes me think about the next generation. Judging by chats with readers in recent weeks, I’m not the only one. It’s no secret that manufacturing has a graying work force. Even during tough times, metal...

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Slow-growth better than no growth

December 22, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Looking forward to 2011, I could write about resolutions, but it would be a waste of space. I'm supposed to be 10 pounds lighter, fluent in Spanish, capable of playing a guitar, and the author of a screenplay—if I had completed New Year's resolutions of the past four years. In actuality, I'm 5...

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