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Political roadblocks

April 4, 2014

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Business leaders don't like unpredictability because it makes planning difficult. That's why they increasingly are calling on Congressional leaders to work together to chart some sort of course for the future.

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Parts is parts?

April 3, 2014

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So the part doesn’t meet the specifications. Well, let’s just install it anyway and hope for the best. What are the odds something will happen? Wrong, stupid decision.

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Tool- and diemakers in short supply ... where does the fault line lie?

April 2, 2014

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The tool- and diemaker shortage may be blamed on the educational system's bias toward college preparatory coursework, but it's likely that other factors come into play as well. These include the 2008 near-death knell for the stamping and automotive industries, manufacturing's lingering negative image, and the expense of setting up "shop" classes in today's highly technical industrial age.

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From the Web 4.01.14

April 1, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— How Fabricating Metal Products fared in March; an interesting animal-related product development; the future of a U.S. manufacturing nemesis; college graduates’ job search; and fabricators selling through Etsy.

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The need for speed to market

March 28, 2014

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Turnaround time matters for the fabrication shops of NASCAR teams as they try to get the latest mechanical improvements to the car down to the track as soon as possible. That "need for speed" is something all metal fabricators can identify with. Often new manufacturing technology can provide that much-needed boost.

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Cleanliness is godliness ...

March 27, 2014

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In my opinion, the lack of emphasis on clean materials carries over as much as the muscle memory from running stringers.

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Fixing the economy—it's not that simple

March 26, 2014

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Just what do we do to fix the economy? Is raising the minimum wage the answer? It's not that simple.

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From the Web 3.25.14

March 25, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— a sourcing firm sees gradual manufacturing improvement in the U.S. over the next two years; China’s manufacturing sector has hit a wall; the last big U.S. bicycle maker keeps rolling; a Nebraska fabricator gains national exposure; and a female welding instructor weighs in on working in a “man’s world.”

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Time for a new approach

March 20, 2014

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Concerned about landing and keeping the right workers? A new study shows that you’re not alone in this concern. It also sheds light on why this is a growing issue that is stunting global business growth.

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The benefits of off-site training

March 20, 2014

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Allowing employees to go off-site for training purposes improves the learning environment and shows everyone that the company wants to invest in the individual.

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From the Web 3.18.14

March 18, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— manufacturing production improves; new hubs struggle to create jobs; the state of Minnesota and a robot supplier are doing their part to help train workers in the Midwest; and a Florida fabricator helps build Park Avenue’s funky sculpture.

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The odd industrial barometer of capacity utilization

March 17, 2014

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Industrial capacity utilization soured in the booming 1990s. Today average utilization is lower, and yet the overall value of manufacturing output continues to climb. Over the long term, is capacity utilization really an accurate barometer for demand? If a fabricator's capacity utilization drops, is the shop struggling, or has it gotten more efficient?

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Mexico: Riding the waves of manufacturing fortune

March 14, 2014

The recent opening of two automotive assembly plants in Mexico is just the latest sign that Mexico is emerging as a major manufacturing hub for the world. However, in today's economy, global trends shift pretty quickly, and Mexico will have to evolve from just being a land of low-cost labor if it is to remain a major manufacturing player.

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The 'right way'

March 13, 2014

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Editor’s note: This is welder and artist Josh Welton’s inaugural blog post for thefabricator.com. Welton, of Brown Dog Welding fame, will be writing twice monthly. This introductory post highlights important lessons learned in Welton’s welder training.

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Paying a heavy price for purchasing only on price

March 13, 2014

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As fabricators become more selective about jobs they accept, OEMs need to rethink purchasing procedures.

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