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A hunch on the downturn: This time, it"s different

November 4, 2008

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As I type this, the line at the polling place across the street has finally shown signs of movement. It"s the morning of Nov. 4, and by evening we"ll know who will have the world"s largest bully pulpit for the next four years.Seeing how the numbers are adding up, I won"t envy the winner. The... Continue Reading

EuroBLECH—It's a good thing

October 30, 2008

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Well, I"m barely alive and well after a weeklong trip to EuroBLECH in Hanover, Germany. Tell someone who doesn"t have to travel a lot that you are going to a foreign country, and it sounds exotic. Only after those same people have walked a thousand steps through slow-moving airport security;... Continue Reading

Welding your way to a six-figure income?

October 29, 2008

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Last week's Welding Wire e-newsletter lead feature discussed a report by Chief White House correspondent for the CBS Evening News, Jim Axelrod, who recently was surprised to learn about a career that requires no college degree and pays six figures.Axelrod reported that "thanks to a program run... Continue Reading

Don't judge a business by its market

October 27, 2008

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During these economically trying times, you would think some companies would have a better shot at emerging from this mess somewhat unscathed, while others might be more vulnerable. But that"s not necessarily the case. Consider news last week of two metal fabricators, one that"s laying off... Continue Reading

Being like Joe

October 22, 2008

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It isn't every day that guys like Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher make the news, but it does seem that in any presidential election year, a regular guy or soccer mom is dragged into the national spotlight as the quintessential make-or-break voter. How a candidate's proposed policy affects... Continue Reading

The orders keep coming

October 21, 2008

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Jerry Sadler didn"t look like the news from Wall Street really bothered him. Walking the aisles at the FABTECH International® & AWS Welding Show earlier this month, the quality manager at Ameron International had other things on his mind, like customer orders that have been placed through... Continue Reading

Are you ready for a metal fabricating consultation?

October 17, 2008

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I spent yesterday at the grand opening ceremonies for Amada"s newest North American Solution Center in Schaumburg, Ill. It is a very impressive facility that contained the prerequisite meeting rooms, training areas, and demonstration area. It also has a System-Up Area, where all custom-designed... Continue Reading

The new 5S

October 15, 2008

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At last week's FABTECH International® & AWS Welding Show with METALFORM in Las Vegas, I walked the show floor, which I'm proud to say I survived. Anyone who attended the show knows what I mean. The show was huge and the aisles were long. The first day, it also was crowded with record... Continue Reading

How fabricating can change the world

October 14, 2008

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Two machines sitting on a porch facing New Hampshire"s Merrimack River may well change the world. And at the FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show last week, I got a glimpse of them. Dean Kamen showed a picture of the two little machines during his keynote Oct. 7. They didn"t look like... Continue Reading

7 winning moments from FABTECH

October 10, 2008

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The giant North American metal fabricating event known as FABTECH® International & AWS Welding Show introducing METALFORM with special guests the National Association of Manufacturers and the Blue Man Group wrapped up its first foray to Las Vegas Oct. 6-8. Attendees skipped the gambling and... Continue Reading

Some Good News, and Some Good News

October 10, 2008

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Chicago"s crime rate decreased by 3.8 percent in 2007, according to an article in the January 25 issue of the Chicago Tribune.I may know why.After a pleasant day watching my beloved CUBs (yes they are still beloved, despite their inability to break The Curse) at Wrigley Field recently, my wallet... Continue Reading

I came, I saw, I welded

October 9, 2008

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The credit for this headline goes to my publisher, Ed Youdell, who suggested it when I told him about my brief attempt at welding at the 2008 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show with Metalform that ended Oct. 8.Ed also deserves some of the credit for my attempt. As I explained in an earlier... Continue Reading

Embracing globalization at FABTECH

October 7, 2008

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As the Dow did its dance on a cliff"s edge yesterday, the FABTECH International&reg & AWS Welding Show kicked off with gusto yesterday here in Las Vegas, and the credit crunch seemed refreshingly far away. Why? It"s because Jim Waters has visited Chinese cities with populations of more... Continue Reading

Flames of misfortune

October 3, 2008

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I had a meeting in the near northwest suburbs of Chicago earlier this week. To get there, I literally had to go over the hills—that"s the suburb of Lake in the Hills to be exact—and through the woods—also known as the Cook County Forest Preserve.Of course, that was a 25-minute... Continue Reading

Big fears, short lines

October 1, 2008

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Last night, continuing our long-standing tradition of "date night," my husband and I went to our favorite local restaurant, Alpha Soda. A fixture in our community, Alpha Soda—which was established in 1920 and is said to be the oldest standing business in its city—draws crowds. Not so... Continue Reading