Blogs

Filter Content

A not-so-good Year of the Ox

February 2, 2009

By:

This Chinese New Year wasn"t the rosiest for many folks on the other side of the planet. According to reports, Chinese exports were down 2.8 percent in December from the previous year--a significant number, considering the amount China exports. The country"s GDP grew 13 percent in 2007, but was...

Continue Reading

Unemployment—By the numbers

January 30, 2009

By:

The newspaper headlines are getting somewhat repetitive nowadays, unless you"re lucky enough to live in a state where the governor is being impeached. Layoffs here and layoffs there&mdashcompanies are shedding jobs like a politician sheds campaign promises.But an interesting thing caught my eye as...

Continue Reading

Labor shortage - Point/Counterpoint

January 29, 2009

By:

If you subscribe to the "Welding Wire" e-newsletter, you may have seen the comments in the January issue from a seasoned metalworker who questions whether the much proclaimed skilled-labor shortage really exists. His comments drew responses from those who wholeheartedly agreed with what he had to...

Continue Reading

Being lean pays in a recession

January 28, 2009

By:

I spoke with a stamper last week who found one of the few areas for growth in this economy: takeover work. Jim Schwartz, general manager of marketing at Eagle Wings Industries, Rantoul, Ill., recently implemented magnetic die clamping, a technology that has allowed the company to take on new work...

Continue Reading

Welcome to the factory

January 23, 2009

By:

A friend sent me a link to a band he heard on an Internet radio station. The band hails from downstate Illinois, and one of the bands I really admire, Uncle Tupelo, came from the same part of the country. So I gave it a quick listen.A day later I purchased the CD, The Places We Lived....

Continue Reading

A nice speech

January 21, 2009

By:

Whether or not you supported President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, you have to admit that he gave a nice inaugural speech. I listened to the speech (streaming online video) and turned off inaugural coverage after the entire ceremony ended. I really am not interested in watching...

Continue Reading

Putting a smile on a banker's face

January 19, 2009

By:

Away from the revelry on the National Mall in Washington, auto industry executives and insiders have spent much of January in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, an annual event that, for obvious reasons, has been toned down significantly. One of the few areas not in such a funk,...

Continue Reading

Don't forget Detroit

January 16, 2009

By:

This isn"t about the automotive industry or bailouts. It"s a wish for better times for places like Detroit.What prompted this? An incredibly thoughtful and moving column by Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. I"ve been to and through Detroit a handful of times in my life. I remember...

Continue Reading

A sound investment

January 14, 2009

By:

Scanning the metal manufacturing news this morning, I ran across a brief item that made me smile. Smiles from industry news don't occur often enough these days. They are almost as rare as receiving a love note from your credit card company that says your interest rate has been lowered because...

Continue Reading

Manufacturing at your service

January 12, 2009

By:

Let the record show that I"m no fan of the iPod®. My wife got one two years ago, and upon downloading the iTunes® media player program and going through setup, the dang thing prompted us to register at the iTunes Store andwait for itinsert a credit card number.What? We just shelled out...

Continue Reading

A look to the future

January 8, 2009

By:

A lot has been written about the current economic funk that has gripped the world. A lot has been speculated about what the economy will do in 2009. A lot is too much for me to take.I"m not going to tune out and drop off the grid. I want to know what"s happening in the world; I just don"t want it...

Continue Reading

Bad news/good news in the in-box

January 7, 2009

By:

In my e-mail in-box this morning was bad news from a friend who said that her company initiated a "major layoff" yesterday. The good news? She survived—at least this round. Two of her friends/co-workers were among those laid off. She's concerned about them and is doing what she can to...

Continue Reading

Getting smart in a global downturn

January 5, 2009

By:

After reading the news feeds during the past few days, I can tell you what my best Christmas gift was: a refreshing break from those news feeds. The-sky-is-falling manufacturing news came in steadily over the holiday, and it didn"t make for fun reading. The Institute for Supply Management"s...

Continue Reading

2008: A year in review

December 18, 2008

By:

We"re wrapping up things at The FABRICATOR and its sister magazines this week—getting the January and January/February issues ready to be shipped to the printer almost immediately upon our return from Christmas break, and working ahead on February features. You can tell everyone wants to gear...

Continue Reading

Ode to 2008

December 17, 2008

By:

'Twas a mere two weeks before the end of a year Filled with economic unrest and little to cheer Or so it would seem, as the headlines screamed "The sky is falling; this isn't a dream" Unemployment is growing and jobs are notAutomakers are sinking; credit is shot Politicians are...

Continue Reading