Blog Posts

thefabricator.com has a team of bloggers that cover the challenges and rewards associated with a life in metal fabricating. Topics typically addressed by contributing authors include political and demographic trends affecting the fabricating industry, the business side of running a job shop, the culture of the welding community, and detailed looks at what happens on the shop floor.

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Is your company prepared for the worst?

January 15, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I'm reading about the tragedy in Haiti this morning and thinking about the sheer amount of work that'll be required to get this nation back on its feet. That may be one heck of a goal considering many feel this nation really wasn't on stable footing to begin with—extreme poverty, history of...

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How one woman benefited from Chrysler's problems

January 14, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

You don't have to be a former autoworker to have been affected by the automotive industry's problems. All U.S. taxpayers have been affected, as have many community and state economies. I personally was affected — in a relatively minor way — when Chrysler sent letters of termination to 789...

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The need to adapt, no matter what happens

January 12, 2010 | By Tim Heston

When I saw the words manufacturing and boom in one headline, I had to do a double take. An AllianceBernstein economist was especially optimistic, predicting that manufacturing may be gearing up for the biggest turnaround seen in 25 years. "The evidence points to a 20 percent jump in output in the...

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Manufacturing in the movies

January 8, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I spent the first part of my holiday break unwinding by watching movies. I intended to go out skating, visit downtown Chicago, and generally get out of the house during the second part of the break, but the temperature dropped down to single digits; I ended up watching more movies.One of the more...

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Temps dropping, prices rising

January 6, 2010 | By Eric Lundin

If you're like me, you don't get too excited about day-to-day changes in atmospheric conditions, also known as the weather. Most of us have daily activities-going to work, attending classes, and so on-that are indoors anyway, so the weather usually doesn't have much effect on many people. Usually...

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Clueless in Washington

January 6, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

In December, "Fabricating Update" readers responded to the annual survey about business concerns. A recap of the survey findings will be published on thefabricator.com next week. In summary, the majority who responded said that business is picking up or they expect improvements soon. Fifteen...

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A welcome farewell to the aughts

January 4, 2010 | By Tim Heston

A year ago Troy Berg wasn't in a good place."I knew in January that 2009 was gone. Never in the history of my business have I had to kiss off a year in January & Now that we're through 2009, the hard cuts have been made, we've made a little bit of money, and those of us who are still...

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Where is St. Jude when we need him?

December 23, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

On Dec. 12, I received a press release with an earth-shaking announcement: Dr. Orly Taitz Esq. was scheduled to fly to New York the following week to film a documentary for NBC news, highlighting "her legal efforts to bring to light the vital records of mr Barack Hussein Obama and the issue of his...

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Joe Biden and a press brake

December 21, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Rickey Moulder probably won't forget the workday he had Thursday. Moulder is press brake department supervisor for Impulse Manufacturing in Dawsonvile, Ga., and on Dec. 17 he got to explain a bit about sheet metal fabrication to Vice President Joe Biden. An Associated Press photographer even...

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Returning to the slightly-worse-than-yesterday but still good ol' days

December 18, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I read an interview with some highfalutin investment guy in the Dec. 21 issue of Fortune, and I'm starting to feel good about the future. It's not that he's bullish about the economy in the months to come, but that may not necessarily be all bad.Mohamed El-Erian, who is CEO of an...

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The 12 months of oh-nine

December 16, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Here's a quick look back at a few highlights and lowlights from 2009—where we were when we began the year, where we are now, and what happened as the year unfolded, particularly when it comes to jobs. I wish you peace and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010. The first month of...

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The Catch 22 of collateral

December 15, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Earlier this year, I landed at the Detroit airport en route to a conference. I got into my rental car, headed to the I-94 on-ramp, and then I saw it. There, next to the highway, was a big billboard advertising, of all things, a metal fabricator: "W Industries: Aerospace, Defense, Energy,...

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The end of TARP as we know it

December 10, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

Two years ago the U.S. economy had many symptoms of a bubble ready to burst-runaway stock prices, rapidly inflating real estate prices, and interest rates that encouraged many homeowners to refinance (that's a synonym for "take unnecessary risks with") their most valuable assets. One symptom,...

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All I want for Christmas is ...

December 9, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Jobs—especially good paying jobs that can't be exported. Well, that's almost all. I also want world peace and an end to hunger and homelessness. Then there's the climate. Oh, all right, I guess I want more than jobs, but it's beginning to look as though jobs—which...

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Of GM, chainsaws, rattlesnakes, and risk

December 8, 2009 | By Kate Bachman

There's something eerie about a prediction that comes to pass. When Fritz Henderson was announced as Rick Waggoner's replacement as GM's CEO on March 30, a business blog headline read Fritz Henderson May Not Last Long at GM. The blog, by John Gapper, associate editor and chief...

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