Blog Posts 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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The economy: It could be worse

November 3, 2009 | By Tim Heston

The status of...

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RIP: High-volume metal manufacturing in the U.S.

October 30, 2009 | By Dan Davis

On the day that everyone was rejoicing about the GDP growth in the third quarter of this year, I'm still thinking about an announcement that Swedish appliance giant Electrolux made earlier this week. Somehow, that doesn't strike me as being great news, particularly for Iowa residents and...

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How can a home-buyer's tax credit help you?

October 29, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

Whether it's a good idea or a bad one is a matter of perspective. It's a tax credit related to a mortgage, and it can put up to $8,000 into the pocket of first-time home buyers. A quick look at housing start permits reveals the sad state of the residential construction industry. In January 2006,...

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Lack of help for small business is 'obscene'

October 28, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Fox News—most people either love it or hate it. I'm indifferent about it, preferring to look at it as I do most media: Take what I hear with a grain of salt and watch out for bias.Just yesterday, host Greta Van Susteren chatted with David Cho, financial reporter for the "Washington Post"...

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Reworking a codependent relationship

October 27, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Did you hear? The automotive biz is rockin' and rollin'. General Motors—that's right, the same GM that trudged to bankruptcy court earlier this year—reported 2009 growth of 40 percent. Heck, the industry overall reported 90 percent growth in August. Simply amazing! Oh, I...

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A big slice of humble pie

October 22, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

I was wrong. I said it. I admit it. Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong. Totally wrong. No two ways about it. Wrong. GM filed for bankruptcy June 1, and nearly every editor, reporter, and blogger seemed to want to jump on the bandwagon and jump all over GM's executives for decades of mismanagement. I...

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'It's all bad' (No, it isn't)

October 21, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Yesterday evening, I sat in a Jiffy Lube waiting room while my car was undergoing an emissions test—a requirement for tag renewal. A small, very old-school, rabbit-eared TV tuned to a local news station stood in the corner. As I attempted to wile away the time reading the latest but already...

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Shh & Manufacturing is looking better

October 20, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Psssst. Hey & down here. I"m the headline about 20 column inches below the story about Balloon Boy. Keep looking down. Down. Just below that expose about Polanski. See me? Good. Don't tell anyone, but manufacturing's getting a bit better. In fact, manufacturing may be the thing that pulls...

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Keeping manufacturing competitive

October 15, 2009 | By Dan Davis

The perspective was unique, but the advice was familiar: Innovation is the key to remaining competitive on the world stage.That was the message manufacturing experts with deep knowledge of the global marketplace sent to attendees at the Competitive Manufacturing Strategies session of the Pan IIT...

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Retirement? Maybe, maybe not

October 14, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

I love online polls, especially those that allow takers to comment. There's a certain feeling of anonymity when you are sitting all alone in front of your computer screen that tends to make many of us more open when voicing our opinions through our keyboards. (Of course that same feeling of...

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The power of walking away

October 13, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Talk of health reform has become frenzied in recent weeks. The latest compromises have bordered on desperation. We can't pursue the public option plan, to appease budget-weary politicians (and voters) and the insurance industry. We're uncomfortable about requiring everyone to buy...

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Fabricators: Servants to their customers

October 9, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Today's thoughts are inspired by a question posted on the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's group discussion board on LinkedIn. Cecilia Allison, vice president of finance, K & S Tool, Die & Manufacturing Inc.: "OEMs are great at demanding service and charging the supplier if their...

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Fertilizer for job growth?

October 8, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

A few days ago, my fellow blogger, Eric Lundin, wrote a post entitled " Too little, too late," in which he discussed U.S. pipe producers asking the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose duties on steel pipe imported from China.Eric shed light on the snail's pace at which the legal process...

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Mind the gap

October 7, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

I felt a stabbing pain when I saw the headline (A Threat to Global Recovery: Too Many Factories), and it got worse when I saw the name of the publication (Time). Call me skeptical, but I think mainstream journalists understand manufacturing as well as politicians do. I went ahead and read the...

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From buying Cristal to being cheap

October 5, 2009 | By Tim Heston

It's 2005. A group of investment bankers visit a dimly lit New York club. One banker in his 20s makes more than a million a year packaging mortgages and sending them on to the big Wall Street firms. Two waiters arrive carrying four champagne bottles each with tiny sparklers. Everyone turns to...

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