Blog Posts

Filter Content

Small government is good; Really small government is better

October 1, 2009 | By Tim Heston

I'm not so naive that I believe The FABRICATOR is the only magazine metal fabricators read. If The FABRICATOR is the only one you read, than I applaud you for it and urge you to swing by our booth (No. 7034) at FABTECH International so I can give you a hug. Because we do have competitors...

Continue Reading

Helping U.S. manufacturing - Take note, Bloom

September 30, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Most people with half a brain who actually think about U.S. manufacturing agree that it is suffering. You can't watch or read the news without learning of plant closings, layoffs, furloughs, pay reductions, and growing unemployment lines that include many factory workers, staff, and...

Continue Reading

A welder, waiting

September 28, 2009 | By Tim Heston

It's the waiting that drags you down. With our unemployment rate edging near 10 percent, many are waiting for companies to finally rehire. I can imagine them shaking their heads when they look at the Dow's ascent in recent weeks. Somebody's making money, but it certainly isn't them. I'm not sure...

Continue Reading

Up with people

September 25, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I visited with a friend from college several weeks ago. He works in operations in the software services division for a major publicly owned corporation and was in Chicago for a tradeshow. It's a good gig for a good guy who can handle personal relationships like a three-card monte dealer can...

Continue Reading

Making the most of metals

September 24, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

Editors know that fab shop owners wear many (many, many) hats, and depending on the size of the shop, have to be equal parts accountant, purchasing agent, sales manager, marketing guru, safety officer, shop supervisor, process troubleshooter, training manager, human resources department, and maybe...

Continue Reading

All about welding ... mostly

September 23, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Last week, I attended the Schweissen & Schneiden International Trade Fair Joining Cutting Surfacing, commonly known as the Essen Welding Show, in Essen, Germany. The show comes around every four years and attracts thousands of attendees, primarily from Europe and Asia. This was my first time...

Continue Reading

From the frying pan to the fire?

September 22, 2009 | By Kate Bachman

Alternative power trains, advanced propulsion technologies, and automotive battery power are all the buzz. At the NanoBusiness Alliance conference I attended in September in Chicago, a great deal of discussion centered around announcements of the $2 billion U.S. federal grants awarded from the...

Continue Reading

Proximity makes a difference

September 21, 2009 | By Tim Heston

On a flight to a manufacturing event last week, I read an article in BusinessWeek that got me pretty down. The headline on the magazine cover screamed, "America's Manufacturing Crisis." The topic: Why stuff's invented stateside and sent abroad for manufacturing. "While the...

Continue Reading

Wind power keeps going

September 18, 2009 | By Dan Davis

The push to develop wind power sources has slowed a bit in 2009, but it's starting to gain momentum again, as attendees at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's Wind Energy Conference found out Sept. 15 in Elgin, Ill., at Mazak Optonics Corp. Last year more than 8,400 megawatts...

Continue Reading

Combining hydrogen, oxygen, and inspiration

September 17, 2009 | By Tim Heston

I was browsing the news recently when an article about Dean Kamen jumped out at me. You might know him as the founder of FIRST, president of DEKA Research & Development, inventor of the Segway® PT , holder of numerous patents, or one of the keynote speakers at the 2008 FABTECH® Intl. & AWS...

Continue Reading

No guarantees...except death and the business cycle

September 14, 2009 | By Tim Heston

The cover of Newsweek could be journalism school fodder for ways to stand out on the newsstand: "The Case for Killing Granny." That headline tugs at the soul, drilling down to the heart of the health care debate. The lion's share of health care costs in this country occurs during the final...

Continue Reading

Is an expansion on the horizon?

September 10, 2009 | By Tim Heston

"Lay 100 economists end-to-end and you won't be able to reach a conclusion." Like all good quips, this one is both clever and true. Some economists are optimists and some are pessimists; economic indicators often point in different directions; and most business data—whether it deals with...

Continue Reading

Success stories

September 10, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

My fellow editors and I often invite those who read our columns to share their success stories so that we may pass them on and inspire others. Traditional success stories about businesses thriving are hard to come by these days. The last time I personally received e-mails from readers who said...

Continue Reading

Money and your life

September 9, 2009 | By Tim Heston

The financial wizards are at it again, and this time they're not betting whether you'll default on your mortgage. They're betting on your life. The financial folks on Wall Street, as always, are looking for certainty and to curtail risk. At one point, mortgages seemed to be a sure...

Continue Reading

A love, or at least a respect, of labor

September 4, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I'm fascinated by this story unfolding in Fond du Lac, Wis. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1947 voted to reject a new Mercury Marine contract on Aug. 23. The marine equipment manufacturer said thanks for the memories and announced a move of its...

Continue Reading