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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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A gust of good news

August 31, 2009 | By Tim Heston

If you're connected to the wind energy business or are looking to get your foot in the door, you're probably thinking about two things: 1. You're tired of cheesy puns in article headlines (like the one above). 2. You are hoping investors start embracing the business again....

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The many faces of fabricating

August 28, 2009 | By Dan Davis

When you are laid off from two separate companies in a six-month time span, you have to sit back and think long and hard about your career path. That's where a 25-year-old welder found himself earlier this year. He found a scholarship opportunity at Missouri State University that allows the...

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A good week for tube

August 27, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

It was a good week for tube, at least as far as I am concerned. I am always on the lookout for any chance to get out of the office and see tube or pipe applications, and I had two such opportunities this week. First off, the local elementary school needed a new play area. The old one was...

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GM & Chrysler - Will you buy their cars?

August 26, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

The August issue of "Stamping News Brief" (SNB) featured comments from an SNB reader responding to an item in the previous month's issue about employment in the metal stamping sector. This reader said, "I am soon to be unemployed, and there are really not many prospects around here for employment...

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Rethinking the knowledge worker

August 24, 2009 | By Tim Heston

I understand the term's intent, and that it describes workers who are ever-more-valued. I just have reservations about how the term is used. When people think of a "knowledge worker," they think of a white-collar IT professional, engineer, doctor, or others who think to innovate, using their...

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Put out the welcome mat

August 21, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I came across this story earlier this week and was reminded just how important it is for metal fabricators to open their doors to the community, in particular elected officials and government bureaucrats.In this case, Karen Mills, an administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),...

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No stimulus for manufacturing

August 17, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Buried within the Institute for Supply Management™'s July Manufacturing ISM Report on Business® is a telling quote from a metal fabricator."No stimulus for manufacturing." Technically, the government has set aside a bit of money. On Thursday the Treasury Department revealed...

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What is new is not so new

August 13, 2009 | By Tim Heston

I'm still recovering from a visit to Washington, D.C. It's not that I was taxed to death, even though I left with an empty wallet, or that I was roughed up during an angry AARP demonstration. It's just difficult to immerse myself back into the work world after being more than 750...

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