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Change is necessary for China

October 19, 2007

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Everyone needs a bogeyman. Superman has Lex Luthor. Conservatives in the U.S. have the left-wing media; liberals have the right-wing conspiracy. The Boston Red Sox have the New York Yankees. Sometimes it"s just easier getting through life when you can focus your negative energies on one particular...

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Domestic steel's image

October 18, 2007

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a dinner and presentation hosted by the Outside Processors Council (OPC). The council, organized in 1997 with the assistance of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Outside Processing Managers Committee, serves metal producers, service centers, and...

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Point, click, buy anything—from anywhere

October 16, 2007

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Say you"re looking to buy a new stainless steel refrigerator, but instead of driving down to your local Sears, you hop online, review your options, customize it, and purchase itdirectly from a factory in rural China. The manufacturer takes your specific requirements and builds a fridge just for...

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Tube talk

October 12, 2007

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I visited MG Products of Elkhart, Ind., on Wednesday and had a chance to chat with Mark George, the company"s founder and president. We talked about his company"s business and how the BLM Adige LT712D laser tube cutter it purchased in 2004 has helped to transform its machine shop into a fabrication...

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Fighting brain drain

October 10, 2007

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For years the term brain drain has been defined as "an emigration of trained and talented individuals (human capital) to other nations or jurisdictions, due to conflicts, lack of opportunity, health hazards where they are living, or other reasons." More recently, the term is being used to describe...

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Road trip

October 3, 2007

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Yesterday was a beautiful day in North-metro Atlanta. Not a cloud in the sky. Pleasant temperatures. A perfect day for a road trip to visit a company that will be profiled in an upcoming article on thefabricator.com.I printed out directions from Google Maps, climbed in my Jeep (the one that metal...

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Another trade milestone

October 2, 2007

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I received a press release recently about the U.S."s trade deficit relative to China. It announced that during the George W. Bush years the total merchandise deficit has exceeded $1 trillion.Now that"s a stunning statistic. Not to sidestep this bit of data or downplay the importance of it, but it...

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Fabricating a new future in Michigan

September 28, 2007

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The economy of many Rust Belt states has undergone quite a transformation over recent years. These states that were so closely tied to manufacturing have had to deal with the effects of globalization. Michigan is no exception.Michigan reportedly has lost about 170,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000....

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Being green

September 26, 2007

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Green—my favorite color—may be the most popular these days. More and more manufacturers are working to have their products labeled green, which has become synonymous with environmentally friendly. Advertisers use it to promote everything from automobiles to shampoo. Websites, magazines,...

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Really big lunch boxes

September 20, 2007

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So I"m watching an episode of Feasting on Asphalt on The Food Network about a week ago. The show documents chef/scientist Alton Brown and his motorcycle crew"s cruise up the Mississippi River in search of authentic roadside grub.After feasting on all sorts of fried food in south Louisiana, the...

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Hands off my Jeep!

September 19, 2007

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I read an item today from the Charleston Daily Mail that had me shaking my head in disbelief and even frightened me.The item was about recent thefts in West Virginia of catalytic converters, which are being sold by thieves to scrap metal dealers. Many are being taken from Jeeps. This frightened...

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Chinese steel targeted

September 14, 2007

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Everyone knew that the Aug. 1 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis would spark plenty of scrutiny into the state of this country"s infrastructure and the construction methods used in these projects. But who knew that China would fall smack dab in the middle of the investigations? On...

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Rough waters on Wall St., smooth sailing on Main St.

September 12, 2007

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You don"t need me to tell you that the Wall Street roller coaster is moving a little too quickly and unpredictably lately. Any investor paying even the slightest amount of attention is feeling something between growing wariness and outright alarm. After breaking 14,000 in July, the...

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Special delivery from Mexico

September 6, 2007

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The world of materials delivery changed forever on Sept 6. Just mark it down as one more big change in the name of globalization.The big rigs now are moving product from Mexico into the U.S., beyond the 25-mile buffer zone that acted as a barrier between Mexican truckers and the rest of the U.S....

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