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Smaller parts make a stable whole

February 26, 2008

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When people think of manufacturing, they think of George's story. After working 30 years, the 59-year-old mechanical engineer was laid off in 2001 from a tube fabrication company. Earlier this week, the Homer Glen, Ill., resident, who didn't want his last name used, spoke to The Herald...

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Steel price boom a bust for fabricators

February 22, 2008

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Based on anecdotal evidence after talking with fabricators and some internal surveys we"ve done, fabricators are more than worried about rising steel prices. Unfortunately, every indication is that this upward trend in pricing isn"t going to disappear any time soon.The Steel Index reported that for...

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Rogue satellite

February 20, 2008

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When watching your satellite TV or talking on your cell phone, do you ever think about all the satellites that circle the earth? Do you ever wonder how many there are? Which country has the most? What would happen if they began to fall back to earth?To tell the truth, I never gave it much thought,...

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Two realities in manufacturing

February 19, 2008

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Ever since we emerged from the recession earlier this decade, I feel I've been living in two economic realities in manufacturing: One where economic expansion returned and another where the recession never really left.The presidential candidates know the second reality, judging by their stump...

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A tale of two Mexicos

February 15, 2008

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I"ve seen two different versions of Mexico over the last three weeks, and in some ways the two worlds are not as different as you might think when it comes to metal fabricating.While at WeldMex in Mexico City last week, I learned that Mexican fabricators are coming around to newer, more...

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Leaving Arizona

February 14, 2008

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Illegal immigration is among the top issues in the 2008 presidential election. The candidates have stated their plans for stemming the tide of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. and dealing with the large numbers currently residing in the country. Arizona has passed a law to address the...

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Welding's missing link

February 12, 2008

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Several years ago Ken Smith took a long, hard look at the country's welder shortage. The manager of training for Lorain County Community College's welding program in Elyria, Ohio, saw a need to tackle the issue at the source: education.Smith, together with representatives from the...

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Snow, television, and fabricating

February 8, 2008

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When more than a foot of snow is expected to fall, you should probably go out and shovel a couple of times during the day instead of waiting until the end of the snowfall to do it. That was the case yesterday as I battled the white stuff in my driveway and sidewalks. The office was closed, so I...

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Get with the program

February 7, 2008

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Have you ever noticed how things run in cycles? Feast or famine? Drought or flood? No phone calls, or one call after another? I telecommute, and days go by that my work phone doesn't ring at all. On those days, all communication transpires electronically. This is not one of those days.Among...

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Manufacturing's story on Super Tuesday

February 5, 2008

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In August 2006 a metal fabricator got a chance to tell the president why he felt businesses like his were good for America.John West, president of Fox Valley Metal-Tech in Green Bay, Wis., showed the commander in chief around the company"s facility that housed, among other things, one of the...

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Welding: 'That's awesome!'

February 1, 2008

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I"m writing this from WeldMex, a welding tradeshow in Mexico City. We"re trying to promote The FABRICATOR en Español to Mexican metal fabricators.All in all, there"s some interesting things that I"ve learned about the Mexican market:Welding technology companies are positive about the Mexican...

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Frills or no frills?

January 30, 2008

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A mere three weeks ago, the introduction of the Nano, the $2,500 car produced by Tata Motors, made the headlines worldwide. It also was the topic of the Jan. 15 "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter lead-in, which asked subscribers what they thought of the new car and whether it would have any impact...

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Stein economics

January 29, 2008

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Recently the managing editor at Money magazine sat down with Ben Steinthe quirky lawyer, economist, comedian, and former Nixon speechwriterand asked if he was worried about a recession. Stein said no.The editor responded, But aren"t you worried about the headlines, about the credit crunch, about...

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Just pay the people

January 25, 2008

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Nuthin" like a shot upside the head to make you see the light. In this blog and in the Editor"s Corner of The FABRICATOR [Saving manufacturing one sweep at a time, p. 8, January 2008], I"ve written how a clean work environment might contribute in a small way to changing a youngster"s mindset...

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Flashdance meets real life

January 23, 2008

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I'm interviewing Brennan Palmiter, a young race car driver with a passion for welding that's almost as strong as his passion for racing. His profile will be featured on thefabricator.com next month.Palmiter's story, along with two stories I ran across today, proved to me that there...

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