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Keep your powder dry

November 6, 2007

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When tool and die maker Michael Ward Sr. started Ward Manufacturing Co. in 1936, one principle gave the business a solid foundation: Keep your powder dry.That"s according to the founder"s grandson, Tom Ward, vice president of the Evanston, Ill., company, now under its third generation of...

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To serve is to lead

November 2, 2007

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Piccadilly Restaurants are a chain of restaurants that started out in Baton Rouge, La. The chain now has locations all over the Southeast, but to be honest, I haven"t eaten at one since the early 1990s when I made the move to the Chicago area.After spending a week at leadership training, the...

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’Tis the season to give … of yourself

November 1, 2007

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Over the past 12 months I've held tight to my plan to discuss the skilled welder shortage in my editorials. I've shared stories of companies finding ways to train welders and foundations trying to expose young adults to the industry. As a result, several readers have reached out to share with me...

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Heavy metal

October 31, 2007

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It's Halloween, and to celebrate I thought I'd Google "Halloween metal," just to see what results the phrase would conjure up. I entered the words in quotation marks to try and limit the number of results. Among the 85,900 links returned were sites that featured metal Halloween...

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Are you ready for boarding?

October 29, 2007

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Last week Chew Choon Seng hosted a symbolic event in aviation history. The CEO of Singapore Airlines threw a party more than 30,000 feet in the air, where he strolled the aisles in his company"s new crown jewel: the Airbus A380. After years of delays, the thing is finally airborne. From Singapore"s...

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Revving up in China

October 24, 2007

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While the U.S. auto industry is busy dealing with the dollar-yen exchange rate, contract negotiations with the UAW, rising fuel prices, falling sales, and a "product so mediocre they need to bribe customers with incentives to buy American," (quote from a Forbes article Detroit to Japan: Strengthen...

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There's no place like home

October 23, 2007

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It boils down to a simple fact: Consumers get picky.That"s according to Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., managing director of Lawrence, Kan.-based Armada Corporate Intelligence. The economist stopped by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), International, headquarters last week to communicate some...

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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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