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Realigning value

August 7, 2009 | By Tim Heston

The numbers popping up in the media recently draw an interesting, perhaps conflicted picture of the state of business in the U.S. Here's why.First, there's unemployment. Like many, I expected the unemployment rate to continue its relentless rise past the symbolic 10 percent mark. It...

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Global cooling?

August 6, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

Ask 10 people what they enjoy most about summer and you"ll get 10 different answers. Ask 10 people how they measure summer, and I"ll bet you"ll also get 10 different, and probably more interesting, answers. I suppose the younger-than-10-years-old set can"t quite wrap their arms around the endless...

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What have you done for us lately?

August 5, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Manufacturers are mad as Hades and speaking out about what they believe to be the lack of support from the Obama Administration.Dr. Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), said he has yet to see "anything remotely resembling a policy" from...

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Let us know you're a winner

July 30, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I talked with a metal fabricator this week that installed a precision punch press with a six-station tapping unit about four years ago. The turret punch has been working hard the past several years, but the company finally has gotten around to working with the tapping unit. It"s incredible how big...

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'I wanna shake his hand'

July 29, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

The metal fabricating industry is made up of highly skilled, hard-working individuals who are passionate about their work and proud of what they create. But every now and then, along comes a slacker who does a half-backside job and creates all kinds of problems. Such is the case with the Northrop...

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Itching for economic recovery

July 27, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Rodie Woodard just finished a good week. When I talked with the president of Irving, Texas-based Maximum Industries Thursday, he told me he just closed a deal that will keep his contract fabrication shop humming 24 hours a day for several months. His customer in the signage industry is putting...

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This exciting fabricating opportunity won't last long ...

July 24, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Wanna talk about health care? Not really. The thought of a discussion gives me a headache, and I don"t think I could get around to seeing my doctor until next Tuesday.Wanna vilify China? I"ve got be careful on this one. I think a company from China actually owns my mortgage now.Wanna bash illegal...

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Guest column: Detroit Three restructuring—What it means for suppliers

July 23, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Editor's note: This post is from STAMPING Journal® columnist Bernard Swiecki, a director, market analysis, in the economics business group with the Center for Automotive Research.How bankruptcy and restructuring are changing the Detroit Three—What it means for suppliersBy Bernard...

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Speaking the same language

July 22, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

If your business isn't doing as well as you'd like—and whose is these days—there may be internal factors that are making an already tough situation even worse. One likely suspect is waste. I know, you probably are so very tired of hearing about lean manufacturing, and you may...

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Boldly go!

July 20, 2009 | By Tim Heston

Firing up your plasma cutting system might be a fitting tribute to the momentous event that happened 40 years ago today. Here's why.When Neil Armstrong planted the first lunar footprint, the world was watching with an excitement most famously seen in our recently departed Walter Cronkite, who...

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760 manufacturing companies

July 17, 2009 | By Tim Heston

That number bounced around the blogosphere this week as CIT teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. CEO Jeff Peek told news outlets that 760 manufacturing companies could shut down if CIT collapses. And then comes the ripple effect, which is even scarier. CIT is a middle-market lender...

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To celebrate or not?

July 17, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

The U.S.'s birthday has come and gone, and while most of us celebrated in the usual way—a day off from work, a cookout, and some fireworks—how many of us took the time to reflect on our nation"s place in the world? At 233 years, the U.S. is an awfully young country; on the other hand, with a...

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Summer bummer

July 16, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I got a vacation e-mail reply today from a gentleman in Sweden who said he would be gone "Week 29 to Week 31" and would only be checking e-mail on a weekly basis. I guess I'll just check back with him in Week 32? The whole concept of being away from work for a stretch lasting three to four...

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Fabricators and politics

July 15, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Yesterday's "Fabricating Update" lead item ruffled feathers, raised hackles, and had this editor ducking for cover as fabricators sounded off about comments from the Obama administration's recently released employment report.The item cited an article that appeared in The Washington Post...

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Credit crunch not going away soon

July 10, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I had a conversation a couple of months ago with a friend who is a manufacturing representative for several metal fabricating companies. The guy is sharp and runs the business as a one-man operation. He's busy and invests in software tools that help him keep track of deliveries and expedite...

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