Blog Posts has a team of bloggers that cover the challenges and rewards associated with a life in metal fabricating. Topics typically addressed by contributing authors include political and demographic trends affecting the fabricating industry, the business side of running a job shop, the culture of the welding community, and detailed looks at what happens on the shop floor.

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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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Nowhere to hide

July 9, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

Over the past 10 years or so, the big and growing fear among manufacturers has been the steady, unrelenting intrusion of globalization. One pundit described it as economic Darwinism, a nowhere-to-hide environment in which firms that are flexible, adaptable, and aggressive overtake those that...

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A recession takes no prisoners

July 7, 2009 | By Tim Heston

It seems Paul Gordon of the Peoria Journal Star hit a chord last week.Two metal fabricators in Morton, Ill., southeast of Peoria, changed ownership on the same day: Friday, June 26. Morton Welding, previously owned by Michigan-based BHM Technologies, was brought back under local ownership by a...

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Beware the business books

July 2, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Got a note the other day that the FMA's Research Assistance Center acquired a new book that might be of interest. It's The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten. The book provides brief reviews of...

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How 'green' is 'green'?

July 1, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

This blog post is rooted in a discussion my husband and I had yesterday regarding a news item I ran across about a 'green' race car that runs on vegetable oil and waste chocolate. I get vegetable oil, but where on earth does waste chocolate come from? Godiva, Ghirardelli, Hershey, Fannie...

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Innovators, gumption, and tenacity

June 29, 2009 | By Tim Heston

This country seems to be itching for the next big thing, those game-changing innovations that drag us out of our economic malaise. General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt knows this, and it's why his company announced a $100 million investment in an R&D center 25 miles west of Detroit. As the...

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