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Cheap labor never stays cheap

April 14, 2008

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Labor costs continue to rise. Companies feel the pinch of surging raw material prices. Margins are declining. Companies can"t find the labor they need, and manufacturers strive to cut costs and keep work on their shores. This sounds like the problems manufacturers face stateside, but it"s not.It"s...

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Don't be bearish; attack your problem

April 11, 2008

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Let it not be said that I wasn"t paying attention in church on Sunday. Check out this golden piece of wisdom from Rev. Victor A. Scantlebury, assistant bishop of the Diocese of Chicago: A guy skipped church one Sunday to go hunting. He was out and about on a beautiful day when he turned a...

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Relo or no?

April 9, 2008

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Last week's Welding Wire e-newsletter addressed the skilled welder shortage and asked subscribers to e-mail us any welding programs they were aware of in their areas. Thefabricator.com is interested in compiling a list of programs that can be used by both those interested in welding careers...

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METALFORM report: Stampers add value, not labor

April 8, 2008

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My brother-in-law and fellow blogger, Chris Walker, is having trouble with his Internet provider, something not too unusual until you consider his locale and his problem. He"s spending a year in Mumbai, India, as part of a fellowship program that helps for-profit humanitarian enterprises find...

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Listen for the key to conflict resolution

April 4, 2008

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I was going to write about the economy, but something I was watching on TV last night really stuck with me. My wife grabbed the remote control from me and sat down to watch Larry King's interview with Jenny McCarthy, who is the mother of an autistic son and has just written a book about the...

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FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show announce strategic alliance with METALFORM

April 4, 2008

Four industry-leading trade show organizers have formed an alliance to better serve the needs of trade show exhibitors and manufacturers in North America from the fields of fabricating, tube & pipe,...

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CAD pedestal design

3D CAD modeling of sheet metal parts

April 1, 2008

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The main variation in sheet metal modeling technique is when to let the 3D CAD system know that the part is to be treated as sheet metal. Columnist Gerald Davis walks us through three different ways to accomplish this.

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What makes Grand Rapids so grand?

March 31, 2008

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Last week three researchers walked the streets of Grand Rapids, Mich., to answer a curious question: Why has the city"s manufacturing job market fared so well, relative to the rest of the state?The team from George Washington University"s Institute of Public Policy visited the city to see what was...

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Some things just don't pan out

March 28, 2008

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My wife and kids are on a spring break trip with the in-laws in Florida. I stayed behind to get some work done and save up some vacation time for trips this summer.(As I write this, it"s snowing yet again in Rockford, Ill. This comes after we got 7 inches of snow on the first day of spring last...

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HRB spot steel prices continue climb in most regions

March 27, 2008

SteelBenchmarker™reported that the world export HRB price for March 24 surged 6.6 percent to $870 per ton, FOB the port of export, for the eighth consecutive rise totaling $289. The Western...

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What is Tata thinking?

March 26, 2008

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Scanning a major news site this morning, I faced a difficult decision—which story would I read first? Vying for my attention were the compelling headlines about the escalated fighting in Iraq, the floods in Arkansas, and American Airlines grounding its MD-80 jets and the not-so-compelling...

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Durable-goods orders fell in February

March 26, 2008

The U.S. Commerce Department reported today that durable goods orders dropped 1.7 percent in February for the second straight decline. Analysts had expected a slight rebound following the 4.7 percent...

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Marmon, Warren Buffett, and the "d" word

March 25, 2008

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Warren Buffett must be among the world"s richest individuals for a reason. When Forbes measured asset values for its annual list on Feb. 11, Buffett sat on top, edging out software pioneer Bill Gates, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, and Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.Evidently,...

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LINE predicts labor market will remain soft in April

March 25, 2008

The latest SHRM/Rutgers Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®) survey indicates that similar to last month, the labor market in April 2008 will remain soft and will be much weaker...

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5 tenets for finding and keeping new business

March 25, 2008

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Ann Latham, owner of Uncommon Clarity, a consulting and strategy firm with many industrial clients, has outlined some tenets for firms seeking ambitious marketing goals:1. Select a group to target.You might choose:Those likely to buy your most profitable products.Those within a geographic...

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