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The dollar"s decline: Good or bad?

December 4, 2007

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Jean-Guy April knows the value of a dollar, and in this case more value isn"t always better.April owns April Services Techniques, a metal fabrication consultancy in Montmagny, about 50 miles northeast of Quebec City, and many of his clients are feeling the pain as the dollar falls and the Canadian...

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Feeling fuel-ish

November 30, 2007

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I won $30 in fuel cards during an all-staff meeting earlier this week. It's an enticement for people to come to the meeting and an overall nice thing to do for the employees—especially those with a long commute. I'm one of those employees. It's a 106-mile round trip for me each day. And the...

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After the war

November 28, 2007

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As the Iraqi War continues, business is booming for defense contractors. According to Michael Brush"s article on MSN Money, War means a windfall for CEOs, the military buildup has caused defense-contractor revenue to double, triple, and even more during the past five years, and executives at these...

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Manufacturing employment, compensation, recruiting difficulty down

November 27, 2007

The current SHRM/Rutgers LINE® survey indicates that employment expectations for December 2007 have dropped in the manufacturing sector. New-hire compensation is lower than it was a year ago. The...

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The silent foundation of U.S. manufacturing

November 26, 2007

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On Sunday, after the Thanksgiving guests departed, with enough turkey leftovers to last for the next few millennia or so, and with my wife and 9-month-old daughter out at a brunch, I had a quiet moment to sit.Yes, sit. And as any parent knows, sitting is not something somebody with a 9-month-old...

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A top 10 list from FABTECH & AWS Show

November 16, 2007

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North America"s largest metal fabricating technology show is over, and for those who couldn"t make it to Chicago this week, I"m hoping to help you out. Here"s a list of the top 10 things that caught my attention at the 2007 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show:Everyone knows that dust...

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Notes on FABTECH

November 15, 2007

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WARNING: I'm on FABTECH overload. I'm back in my office looking at stacks of press kits about products featured at the 2007 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show that wrapped up Wednesday. Held in Chicago, this year's show was the largest I've seen in my nine years with the...

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Raise your hand

November 14, 2007

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On Monday Jim Reeb, director, manufacturing R&D for Caterpillar, asked some hard-hitting questions of several hundred members of the metal fabrication industry.So how many of you want your children to grow up to be welders? A fraction of the audience members raised their hand. OK, now how many...

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Speaking out on aerospace manufacturing

November 9, 2007

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It"s refreshing to hear someone speak frankly about a subject without business jargon or feel-good mumbo jumbo sprinkled throughout the conversation. They are speaking off-the-cuff and obviously have enough confidence in themselves or their support structure to not think twice about being candid....

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SIONIX Corp. acquires R. J. Metals Co.

November 8, 2007

James J. Houtz, president of SIONIX Corp., today announced the acquisition of R. J. Metals Co. of Anaheim, Calif. R. J. Metals' entire machine shop operation was moved into the new SONIX 60,000 sq....

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Cutting the pipeline

November 7, 2007

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This week two metal tube and pipe companies announced plant closings.Wolverine Tube Inc. announced Nov. 6 that it will discontinue its U.S. plumbing tube business and will close manufacturing facilities located in Decatur, Ala., and Booneville, Miss. The same day, U.S. Pipe & Foundry announced that...

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AK Steel increases carbon, stainless steel prices

November 7, 2007

AK Steel has announced that it is increasing spot market prices for its carbon steel products by $30 per ton for all new orders accepted for shipment on Jan. 1, 2008 and later.The company also is...

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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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Rolling bolster die changes

Metalforming lessons learned abroad

November 6, 2007

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After World War II, equipment manufacturing companies in Asia and Europe designed production systems that were more flexible in nature than systems in the U.S., which were designed for high-volume production. Today this trend is hitting U.S. shores, and U.S. stampers are looking overseas for inspiration in finding ways to work more efficiently.

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Plasma cutting image

The life and times of plasma cutting

November 6, 2007

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Plasma cutting has become a process of choice for many because of its cost-effectiveness. However, this wasn't the case when the technology was introduced because of short consumable life. Technological innovations over the years, however, helped to change that.

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