FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

Editor in Chief
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Automated tooling setup for press brakes

January 22, 2015

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As metal fabricators look to increase throughput in their bending departments while also facing a dearth of seasoned press brake operators, they may find their answer in the form of automated tooling change technology now found on the latest generation of brakes.

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Dropping oil prices and metal fabricating

January 16, 2015

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The drop in oil prices is not the end of the world, and it won't be the end of the world for the metal fabrication industry--at least for those not located in Texas, North Dakota, and western Canada.

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Redefining shipbuilding and fabricating with new plasma cutting equipment

January 15, 2015

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Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, added a plasma cutting machine to its fabricating operations, which helps it to make more of its own parts without relying on subcontractors that don't always meet delivery dates.

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Rethinking the production meeting

January 12, 2015

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Metal fabricators are better at manufacturing than holding meetings, but some sort of regularly occurring production meeting is needed to get everyone on the same page. Several fabricators offer their opinions as to what works best for them in their production powwow.

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Is the production meeting a relic of the past?

December 19, 2014

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In today's manufacturing world where more is done with less, many metal fabricators don't see the need for a daily production meeting. It's one more example of manufacturers adjusting to the times because of lack of time.

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Global manufacturing economy pushes forward

December 8, 2014

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New bending, welding, and laser technology on display at the world’s largest metal fabricating and forming tradeshow helps manufacturers in their pursuit of achieving higher levels of production efficiency.

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The economics of worker retention

November 21, 2014

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It's not unusual for a metal fabricating worker to leave one company and go to work for another for a small increase in pay. This, however, may not be in the best interest of the worker, and it sure hurts the company that loses quality talent.

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Does outsourcing HR make sense?

November 10, 2014

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Outsourcing helps to keep shop floors busy all over the world, but the philosophy also might be feasible for some front-office activities, too, such as human resources. In fact, given the constant changes associated with employment law and the challenges of hiring workers, companies need good HR input, and outsourcing is a quick way to achieve that.

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Stay on top of those software upgrades

November 6, 2014

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Fabricators can't afford to ignore machine programming software upgrades. It can mean a big difference when it comes to avoiding unplanned machine downtime.

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Sustaining fabricating success

October 31, 2014

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Located in the Pacific Northwest, P&A Metal Fab is not in a hotbed of North American metal fabricating activity. That hasn't stopped it, however, from growing into a successful and award-winning supplier of metal fabricating services. It's all about continuously improving the entire organization, not just the shop floor.

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The bright side of proper fume extraction

October 30, 2014

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All Rite Industries, Lake Zurich, Ill., found success when it added robotic welding capabilities to its high-volume stamping business, but also found that its older fume extraction system couldn't keep up with the new cells. A new ventilation system helped to remove the shop floor haze.

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High-powered fiber translates into a more versatile tool

October 16, 2014

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A new 6-kW fiber laser cutting machine holds the potential to expand the cutting opportunities for metal fabricators.

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Every day should be Manufacturing Day

October 11, 2014

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Manufacturing Day has come and gone, but if metal fabricators really want to see people forget the old stereotypes associated with manufacturing, they should take every opportunity to welcome the general public into their facilities--not just waiting for one special day out of the year.

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IMTS 2014: Disruptive technologies step forward

September 16, 2014

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IMTS 2014 is proof that the metal manufacturing of tomorrow is going to be a bit different than what is done today.

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Enjoying the good times; prepared for the other times

September 5, 2014

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The U.S. economy appears to be chugging along with no real obvious obstacles in the near future. Having said that, metal fabricators are ready should an economic slowdown emerge. Two major recessions in a decade will do that to a company.

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