FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

The college track passes right by manufacturing

February 13, 2015

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As educators push for their students toward a college-prep curriculum, students are missing out on possible vocational training opportunities and the manufacturing industry is missing out on young talent.

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Holy fabrication work!

February 10, 2015

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Design Fugitives of Milwaukee tackled a project for a church that required as much creative muscle as it did fabricating power to bring the ideas to life.

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Diversification makes life easier on the roller coaster

February 6, 2015

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Even in the face of falling oil prices and the potential slowdown of offshore fabrication work, Bill New, president of New Industries Inc., Morgan City, La., still looks forward to coming to work each day.

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The pursuit to be the best value-added supplier

January 29, 2015

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Waukesha Metal Products, a metal fabricator and metal former based in Sussex, Wis., wasn't going to survive in the long run being a simple stamper of simple metal parts. It needed to reinvent itself and constantly look for ways to evolve if it were to grow and improve its chances of success in the face of more demanding customers. Its in-house knowledge and talent, investment in capacity, and contributions to the overall manufacturing cause are improving its long-term viability. They also have helped the company earn the 2015 Industry Award from The FABRICATOR.

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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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