FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Technology Spotlight: Part-marking on the move

February 2, 2016

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A new battery-operated, hand-held marking unit has capabilities and software that are often found only on much larger units.

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Being better while being bigger

February 1, 2016

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Metal fabricating represents a vital chunk of the U.S. manufacturing industry, and Mayville Engineering Co. (MEC), Mayville, Wis., shows just how big a business it can be. The fabricator has more than $300 million in annual sales and multiple locations, yet it is still trying to focus on what makes even the smallest fab shop successful: quick turnaround of quality products at a fair price. In recognition of the company's growth and success in maintaining a positive culture, The FABRICATOR has honored MEC with its 2016 Industry Award.

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From kaizen to kata

January 27, 2016

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Camfil APC is known for its dust collection equipment, but it’s also a metal fabricator. It makes the equipment in its Jonesboro, Ark., facility. Like any other modern fabricating operation, it is looking to eliminate waste where it can. That’s why launching and sustaining a lean manufacturing initiative is so important.

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Taking high heat and spatter out of nonpulsed GMAW

January 26, 2016

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Waste reduction in manufacturing helped to make Japanese manufacturing a mighty power, and that push for process improvement continues today. It was a big motivator for OTC DAIHEN to develop its Controlled Bridge Transfer-Expanded technology for robotic GMAW applications.

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Do safety incentives work?

December 15, 2015

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Incentives can be a good tool to draw awareness to a particular effort in a safety program, but they need to be implemented only after careful thought. Sometimes negative results can emerge from incentives created with the best intentions.

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The prototype for a successful fab shop

December 11, 2015

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Not all job shops are interested in prototype development, but that doesn't mean that one day they won't be.

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A job shop reborn

December 3, 2015

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Co-Lin Metals Fabricating, Rockford, Ill., was an old-school shop. Estimates were done by hand, and important documents were transferred by fax. Stephen Hedlund, who had once worked summers at the shop where his dad, Michael, worked, wants to change all of that. He and his dad are the new owners, and they want to take the shop into the 21st century.

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Stay young, stay committed

November 13, 2015

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If the manufacturing community wants to attract students into science, technology, engineering, and math careers, it might want to start focusing on elementary schools. That's what Brillion School District in Wisconsin is doing.

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Automated deburring: Safe and round

November 9, 2015

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JBT FoodTech’s Sandusky, Ohio, operation was struggling with its deburring activities. A production requirement, deburring was occupying skilled labor that was needed elsewhere in the facility. An automated deburring machine proved to be the answer for the company’s production dilemma.

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Flat = Good

November 5, 2015

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When a fabricator says that business is flat when compared to previous months, you are hearing good news.

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Oil country tubular goods hit a rough patch

October 28, 2015

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An industry observer says the OCTG industry is in “turm-oil,” which is hard to dispute. Falling prices, a global economic slowdown, and an excess of supply is going to keep the industry down for the near term.

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Welcoming women into the manufacturing world

October 23, 2015

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With baby boomers heading for retirement in great numbers, manufacturers need to find the next generation of workers to replace them. To ensure they hire the best and the brightest for the job, manufacturers should not discount half of the population—women.

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Reassurance in purchasing raw materials

October 19, 2015

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Supply Dynamics, Loveland, Ohio, has just announced a secure, anonymous, and reliable way to accurately benchmark the prices you pay or have been quoted for many common ferrous and nonferrous metals.

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Why fabricators need to think about career paths

October 19, 2015

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A focus on a career path in fabricating typically might be centered around an individual’s perspective. Fabricating companies, however, are finding that by being up-front about skills development and career progression, they are building more engaged and productive organizations.

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Venturing into fiber laser cutting

October 7, 2015

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Fabricating metal parts for price-sensitive customers means that Lynam Industries Inc., Fontana, Calif., has to make the right investments in technology at the right time. The investment has to contribute to the reduction in production costs. The metal fabricator's purchase of a fiber laser cutting machine in late 2013 is a recent example of this strategy.

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