FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Shop Management | Articles

A foundation for company expansion

December 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Anchor Investments has manufacturing companies located in two states, with the original being Anchor Fabrication in Fort Worth, Texas. It has had success bringing these acquisitions into the family because it has an ERP system that is flexible enough to match the operational style of the individual divisions, while also being able to deliver the necessary information for company management to make the correct strategic corporate decisions.

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Plasma Cutting | Articles

Cleaning the plasma table while simultaneously cutting?

October 24, 2016 | By Dan Davis

SALSCO Inc. is a product manufacturer that has a lot in common with job shops: At any one time it has 250 line items of different components on its shop floor for its 38 different products. To stay on top of production demands, it needs all of its plasma cutting capacity. That's why it hurt when tables were taken offline for routine cleaning or fetching of parts that fell between the grates. Company President Salvatore J. Rizzo thought there could be a better way and designed a modular base that allows the plasma cutting table to cut while parts and debris are constantly removed from the bottom of the table.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Strong manufacturing value chains bolster U.S. economy

October 19, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Manufacturing Day is the perfect time to let the general public know that manufacturing's value chain has a much greater impact on the U.S. economy than they are likely to know.

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Shop Management | Articles

Learning to take cybersecurity seriously

October 14, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Cybersecurity expert Steve Douglas shares his thoughts on why metal fabricators need to pay attention to just how they are protecting their internal information and files. Shops may not think they are targets, and that's when they are at their most vulnerable.

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Shop Management | Articles

Closing the skills gaps through apprenticeships

October 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis

As manufacturers look for the manufacturing engineers and machine operators to replace retiring baby boomers, they are finding that traditional recruitment efforts are lacking. Many find that it’s easier to groom their own workers rather than hoping that they turn up on the doorstep.

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Automation and Robotics | Articles

Robotic welding in a small shop

October 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis

TnL Welding, Sidney, Ohio, is a two-person operation with four robotic cells. Todd Whitt is the welder with the talent for getting automation to work smoothly. Kristen Whitt is getting her B.S. degree in welding technology by learning tips and tricks from her dad.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Got to pay your dues in modern-day fabricating

September 28, 2016 | By Dan Davis

As the metal fabricating business gets more complex, shops have to be smart about investing in technology, developing robust information technology systems, and investing in employee training.

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Laser Cutting | Articles

Heating up with a new punch/laser combo

September 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis

ACP Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, needed the speed and flexibility of modern fabricating technology to increase its manufacturing capacity as it looked to manufacturer two new product lines in its only domestic manufacturing facility.

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Finishing | Blog Posts

Respect for the finishing line

August 18, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Painting and powder coating come at the end of the line, but that doesn't mean it should be the last thing that fabricators think of if they are interested in running an efficient fabricating operation.

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Arc Welding | Blog Posts

New-school knowledge transfer

July 27, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Three welders embrace all aspects of digital communication as they share welding tips and tricks.

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Laser Cutting | Articles

Coil-fed fabricating

July 11, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Most manufacturers associate coil processing with the metal forming industry. They also likely assume the punching and laser cutting combination machines consume sheet metal. Elleci S.p.A., a metal fabricator in northern Italy, has a new line in place that will require many manufacturers to alter their preconceived notions about coil consumption in a fabricating facility.

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Shop Management | Articles

Maximize your move

July 8, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Everyone knows that moving is not easy, especially when you are talking about moving a business. Dennis Donovan, a site selection consultant, provides an overview of the main considerations that a metal fabricator should keep in mind as it looks to make a major move.

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Safety | Articles

Yellow: The color of safety awareness

July 7, 2016 | By Dan Davis

If you tour Plymouth Tube's Streator, Ill., facility, you can't help but notice all of the yellow caution areas. They mark potential trip hazards and pinch point areas. The focus on safety, both visually and in daily communications, has helped the facility stay injury-free for three years now. It's also enabled the tube production facility to be named the recipient of FMA’s Rusty Demeules Award for Safety Excellence.

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Materials Handling | Articles

Reshaping metal grinding

July 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Metal fabricators don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the costs associated with grinding. It’s necessary in many shops, so company management just throws labor at it. They don’t realize, however, that new ceramic alumina developments have the potential to save them money when it comes to grinding operations. The Norton Quantum 3 abrasive wheel is one such example.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

A working vacation

June 29, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A welding instructor at a Wisconsin vocational school hits the shop floor in the summer to see what matters to manufacturers.

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