FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Is your company prepared for the worst?

January 15, 2010

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I'm reading about the tragedy in Haiti this morning and thinking about the sheer amount of work that'll be required to get this nation back on its feet. That may be one heck of a goal considering many feel this nation really wasn't on stable footing to begin with—extreme poverty, history of...

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robotic cell operator robotic arm

5 traits to look for in a robotic cell operator

January 14, 2010

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Automated welding holds great promise forkeeping U.S. metal fabricators competitiveagainst their international counterpartsbecause it keeps labor costs down, but theserobotic welding cells still require somehuman intervention. Having said that,management doesn't want just anyone in therole of robotic welding cell operator. Hereare five characteristics that they can lookfor to ensure they get the right person forthe job.

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money falling

2010 Capital Spending Report indicates rebuilding set to begin

January 14, 2010

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The metal fabricating and forming market isclearly in a rebuilding mode after theeconomic downturn in 2009. The 2010 FMACCapital Spending Survey indicates thatcompanies are interested in spending money oncapital equipment, around $1.3 billion worth,but that's down significantly from the $2.2that was expecting to be spent in 2008.

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Manufacturing in the movies

January 8, 2010

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I spent the first part of my holiday break unwinding by watching movies. I intended to go out skating, visit downtown Chicago, and generally get out of the house during the second part of the break, but the temperature dropped down to single digits; I ended up watching more movies.One of the more...

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Returning to the slightly-worse-than-yesterday but still good ol' days

December 18, 2009

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I read an interview with some highfalutin investment guy in the Dec. 21 issue of Fortune, and I'm starting to feel good about the future. It's not that he's bullish about the economy in the months to come, but that may not necessarily be all bad.Mohamed El-Erian, who is CEO of an...

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Looking for leadership

December 4, 2009

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If you didn't notice Emerson Electric Co. David Farr's comments made before the Thanksgiving break, take note now. The CEO voiced what's on the minds of plenty of manufacturing company leaders and managers."Washington is doing everything in their manpower, capability, to destroy U.S....

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trumps trumatic punch laser machine

Punching holes in aerospace manufacturing theories

December 4, 2009

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Unison Industries, an aerospace partsmanufacturer, found out that a metalfabricator can offer a lot to theirmanufacturing efforts.

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general sheet metal works oxide removal machine

Finishing off oxide layer problems

December 3, 2009

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General Sheet Metal Works, South Bend, Ind.,had a 0.25-in. part that forced them tochoose between stamping and laser cutting tofabricate the part. Luckily, the companydiscovered an oxidation removal machine thathelped to make laser cutting with oxygen thelogical choice for the job.

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Taking a working break from free trade

November 13, 2009

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My two fellow bloggers have written about jobs, and I can't disagree with their points. Job creation is important both to the electorate and those they elect.Unfortunately, the past decade hasn't been a stellar one for job creation. If you take a look at the private jobs in the U.S. in...

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Lean adventures continue

November 6, 2009

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I think I recently experienced one of those "Ah-ha!" moments that metal fabricators undertaking lean initiatives have pretty frequently. I was attending a meeting where the subject was improving communication between our ad sales team and our magazine production team. Incomplete and incorrect...

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RIP: High-volume metal manufacturing in the U.S.

October 30, 2009

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On the day that everyone was rejoicing about the GDP growth in the third quarter of this year, I'm still thinking about an announcement that Swedish appliance giant Electrolux made earlier this week. Somehow, that doesn't strike me as being great news, particularly for Iowa residents and...

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Keeping manufacturing competitive

October 15, 2009

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The perspective was unique, but the advice was familiar: Innovation is the key to remaining competitive on the world stage.That was the message manufacturing experts with deep knowledge of the global marketplace sent to attendees at the Competitive Manufacturing Strategies session of the Pan IIT...

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Fabricators: Servants to their customers

October 9, 2009

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Today's thoughts are inspired by a question posted on the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's group discussion board on LinkedIn. Cecilia Allison, vice president of finance, K & S Tool, Die & Manufacturing Inc.: "OEMs are great at demanding service and charging the supplier if their...

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tapping punch press

Tapping into new capabilities on punching machines

October 1, 2009

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Whether in the guise of bolt-on tapping units or actual tapping tools that are housed in a turret, precision punch presses can handle tapping chores like never before. As a result, metal fabricators are considering these options to take the manual activity out of the fabricating mix.

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Up with people

September 25, 2009

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I visited with a friend from college several weeks ago. He works in operations in the software services division for a major publicly owned corporation and was in Chicago for a tradeshow. It's a good gig for a good guy who can handle personal relationships like a three-card monte dealer can...

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