FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

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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Wind power keeps going

September 18, 2009

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The push to develop wind power sources has slowed a bit in 2009, but it's starting to gain momentum again, as attendees at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's Wind Energy Conference found out Sept. 15 in Elgin, Ill., at Mazak Optonics Corp. Last year more than 8,400 megawatts...

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A love, or at least a respect, of labor

September 4, 2009

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I'm fascinated by this story unfolding in Fond du Lac, Wis. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1947 voted to reject a new Mercury Marine contract on Aug. 23. The marine equipment manufacturer said thanks for the memories and announced a move of its...

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nortool precision machining tooling.jpg

Die not in the mix for tool shop

September 1, 2009

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Nortool Precision Machining and Tool has turned to a 3-D CAD/CAM package for both design and NC and has found that it is delivering quicker and more accurate bids, while simultaneously improving the quality of tool- and diemaking.

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The many faces of fabricating

August 28, 2009

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When you are laid off from two separate companies in a six-month time span, you have to sit back and think long and hard about your career path. That's where a 25-year-old welder found himself earlier this year. He found a scholarship opportunity at Missouri State University that allows the...

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Put out the welcome mat

August 21, 2009

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I came across this story earlier this week and was reminded just how important it is for metal fabricators to open their doors to the community, in particular elected officials and government bureaucrats.In this case, Karen Mills, an administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),...

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lean manufacturing journey.jpg

Beginning the lean manufacturing journey

August 1, 2009

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LAI International, Scottsdale, Ariz., is a precision manufacturer that supplies specialized parts to many of the most-demanding OEMs in the world. Even with that success, the company realized there was still room to improve. As a result, it embarked on a lean journey and is seeing immediate results.

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Let us know you're a winner

July 30, 2009

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I talked with a metal fabricator this week that installed a precision punch press with a six-station tapping unit about four years ago. The turret punch has been working hard the past several years, but the company finally has gotten around to working with the tapping unit. It"s incredible how big...

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This exciting fabricating opportunity won't last long ...

July 24, 2009

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Wanna talk about health care? Not really. The thought of a discussion gives me a headache, and I don"t think I could get around to seeing my doctor until next Tuesday.Wanna vilify China? I"ve got be careful on this one. I think a company from China actually owns my mortgage now.Wanna bash illegal...

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Summer bummer

July 16, 2009

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I got a vacation e-mail reply today from a gentleman in Sweden who said he would be gone "Week 29 to Week 31" and would only be checking e-mail on a weekly basis. I guess I'll just check back with him in Week 32? The whole concept of being away from work for a stretch lasting three to four...

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