FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Noting advances in powder coating

April 1, 2010

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Customers are asking their metal fabricating suppliers to assume more production responsibilities as they look to reduce the size their vendor bases. As a result, more fabricators are becoming involved in powder coating, either doing it themselves or coordinating the finishing process with a nearby custom coater. Of course, metal fabricators are first and foremost in the business of cutting, forming, and joining metal, but they still need to stay on top of the latest developments in powder coating.

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Real-life concerns for metal fabricators

March 26, 2010

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"Worry about those things that you can control," my mom used to tell me. It's a great piece of advice, especially as we struggle to deal with the weak economic rebound and the political ruckus that passes for progress in Washington, D.C. So what's a metal fabricator to worry about? I don't run a...

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Offshoring not what it once was

March 18, 2010

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We live in extraordinary times. You can tell because people are creating their own words, and society adopts them without questions. It's fantabulous. Metal fabricators should embrace this new word with open arms: Re-shoring. Manufacturing jobs that once went overseas because of low-cost labor are...

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Faith in metal fabricating

March 12, 2010

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I came across the Web site for JRS Custom Fabrication Inc. down in Ocala, Fla., last week. Someone sent me an e-mail so I checked it out. When you visit the site, you'll notice a Bible verse from 1 John 1:3. Make no mistake; this company's guided by the Lord's words. As its mission statement...

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Don't get the 'reds' about green

February 26, 2010

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FMA Communications Inc., the parent organization of this Web site and The FABRICATOR magazine, launched Green Manufacturer last month. The magazine covers manufacturing practices that are not only environmentally friendly, but also friendly to a company's overall performance, whether we are talking...

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Customer service issues

February 19, 2010

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Talking with successful metal fabricators, I'm beginning to feel that they are the only companies left that remain committed to customer service. Lean manufacturing improvements are all about getting fabricated products to the customer sooner. Investments in engineering personnel and tools are made...

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The aftermath of exuberant times

February 12, 2010

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Remember former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan's comments about the U.S. economy being swept up in "irrational exuberance"? He used the phrase in 1996 to describe the stock market boom that might have been overvalued. To be frank, I thought he had coined the phrase in the 2000s to...

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generalmetalworks

Waste not, want more

February 11, 2010

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In recent years General Metal Works, Mequon, Wis., has leaned heavily on practices that eliminate waste in its shop floor operations and kept its work force engaged. The efforts have paid off in that no layoffs have occurred during the recent economic downturn, and the company is still on track to finish with $10 million in sales revenue in 2009. The company also has been named the winner of The FABRICATOR's Industry Award 2010.

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p and h mining

Tons of reasons for a new welding positioner

February 9, 2010

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P&H Mining equipment, Milwaukee, Wis., makes very large equipment, such as its largest electric shovel that weighs 1,200 tons. Shovel components keep getting larger, and to keep up with the market trends, the company needed a new welding positioner. That's a "big" deal in every sense of the word. Luckily, Koike Aronson Inc./Ransome was able to help.

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My mom, the informant

February 5, 2010

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My mother is a retired elementary school teacher, and I'm married to a high school math teacher. Inevitably if the two are together for any length of time, the discussion turns to public education. The opinions are impassioned and obviously biased, but the input is valuable in understanding how a...

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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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