FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

Editor in Chief
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
The Army's manufacturing muscle - TheFabricator.com

The Army’s manufacturing muscle

December 9, 2010

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The Rock Island Arsenal has been a manufacturer of military equipment and ordnance since the 1880s, but today it has established itself as the only general-purpose, vertically integrated metal manufacturer in the U.S. Department of Defense. With that responsibility, it boasts an incredible array of manufacturing capabilities and expertise, all of which allows it to rapidly respond to the needs of its military customers.

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A time to be thankful

December 3, 2010

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I didn't post a blog last week. I got caught up in the holiday rush. Cooked my own turkey on Wednesday, celebrated with the family on Thursday, got the Christmas tree on Friday, decorated the tree and the house on Saturday, and tied up the loose ends on Sunday before the second part of the holiday...

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It came from Europe - TheFabricator.com

It came from Europe

December 2, 2010

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Fiber laser and bending automation developments seen at EuroBLECH 2010, Oct. 26-30, Hanover, Germany, may one day be found in North American shops.

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Through thick and thin, punching tooling can help - TheFabricator.com

Through thick and thin, punching tooling can help

December 2, 2010

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More metal fabricators are venturing into the area of thicker materials, so it's not too unusual to see 0.25-in. material thrown onto a punch press that also accommodates thin material. Luckily, the right punching tooling can help fabricators work with this mix of material thicknesses efficiently.

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Time to get back to work: Let's talk comics

November 19, 2010

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When EuroBLECH organizers decide to have their European sheet metal tradeshow the last week in October and FABTECH holds its show in the first week of November, you have a pretty good idea of what I've been up to. It hasn't been blogging, regrettably. My co-workers have provided nice summaries of...

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Maybe manufacturing and farming do have a lot in common

October 15, 2010

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Free-trade pundits love to stress that the U.S. shouldn’t worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs. It's natural, after all. Just look at the state of modern farming. You don't see the world pining for more farmers, do you? Well, I did notice the most recent Farm Aid concert held in late...

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Rethinking the education-to-employment system

September 24, 2010

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I learned a bit of news that raised my spirits this week: This country's inability to educate its children is not a recent phenomenon. Apparently, the U.S. has been screwing up for years. That sounds awful, I know. However, when you constantly hear about the failure of the U.S. educational system,...

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Manufacturing: Not the dirty ol' job we thought

September 10, 2010

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People may have a much higher opinion of manufacturing jobs than previously thought. I received the second annual "Public Viewpoint on Manufacturing" survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute in my e-mail inbox last week, and the results were enlightening. In a survey of 1,055...

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The new rules of inventory

September 3, 2010

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Dr. Chris Kuehl, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's economist, had this nugget of wisdom in his "Business Intelligence Brief" for Sept. 2: "The role of the manufacturing sector in this recession and subsequent recovery is going to be studied for a long time. Thus far the rules of...

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Fabricators saw the end of management before the gurus

August 26, 2010

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Nothing gets the attention of a reader better than a headline that declares the death of something. For example, Wired's story "The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet" has generated all sorts of discussion as people debate whether apps, such as iTunes and Facebook, will continue to grow in...

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From Russia, with copters

August 20, 2010

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We get our share of press releases from government offices. You'll be happy to know that all of them are via e-mail. No trees were harmed in the process of distributing this bureaucratic blather. A recent note from Congressman Don Manzullo, R-Ill., stood out, however. A representative of northern...

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This welding news will get you fuming

August 13, 2010

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Most metal fabricators were aware that welding fume control equipment had to be in place as of May 31 of this year in order to meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's hexavalent chromium [CR(VI)] standard. While not pleased that they may have been forced to...

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Eliminating slag time in plasma cutting - TheFabricator

Eliminating slag time in plasma cutting

August 4, 2010

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Vac-Con, a Green Cove Springs, Fla.-based maker of sewer cleaning vehicles, regularly participates in continuous improvement programs to identify opportunities for increased efficiency on the shop floor. As part of one exercise, the manufacturer invested in an automated grinding machine, which helped to reduce labor costs and improve part quality.

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Rethinking weld shielding gas selection - TheFabricator

Rethinking weld shielding gas selection

August 4, 2010

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When it comes to selecting shielding gases for certain welding processes, welders need to challenge their old-school thinking.

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The unfortunate event of retirement

July 22, 2010

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As I write this, I'm sitting at a restaurant checking e-mail and doing some other work. Even though my eyes are working perfectly fine, I'm heading to the eye doctor. I'm watching about 30 senior citizens enjoy their morning coffee and cool temperatures before the summer sun becomes unbearable. It...

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