FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Blog Posts

Gauging metal manufacturing's health

March 18, 2011 | By Dan Davis

The reader's e-mail request led off with a commonly seen note that his company was reworking its Web site, but it ended with a not-so-common question: What is the best barometer to indicate that the recession has ended in metal manufacturing? The e-mail writer wanted to link to some of these...

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Blog Posts

Getting the good ones to stay

March 11, 2011 | By Dan Davis

At The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit/6th annual Metal Matters, which just wrapped up late last week, I sat in on a discussion about ways to find good employees. The consensus among the 10 or so fabricators in this breakout session was that they are more than willing to train the right person for a...

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EBe servo-electirc panel bender

Bending | Articles

Automated bending keeps the pieces flowing

March 10, 2011 | By Dan Davis

Emerson Network Power's Liebert Precision Cooling facility wanted to implement the idea of one-piece flow on its shop floor in Columbus, Ohio, but the only way that was going to happen effectively was with the introduction of an automated bending cell. The company found its answer with an electric panel bender from Prima Finn-Power.

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Blog Posts

State of the unions

February 25, 2011 | By Dan Davis

Who would have thought that the No. 1 news story in Wisconsin so far wouldn't be the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl victory?  So continues the drama surrounding Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's effort to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees. The Republican-dominated Assembly...

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Blog Posts

Sustainability could improve national security

February 14, 2011 | By Dan Davis

If you don't receive the Business Intelligence Brief from Chris Kuehl, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association's economist, you should sign up. You can do that here. The Feb. 14 edition included a written piece by Colonel Mark “Puck” Mykleby from the U.S. Marine Corps. His opinions are...

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Blog Posts

Battle on the retail front

February 11, 2011 | By Dan Davis

I was looking at the January 2011 issue of Metal Center News recently and noticed a story, "Distributors Dabble in Retail." It discussed five steel service centers that had opened up retail fronts to move metal. The motivations for opening retail locations, either at the actual warehouse sites, or...

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Blog Posts

Value in metal fabricating

February 4, 2011 | By Dan Davis

As sluggish as this economic recovery has been, it would be even worse if the manufacturing sector wasn't humming along. The Institute for Supply Management reported this week that its manufacturing index hit 60.8, well above what industry pundits expected. It's also the highest reading for the...

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Welding ventilation goes to school - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Welding ventilation goes to school

January 31, 2011 | By Dan Davis

The concern to protect welders from the dangers of inhaling welding fumes is not limited to just metal fabricating companies. The schools training the next generation of manufacturing workers need to be concerned as well. In fact, the pressure may be greater for the schools because if the student studying welding doesn't like the environment in which he or she is learning, the student may decide that there is no future in manufacturing.

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Blog Posts

Welcoming women into welding

January 28, 2011 | By Dan Davis

I was reminded of reader demographics of our publications when a co-worker pulled out a letter from a reader that she had kept since 2001. She had placed it on a bulletin board, intending everyone to have a laugh, but I'm still somewhat taken aback by it. Here's a snippet of the letter: "It seemed...

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Fabricating of the third-generation kind - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Fabricating of the third-generation kind

January 27, 2011 | By Dan Davis

A commitment to a new sales strategy and a solid foundation of fabricating talent and capabilities helped Clark Metal Products, Blairsville, Pa., weather the Great Recession. It's also put the company in a position to top its record year of 2008 within the next two to three years. That preparation and willingness to challenge the status quo within its own four walls are the reasons that Clark Metal Products has earned The FABRICATOR's 2011 Industry Award.

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Blog Posts

Hu's on first?

January 21, 2011 | By Dan Davis

Perhaps you noticed that Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Washington this week. If not Jay Leno did and theorized his initial meeting with President Obama's kids went like this: "So what factories do you work at?" I laughed out loud when I read that joke. After spending the early part of this...

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A case of the gas - TheFabricator.com

Laser Cutting | Articles

A case of the gas

January 10, 2011 | By Dan Davis

If a job shop supplies metal parts that are to be powder coated or welded, the customers likely require that those fabricated parts have no oxidized edges. That requirement forces the job shop to cut with nitrogen, which doesn't leave an oxidized edge like oxygen. Unfortunately, cutting with nitrogen is expensive because much more nitrogen is consumed when compared to oxygen to perform similar cuts. This situation led a metal fabricator to investigate nitrogen generation systems. This is his tale.

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Blog Posts

Putting the cart before the reputation

January 7, 2011 | By Dan Davis

If you are involved in any way with part design, you should check out Gerald Davis' column in The FABRICATOR. He spent 2010 talking about 3-D CAD tips and tricks while creating the plans for a barbecue grill. This year he's exploring the role 3-D design can play in a fabricator's business success,...

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Blog Posts

Slow-growth better than no growth

December 22, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Looking forward to 2011, I could write about resolutions, but it would be a waste of space. I'm supposed to be 10 pounds lighter, fluent in Spanish, capable of playing a guitar, and the author of a screenplay—if I had completed New Year's resolutions of the past four years. In actuality, I'm 5...

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Blog Posts

The U.S. gets its report card

December 10, 2010 | By Dan Davis

In case you didn't know, we're raising a generation of kids that aren't as sharp as their peers around the world. That's the story according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) released Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2009 the group...

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