FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

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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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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Credit crunch not going away soon

July 10, 2009

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I had a conversation a couple of months ago with a friend who is a manufacturing representative for several metal fabricating companies. The guy is sharp and runs the business as a one-man operation. He's busy and invests in software tools that help him keep track of deliveries and expedite...

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Beware the business books

July 2, 2009

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Got a note the other day that the FMA's Research Assistance Center acquired a new book that might be of interest. It's The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten. The book provides brief reviews of...

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matrix metalcraft laser cutting

Nontraditional fabricator chasing nontraditional markets

July 2, 2009

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Matrix Metalcraft, Clinton Township, Mich.,has done plenty of prototype and production work for the automotive industry in the past, but with the downturn in the industry, it is targeting industries aligned with alternative power generation for new business. In doing so, it has found out that its laser cutting capabilities will serve those efforts well.

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Maybe they like Mr. Green Jeans instead?

June 26, 2009

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We are planning editorial for 2010 already around the offices of The FABRICATOR. We end up talking about trends, economic prospects, and requests from readers. Some of the ideas will emerge as features next year, and others will remain on the back burner.One trend that we have been following for a...

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Is it time to put a robot in front of a press brake?

June 8, 2009

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North American fabricators have not been as active in adoptingautomated bending cells as their counterparts in other parts of theworld. But that may be changing. These five questions can help afabricator decide how to justify the case for a robotic press brake.

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Pulling for the underdog

June 4, 2009

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I'm always pulling for underdogs. They receive little respect, and their stories are often more fascinating than those darlings standing in the spotlight.That's why I'm pulling for GM. No one thinks it has much of a chance for a recovery, and people are calling the $20 billion...

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humvee iraqi freedom

Armored and ready to make a difference

June 2, 2009

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Doug Bergeson of Bergeson Technology, Dawson, Minn., saw the carnage that improvised explosive devices caused in Iraq, so when he came on, he worked on a solution. He has one now and wants others to know about it.

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A new combo choice

May 29, 2009

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If I had to choose just one machine tool to watch in a fabricating shop, it would probably be a combination machine. It slices, it bends, it forms, it engraves, it taps. It's the perfect mechanical representation of a job shop: If it needs to be done to metal, we can do it to the metal.Of...

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Tweet, tweet

May 21, 2009

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There's a conversation in the movie "Clerks" where characters Randal Graves and Dante Hicks, friends and fellow retail store clerks, are talking about Graves' interest in going to a funeral:Dante Hicks: "You hate people!"Randal Graves: "But I love gatherings, isn't it ironic?"How...

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