FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

Editor in Chief
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
Greiner Industries' giant press brake

Bending | Articles

The big job of high-tonnage bending

May 6, 2011 | By Dan Davis

Bending heavy plate and high-strength steel used to require multiple workers, a large amount of bending experience, and lots of time. That's not the case anymore.

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Blog Posts

Catching the wave of reshoring

April 28, 2011 | By Dan Davis

I'm working on our FAB 40 editorial feature for June. It's a collection of 40 metal fabricating companies that have submitted to us their revenue figures for 2010, projected revenue for 2011, and outlook for this year. The listing provides a great snapshot of the overall health of the fabricating...

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Blog Posts

Fiber lasers make their mark on thin-gauge cutting

April 21, 2011 | By Dan Davis

The eyes don't lie. Solid-state lasers can hum. I've seen these fiber lasers running at EuroBlech 2010 in Hannover, Germany, and FABTECH 2010 in Atlanta. Most recently I witnessed another "fiber" laser at INTECH North America, TRUMPF's customer event at its headquarters in Farmington, Conn. The...

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Blog Posts

Is it North versus South when it comes to manufacturing?

April 13, 2011 | By Dan Davis

On a recent visit to Southern Fabricators Inc., Polkton, N.C., l learned how brothers Ken Carpenter Sr. and Everett Carpenter first set up shop in 1968 in a tiny 10,000-sq.-ft. facility that just so happens to be the size of its powder coating department today. Let's just say the company has done...

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Blog Posts

Educating the workforce instead of training

April 1, 2011 | By Dan Davis

"You train a dog. You educate a person." That's the note an industrial technology educator sent to us after reading a recent "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter that contained comments lamenting the lack of skilled workers in the U.S. We received 10 or so responses, but that one sentence really has...

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Lean work area

Shop Management | Articles

5S or 6S: What's the safe choice?

April 1, 2011 | By Dan Davis

Everyone wants a safe work environment, but some companies feel that the safety needs to be a separate category of 5S, making it 6S. Others argue that the safety is clearly covered in the 5S methodology. Both may be right.

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ripsaw unmanned tank

Waterjet Cutting | Articles

Howe brothers discover precision fabrication

April 1, 2011 | By Dan Davis

The stars of Howe and Howe Tech on Discovery Channel see metal fabricating as a creative outlet for their imaginations--while also catching the attention of the Department of Defense.

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Blog Posts

Will metal fabricating activity continue to grow?

March 25, 2011 | By Dan Davis

Financial writers are funny people. They make people laugh even when they aren't telling a joke. For instance, read John Carney's CNBC story "Have Consumers Gone on Strike?" In the story he makes the point: "What seems to be happening is that businesses have been ramping up their production and...

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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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