FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Shop Management | Articles

Fabricating food trucks

March 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A 70-year-old metal fabricating business in Buffalo, N. Y., came under new ownership in 2012 and in the ensuing years, the shop worked hard to get any business it could to build cash flow and a positive reputation. Two years later, the shop emerged with a maker of food trucks and custom hot and cold food stations for grocery stores. The fabricating business hasn't been the same since.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Blog Posts

A new course for education

February 18, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A Colorado school district recognized not everyone was destined for college, so it launched a new curriculum approach as a result. The school is going to embrace vocational education.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Articles

Part-marking on the move

February 10, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A new battery-operated, hand-held marking unit has capabilities and software that are often found only on much larger units.

Continue Reading

Waterjet Cutting | Articles

Totally enclosed waterjet cutting

February 10, 2016 | By Dan Davis

After having purchased waterjet cut parts as part of his old job, Dan Sarmiento thought he could develop a better waterjet cutting system. He had his handiwork on display at FABTECH 2015.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Articles

Keeping pace with fabricating technology

February 10, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Quality is a given, but delivery time is not. Sjoberg Tool & Manufacturing Corp., Hartland, WIs., knows that, so it has relied on the latest machine tools over the last 40 years to squeeze time out of the production process. It must be working because customers keep coming back—with ever-increasing demands.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Articles

Technology Spotlight: Part-marking on the move

February 2, 2016 | By Dan Davis

A new battery-operated, hand-held marking unit has capabilities and software that are often found only on much larger units.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Articles

Being better while being bigger

February 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Metal fabricating represents a vital chunk of the U.S. manufacturing industry, and Mayville Engineering Co. (MEC), Mayville, Wis., shows just how big a business it can be. The fabricator has more than $300 million in annual sales and multiple locations, yet it is still trying to focus on what makes even the smallest fab shop successful: quick turnaround of quality products at a fair price. In recognition of the company's growth and success in maintaining a positive culture, The FABRICATOR has honored MEC with its 2016 Industry Award.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Articles

From kaizen to kata

January 27, 2016 | By Dan Davis, Stan Whitaker

Camfil APC is known for its dust collection equipment, but it’s also a metal fabricator. It makes the equipment in its Jonesboro, Ark., facility. Like any other modern fabricating operation, it is looking to eliminate waste where it can. That’s why launching and sustaining a lean manufacturing initiative is so important.

Continue Reading

Arc Welding | Articles

Taking high heat and spatter out of nonpulsed GMAW

January 26, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Waste reduction in manufacturing helped to make Japanese manufacturing a mighty power, and that push for process improvement continues today. It was a big motivator for OTC DAIHEN to develop its Controlled Bridge Transfer-Expanded technology for robotic GMAW applications.

Continue Reading

Safety | Articles

Do safety incentives work?

December 15, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Incentives can be a good tool to draw awareness to a particular effort in a safety program, but they need to be implemented only after careful thought. Sometimes negative results can emerge from incentives created with the best intentions.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Blog Posts

The prototype for a successful fab shop

December 11, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Not all job shops are interested in prototype development, but that doesn't mean that one day they won't be.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Articles

A job shop reborn

December 3, 2015 | By Dan Davis

Co-Lin Metals Fabricating, Rockford, Ill., was an old-school shop. Estimates were done by hand, and important documents were transferred by fax. Stephen Hedlund, who had once worked summers at the shop where his dad, Michael, worked, wants to change all of that. He and his dad are the new owners, and they want to take the shop into the 21st century.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Blog Posts

Stay young, stay committed

November 13, 2015 | By Dan Davis

If the manufacturing community wants to attract students into science, technology, engineering, and math careers, it might want to start focusing on elementary schools. That's what Brillion School District in Wisconsin is doing.

Continue Reading

Finishing | Articles

Automated deburring: Safe and round

November 9, 2015 | By Dan Davis

JBT FoodTech’s Sandusky, Ohio, operation was struggling with its deburring activities. A production requirement, deburring was occupying skilled labor that was needed elsewhere in the facility. An automated deburring machine proved to be the answer for the company’s production dilemma.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Blog Posts

Flat = Good

November 5, 2015 | By Dan Davis

When a fabricator says that business is flat when compared to previous months, you are hearing good news.

Continue Reading