FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Manufacturing: Not the dirty ol' job we thought

September 10, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

The new rules of inventory

September 3, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Fabricators saw the end of management before the gurus

August 26, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

From Russia, with copters

August 20, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

This welding news will get you fuming

August 13, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Eliminating slag time in plasma cutting - TheFabricator

Eliminating slag time in plasma cutting

August 4, 2010

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Rethinking weld shielding gas selection - TheFabricator

Rethinking weld shielding gas selection

August 4, 2010

By: ,

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

Continue Reading

The unfortunate event of retirement

July 22, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Manufacturers provide value, not just jobs

July 16, 2010

By:

When metal fabricators get together and talk about improving the image of manufacturing, the talk normally progresses to politicians. The fabricators lament that the elected officials just don't understand the value that their shops bring to the community and, as a result, don't support their...

Continue Reading

Who you callin' a protectionist?

July 9, 2010

By:

If you haven't read this opinion piece by Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel, you should probably check it out. In the editorial, Grove makes the point that the U.S. has outsourced not only tons of jobs to Asia, but also the ability to innovate. He thinks that manufacturing companies that grew and...

Continue Reading

So you want to be a certified welding inspector? - TheFabricator

So you want to be a certified welding inspector?

July 8, 2010

By:

Not many people who enter the welding profession think about their long-term career path. A certified welding inspector may be the next logical step for the right welder.

Continue Reading

Don't worry about the double-dip, worry about the new 'norm'

July 2, 2010

By:

The talk about the ol' double-dip recession continues. I don't buy it. I think it's just  the Unremarkable Recovery. I don't think that name will stick, but it's probably for the better. It doesn't do much for raising the morale of society. The simple fact remains that consumers aren't spending....

Continue Reading

Doing what was always done doesn't cut it - TheFabricator

Doing what was always done doesn't cut it

July 1, 2010

By:

ABMyr, Belleville, Mich., is a manufacturer of finishing systems for its automotive clients, but at the heart of the company is its fabricating talent. That is what will serve the company best as it looks to rebound from the recent downturn.

Continue Reading

Chinese current events and U.S. manufacturing

June 25, 2010

By:

My co-worker Tim Heston stole a little of my thunder for this week's blog post with his coverage of China's decision to adopt a more flexible approach to how it values its currency. U.S. manufacturers have been clamoring for years for some shift away from China's currency manipulation, but to no...

Continue Reading

Understanding the cost of ownership

June 17, 2010

By:

There is a reason that I work for someone else: I don't have that desire to strike out on my own to build a business. The entrepreneurial gene can't be found in my DNA. So when I'm chatting with business owners, I'm doing so with a lot of respect for their accomplishments. If the shoe were on my...

Continue Reading