FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

Editor in Chief
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
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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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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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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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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Success going paperless - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Success going paperless

December 10, 2010 | By Dan Davis

By eliminating its work order packets, Advanced Laser Machining Inc. has saved time associated with trying to make corrections once engineering changes were made to jobs in progress and reduced the risk of upsetting its customers.

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The Army's manufacturing muscle - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

The Army’s manufacturing muscle

December 9, 2010 | By Dan Davis

The Rock Island Arsenal has been a manufacturer of military equipment and ordnance since the 1880s, but today it has established itself as the only general-purpose, vertically integrated metal manufacturer in the U.S. Department of Defense. With that responsibility, it boasts an incredible array of manufacturing capabilities and expertise, all of which allows it to rapidly respond to the needs of its military customers.

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A time to be thankful

December 3, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I didn't post a blog last week. I got caught up in the holiday rush. Cooked my own turkey on Wednesday, celebrated with the family on Thursday, got the Christmas tree on Friday, decorated the tree and the house on Saturday, and tied up the loose ends on Sunday before the second part of the holiday...

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It came from Europe - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

It came from Europe

December 2, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Fiber laser and bending automation developments seen at EuroBLECH 2010, Oct. 26-30, Hanover, Germany, may one day be found in North American shops.

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Through thick and thin, punching tooling can help - TheFabricator.com

Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

Through thick and thin, punching tooling can help

December 2, 2010 | By Dan Davis

More metal fabricators are venturing into the area of thicker materials, so it's not too unusual to see 0.25-in. material thrown onto a punch press that also accommodates thin material. Luckily, the right punching tooling can help fabricators work with this mix of material thicknesses efficiently.

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Time to get back to work: Let's talk comics

November 19, 2010 | By Dan Davis

When EuroBLECH organizers decide to have their European sheet metal tradeshow the last week in October and FABTECH holds its show in the first week of November, you have a pretty good idea of what I've been up to. It hasn't been blogging, regrettably. My co-workers have provided nice summaries of...

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Maybe manufacturing and farming do have a lot in common

October 15, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Free-trade pundits love to stress that the U.S. shouldn’t worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs. It's natural, after all. Just look at the state of modern farming. You don't see the world pining for more farmers, do you? Well, I did notice the most recent Farm Aid concert held in late...

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