FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Lean conversation

March 26, 2009

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I"m in Carefree, Ariz., today for the first day of conferences at the fourth annual Metal Matters leadership summit, sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. That follows a meeting I had yesterday with the folks from LAI International, a precision manufacturer of complex parts...

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Looking to the stars for inspiration

March 20, 2009

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If it's one thing that I'm certain of, it's that highly educated people will have the best chance of achieving standards of living that exceed that of their parents, a scenario that many in today's world see slipping from their collective grasp. This belief pertains to skilled...

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Turning the corner? I don't know

March 12, 2009

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I love conversations with my dad. Not too much is said, but I tend to learn a lot from these brief encounters. Take this interaction when I was a teenager: He"s the equivalent of spoken text messaging. He"s also the reason that I don"t offer too many thoughts on the current state of this...

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Hope in metal fabricating

March 5, 2009

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If metal fabricating is hard work, metal fabricators are working especially hard during these economic times. Matrix Metalcraft is no exception.The 25-person shop in Clinton Township, Mich., is working hard to chase down new business while the automotive industry remains moribund. The 9-year-old...

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Getting the government to listen

February 19, 2009

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Doug Bergeson is a man of few words, but the words he shares with you are important. After 26 years as part of the Army National Guard and tours of duty in Kosovo and Iraq, the latter lasting an astonishing 18 months, he selects his words carefully and thoughtfully when speaking with civilians.But...

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Shickle Corp Employees

'We are all Shickels'

February 10, 2009

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Shickel Corp., Bridgewater, Va., has a very diversified customer base, a strong manufacturing tradition, and a commitment to exposing youngsters to the exciting world of manufacturing. For all those reasons, this 70-year-old company is the recipient of The FABRICATOR's 2009 Industry Award.

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No friends, no problem

February 6, 2009

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You"ve got enough on your plate to worry about—producing quality parts, shipping those parts out on time, chasing new business, addressing issues with employees, and getting home in time to grab some sleep before the cycle begins all over again. Well, here"s one thing you don"t have to worry...

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Unemployment—By the numbers

January 30, 2009

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The newspaper headlines are getting somewhat repetitive nowadays, unless you"re lucky enough to live in a state where the governor is being impeached. Layoffs here and layoffs there&mdashcompanies are shedding jobs like a politician sheds campaign promises.But an interesting thing caught my eye as...

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Welcome to the factory

January 23, 2009

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A friend sent me a link to a band he heard on an Internet radio station. The band hails from downstate Illinois, and one of the bands I really admire, Uncle Tupelo, came from the same part of the country. So I gave it a quick listen.A day later I purchased the CD, The Places We Lived....

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Don't forget Detroit

January 16, 2009

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This isn"t about the automotive industry or bailouts. It"s a wish for better times for places like Detroit.What prompted this? An incredibly thoughtful and moving column by Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press. I"ve been to and through Detroit a handful of times in my life. I remember...

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EuroBLECH warcom pressbrake

EuroBLECH 2008: A celebration of metal fabricating and forming

January 13, 2009

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EuroBLECH is a celebration more than anything. Most of the booths have plenty of tables and, usually, a bar for customers, distributors, business partners, and friends to swing by, chat, have a drink, and talk about life both in and out of the industry. In fact, unlike shows in North America, a visitor will find materials suppliers—the folks that make the metal sheet, plate, and tube—among the exhibitors. Everyone comes together for this global event.

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A look to the future

January 8, 2009

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A lot has been written about the current economic funk that has gripped the world. A lot has been speculated about what the economy will do in 2009. A lot is too much for me to take.I"m not going to tune out and drop off the grid. I want to know what"s happening in the world; I just don"t want it...

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2008: A year in review

December 18, 2008

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We"re wrapping up things at The FABRICATOR and its sister magazines this week—getting the January and January/February issues ready to be shipped to the printer almost immediately upon our return from Christmas break, and working ahead on February features. You can tell everyone wants to gear...

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Waterjet image

Cutting more than metal with a waterjet

December 15, 2008

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With waterjet cutting equipment, shops are no longer limited to the world of metal fabrications. They can search for new business in areas that were once considered unrealistic.

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Laser cutting for the first time

December 15, 2008

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M&L Industries found a laser cutting machine for the right price and at the right size. After a year of laser cutting and bringing in new business, it looks like the right choice.

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