FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Blog Posts

Rethinking the education-to-employment system

September 24, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I learned a bit of news that raised my spirits this week: This country's inability to educate its children is not a recent phenomenon. Apparently, the U.S. has been screwing up for years. That sounds awful, I know. However, when you constantly hear about the failure of the U.S. educational system,...

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Blog Posts

Manufacturing: Not the dirty ol' job we thought

September 10, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Blog Posts

The new rules of inventory

September 3, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Blog Posts

Fabricators saw the end of management before the gurus

August 26, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Blog Posts

From Russia, with copters

August 20, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Blog Posts

This welding news will get you fuming

August 13, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Eliminating slag time in plasma cutting - TheFabricator

Cutting and Weld Prep | Articles

Eliminating slag time in plasma cutting

August 4, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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.

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Rethinking weld shielding gas selection - TheFabricator

Consumables | Articles

Rethinking weld shielding gas selection

August 4, 2010 | By Dan Davis, Nathan Moyer

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

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Blog Posts

The unfortunate event of retirement

July 22, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Blog Posts

Manufacturers provide value, not just jobs

July 16, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Blog Posts

Who you callin' a protectionist?

July 9, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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

Testing and Measuring | Articles

So you want to be a certified welding inspector?

July 8, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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.

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Blog Posts

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

July 2, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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....

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

Shop Management | Articles

Doing what was always done doesn't cut it

July 1, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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.

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Blog Posts

Chinese current events and U.S. manufacturing

June 25, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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