FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

U.S. versus China: Time to get it on

September 18, 2008

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The Olympics are over, so it"s time to turn our attention to a more recent favorite pastime—China bashing.The best part of this activity is everyone can participate. Sure the Democrats have driven this point home in battleground states, such as Michigan and Ohio, where local citizens worry...

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Get burned up after reading

September 11, 2008

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I heard this company president say one time that one of his hobbies was reading business books. I thought to myself that hobby ranks right up there with sword swallowing and power walking in malls as things that make me scratch my head.I"ve got my own management theory. If a company is run by...

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The right to protect your sourcing

September 4, 2008

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We have an outstanding resource center here at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. If you are an FMA member, you probably already know that after having taken advantage of some of our research or information-gathering capabilities.We also have access to many industry magazines. I picked up...

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Don't judge that book so quickly

August 28, 2008

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Colleagues and I were out to lunch this week with some welding educators from Rock Valley Community College in Rockford, Ill. We were discussing their recent activities and goals for the program; we were mining them for story ideas and ways we could better serve our welding readers.The educators...

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'Die-ing' for respect

August 21, 2008

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In my editorial coming up in the September 2008 issue of The FABRICATOR, I write about Die Tech Services Inc., basically an agency that sends out tool and die experts, machine builders, and CNC machinists on a temporary basis.Like most entrepreneur stories, the company"s genesis is some other...

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A U.S. national buffoon's European vacation

August 15, 2008

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I just came back from a 10-day vacation. My wife and I visited England and Ireland for four days each. The trip was fun, but it"s hard to just put your life on hold for an extended period nowadays.As we slept in our tiny hotel room built for none on the fourth day, I tried not to think about work,...

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The credit crunch

July 31, 2008

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If you missed the headlines last week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. stepped in and closed the First National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank N.A. last Friday. That comes just about two weeks after the same folks closed the doors on IndyMac bank.Of course, that led to Treasury prices...

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Waiting for metal prices to fall

July 25, 2008

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When I say everyone is worried about rising material prices, it"s not that far of a stretch.A summer survey of 72 senior-level manufacturing company owners and managers revealed that 93 percent of them consider rising material prices to be the No. 1 cost pressure facing the industry. That"s up from...

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Which direction this election?

July 17, 2008

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Jim Zawacki, chairman of metal stamping manufacturer GR Spring & Stamping in Grand Rapids, Mich., finds himself in an awkward position this election. He"s donated $1,000 to the campaign of John McCain and plans to vote for the Republican candidate for president, but he"s not a big fan of his stance...

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Hyster lift truck

A new look at lift trucks

July 15, 2008

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California is on the leading edge of environmental protectionism, and because it is such a large industrial market, the state's environmental regulations are influencing what metal fabricators might be drivng in their facilities.

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A different perspective on U.S. manufacturing

July 11, 2008

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Never let it be said that I don"t read most of what comes across my desk.I was perusing the 2007 annual report for Fraunhofer USA, the Plymouth, Mich.-based arm of the German research organization, and I came across the farewell address from Dennis Tsichritzis. He was leaving the Fraunhofer family...

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Educating tomorrow's welders

June 20, 2008

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I think the program I have struggled to keep alive was valuable and rewarding to a certain population. Was it enough to rationalize the expense? I don"t know, but to me and my students, it was valuable and rewarding.That"s the message Lebanon (N.Y.) High School welding teacher Tom Callison shared...

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ProNest software

One nesting software for all

June 17, 2008

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Maurer Manufacturing, Spencer, Iowa, purchased a new plasma cutting table in late 2006 and decided it wanted one nesting program to run both the new plasma table and its slightly older Cincinnati laser cutting machine. After a slight stumble, the company found the solution it needed with MTC Software's ProNest program.

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Robotic welding

Auto weld that ends well

June 17, 2008

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Robotically welding a part made sense for Tommy Gate Co./Woodbine Manufacturing, Woodbine, Iowa, so they then made plenty of cents available to invest in a robotic welding cell from Genesis Systems.

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Laser lens cleaning

The dirt on laser lenses

June 17, 2008

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This roundup of laser lens providers gives tips on extending the life of lenses used in laser cutting.

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