FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Blog Posts

Understanding the cost of ownership

June 17, 2010 | By Dan Davis

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...

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Blog Posts

So the government shows up and says, 'I'm here to help'

June 11, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Ask any metal fabricating business owner or manager what the government can do to help them out, and the response is pretty typical: "Stop trying to help." The last attempt that comes to mind is President Barack Obama's offer of a tax incentive to hire people. Business owners found it laughable....

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How to set up an internship program - TheFabricator

Shop Management | Articles

How to set up an internship program

June 8, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Insight from a metal fabricator and the head of Kansas State's Advanced Manufacturing Institute provides companies with good tips for setting up an internship program.

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Blog Posts

Speak up but don't hold your peace

June 4, 2010 | By Dan Davis

The continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is silently eating away at my insides. My grandmother purchased a camp in Clermont Harbor, Miss., back in 1969 after Hurricane Camille dramatically rearranged the Gulf Coast. Growing up I spent most of my summers down on the white beaches of the...

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Blog Posts

Making It in America

May 28, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I'll have the American flag flying outside my house this holiday weekend. It's not a statement of my patriotism so much as a view of summer as a time when all of those fun, all-American activities take place: baseball, competitive hot dog eating, and parades. It's the perfect time to let Old Glory...

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The Wisconsin Family Robinson - TheFabricator

Shop Management | Articles

The Wisconsin Family Robinson

May 28, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Anyone that works for Robinson Metal Inc. learns the business from the ground up. This approach has served it well as the De Pere, Wis., company has grown to become one of the largest fabricating job shops in the U.S.

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Blog Posts

What I did on my vacation to Detroit

May 26, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I took a day trip to Detroit last week, and I have no joke about it. I actually enjoyed my time in the Motor City. Whereas others like to use Detroit as the poster child for what's wrong with big-city politics, the U.S. automotive industry, and public education, I see the city as one that may be...

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Blog Posts

Fabricating to the rescue yet again

May 5, 2010 | By Dan Davis

By now everyone has heard about the massive oil spill taking place in the Gulf of Mexico, a result of an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig April 20. If you haven't, you'll also be shocked to know that bell bottoms have come and gone out of style again and that Abe Vigoda is still alive ....

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tampa museum

Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

The 'hole' story about the Tampa Museum of Art

April 30, 2010 | By Dan Davis

How does an architect create a building that mirrors the daylight and a nearby river? In the case of the new Tampa Museum of Art, architect Stanely Saitowitz turned to perforated metal panels that enveloped the entire building, all 96,000 square feet of building surface.

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raw material storage

Shop Management | Articles

Green efforts save greenbacks

April 30, 2010 | By Dan Davis

When you are president of a company, you might observe things that others don’t even notice. That just comes with the territory when you are dealing regularly with profit and loss statements. Jon DeWys, president of DeWys Manufacturing, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based precision fabricator,...

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Blog Posts

Robotics market shrinks; innovation continues

April 22, 2010 | By Dan Davis

The manufacturers and systems integrators that gathered for ABB's 2010 Robotic Technology Days, April 21-22, in Auburn Hills, Mich., showed up in good moods. The economy looks to be slowly emerging from the depths, and the technological innovations haven't slowed down during the slowdown. The past...

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Blog Posts

For those who weld old steel, we salute you

April 16, 2010 | By Dan Davis

If a metal fabricator has been around long enough, he probably has come across more than a couple of welding situations that have him lifting off his helmet and scratching his noggin. He likely has done everything correct according to the textbook, but the joint  just does not come together like...

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Blog Posts

Manufacturing needs to ditch the celebrity spokesperson

April 9, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Bear with me for a minute. I'm about to bring up the name Jesse James, but I'm not about to spend 500 words on this tabloid fodder. (This would be the guy behind West Coast Choppers, not the American outlaw of the 19th century Old West.) Of course, James is also the guy that stepped out on Sandra...

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pretreatment chemicals

Finishing | Articles

Noting advances in powder coating

April 1, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Customers are asking their metal fabricating suppliers to assume more production responsibilities as they look to reduce the size their vendor bases. As a result, more fabricators are becoming involved in powder coating, either doing it themselves or coordinating the finishing process with a nearby custom coater. Of course, metal fabricators are first and foremost in the business of cutting, forming, and joining metal, but they still need to stay on top of the latest developments in powder coating.

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Blog Posts

Real-life concerns for metal fabricators

March 26, 2010 | By Dan Davis

"Worry about those things that you can control," my mom used to tell me. It's a great piece of advice, especially as we struggle to deal with the weak economic rebound and the political ruckus that passes for progress in Washington, D.C. So what's a metal fabricator to worry about? I don't run a...

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