FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

Editor in Chief
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
p and h mining

Arc Welding | Articles

Tons of reasons for a new welding positioner

February 9, 2010 | By Dan Davis

P&H Mining equipment, Milwaukee, Wis., makes very large equipment, such as its largest electric shovel that weighs 1,200 tons. Shovel components keep getting larger, and to keep up with the market trends, the company needed a new welding positioner. That's a "big" deal in every sense of the word. Luckily, Koike Aronson Inc./Ransome was able to help.

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Blog Posts

My mom, the informant

February 5, 2010 | By Dan Davis

My mother is a retired elementary school teacher, and I'm married to a high school math teacher. Inevitably if the two are together for any length of time, the discussion turns to public education. The opinions are impassioned and obviously biased, but the input is valuable in understanding how a...

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Blog Posts

Is your company prepared for the worst?

January 15, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I'm reading about the tragedy in Haiti this morning and thinking about the sheer amount of work that'll be required to get this nation back on its feet. That may be one heck of a goal considering many feel this nation really wasn't on stable footing to begin with—extreme poverty, history of...

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robotic cell operator robotic arm

Automation and Robotics | Articles

5 traits to look for in a robotic cell operator

January 14, 2010 | By Dan Davis

Automated welding holds great promise forkeeping U.S. metal fabricators competitiveagainst their international counterpartsbecause it keeps labor costs down, but theserobotic welding cells still require somehuman intervention. Having said that,management doesn't want just anyone in therole of robotic welding cell operator. Hereare five characteristics that they can lookfor to ensure they get the right person forthe job.

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money falling

Shop Management | Articles

2010 Capital Spending Report indicates rebuilding set to begin

January 14, 2010 | By Dan Davis

The metal fabricating and forming market isclearly in a rebuilding mode after theeconomic downturn in 2009. The 2010 FMACCapital Spending Survey indicates thatcompanies are interested in spending money oncapital equipment, around $1.3 billion worth,but that's down significantly from the $2.2that was expecting to be spent in 2008.

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Blog Posts

Manufacturing in the movies

January 8, 2010 | By Dan Davis

I spent the first part of my holiday break unwinding by watching movies. I intended to go out skating, visit downtown Chicago, and generally get out of the house during the second part of the break, but the temperature dropped down to single digits; I ended up watching more movies.One of the more...

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Returning to the slightly-worse-than-yesterday but still good ol' days

December 18, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I read an interview with some highfalutin investment guy in the Dec. 21 issue of Fortune, and I'm starting to feel good about the future. It's not that he's bullish about the economy in the months to come, but that may not necessarily be all bad.Mohamed El-Erian, who is CEO of an...

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Blog Posts

Looking for leadership

December 4, 2009 | By Dan Davis

If you didn't notice Emerson Electric Co. David Farr's comments made before the Thanksgiving break, take note now. The CEO voiced what's on the minds of plenty of manufacturing company leaders and managers."Washington is doing everything in their manpower, capability, to destroy U.S....

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trumps trumatic punch laser machine

Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

Punching holes in aerospace manufacturing theories

December 4, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Unison Industries, an aerospace partsmanufacturer, found out that a metalfabricator can offer a lot to theirmanufacturing efforts.

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general sheet metal works oxide removal machine

Finishing | Articles

Finishing off oxide layer problems

December 3, 2009 | By Dan Davis

General Sheet Metal Works, South Bend, Ind.,had a 0.25-in. part that forced them tochoose between stamping and laser cutting tofabricate the part. Luckily, the companydiscovered an oxidation removal machine thathelped to make laser cutting with oxygen thelogical choice for the job.

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Blog Posts

Taking a working break from free trade

November 13, 2009 | By Dan Davis

My two fellow bloggers have written about jobs, and I can't disagree with their points. Job creation is important both to the electorate and those they elect.Unfortunately, the past decade hasn't been a stellar one for job creation. If you take a look at the private jobs in the U.S. in...

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Blog Posts

Lean adventures continue

November 6, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I think I recently experienced one of those "Ah-ha!" moments that metal fabricators undertaking lean initiatives have pretty frequently. I was attending a meeting where the subject was improving communication between our ad sales team and our magazine production team. Incomplete and incorrect...

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Blog Posts

RIP: High-volume metal manufacturing in the U.S.

October 30, 2009 | By Dan Davis

On the day that everyone was rejoicing about the GDP growth in the third quarter of this year, I'm still thinking about an announcement that Swedish appliance giant Electrolux made earlier this week. Somehow, that doesn't strike me as being great news, particularly for Iowa residents and...

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Blog Posts

Keeping manufacturing competitive

October 15, 2009 | By Dan Davis

The perspective was unique, but the advice was familiar: Innovation is the key to remaining competitive on the world stage.That was the message manufacturing experts with deep knowledge of the global marketplace sent to attendees at the Competitive Manufacturing Strategies session of the Pan IIT...

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Fabricators: Servants to their customers

October 9, 2009 | By Dan Davis

Today's thoughts are inspired by a question posted on the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's group discussion board on LinkedIn. Cecilia Allison, vice president of finance, K & S Tool, Die & Manufacturing Inc.: "OEMs are great at demanding service and charging the supplier if their...

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