FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Looking ahead to 2008

January 11, 2008

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I don't want to offer up any predictions, even though I finished the college bowl season with a 20-12 record against the spread. (That's how my wife's extended family celebrates the holiday season, and as long as I keep up with my debts, I'm happy to play along.) So let's offer up some observations...

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Looking back at 2007

January 4, 2008

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I just got back from an extended holiday break. My mind is still in holiday mode, and my stomach is in commode modetossing around like it"s being flushed.Being that I"m not altogether here as I start 2008, let"s look back on an exciting 2007. Here are my Top 10 favorite memories from the past...

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Don't mention the 'r' word

December 20, 2007

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I went to see my family"s financial adviser on Monday. My wife has some cash left over from a flexible spending account that was set up to pay for my son"s braces. She wants to roll the cash into a 403(b), sort of a 401(k) for teachers, because she wants something to supplement her pension, which...

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Airing of the grievances

December 14, 2007

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Dec. 23 is fast approaching. That means Festivus is upon us.Of course, this is the unholiday. It is derived from a 1997 Seinfeld episode in which George Costanza"s dad, Frank, introduces the holiday he invented as a sort of protest against the commercialization of Christmas. The symbol of the...

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Festivus Pole

Festivus poles for the rest of us souls

December 11, 2007

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The Wagner Cos. has staked out its position as the world's foremost producer of Festivus poles. Yes, it's the plain pole that Frank Costanza put up in his living room as a rebuke of Christmas' commercialism in a Seinfeld episode in 1997.

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Pop culture and fabricating

December 7, 2007

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I just got back into town from visiting a metal fabricating shop that will be highlighted in The FABRICATOR in early 2008. It"s the type of company that makes me feel good about manufacturing in the U.S. You wouldn"t mind working for the management team or spending an eight-hour shift in this...

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Feeling fuel-ish

November 30, 2007

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I won $30 in fuel cards during an all-staff meeting earlier this week. It's an enticement for people to come to the meeting and an overall nice thing to do for the employees—especially those with a long commute. I'm one of those employees. It's a 106-mile round trip for me each day. And the...

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A top 10 list from FABTECH & AWS Show

November 16, 2007

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North America"s largest metal fabricating technology show is over, and for those who couldn"t make it to Chicago this week, I"m hoping to help you out. Here"s a list of the top 10 things that caught my attention at the 2007 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show:Everyone knows that dust...

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Speaking out on aerospace manufacturing

November 9, 2007

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It"s refreshing to hear someone speak frankly about a subject without business jargon or feel-good mumbo jumbo sprinkled throughout the conversation. They are speaking off-the-cuff and obviously have enough confidence in themselves or their support structure to not think twice about being candid....

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Hydroformed tubular part

Forming a new approach

November 6, 2007

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Attendees of the fifth Hydroforming Conference and Exhibition, organized by the Tube & Pipe Association, International, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, learned that hydroforming technology is not dead yet.

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To serve is to lead

November 2, 2007

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Piccadilly Restaurants are a chain of restaurants that started out in Baton Rouge, La. The chain now has locations all over the Southeast, but to be honest, I haven"t eaten at one since the early 1990s when I made the move to the Chicago area.After spending a week at leadership training, the...

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Change is necessary for China

October 19, 2007

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Everyone needs a bogeyman. Superman has Lex Luthor. Conservatives in the U.S. have the left-wing media; liberals have the right-wing conspiracy. The Boston Red Sox have the New York Yankees. Sometimes it"s just easier getting through life when you can focus your negative energies on one particular...

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Tube talk

October 12, 2007

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I visited MG Products of Elkhart, Ind., on Wednesday and had a chance to chat with Mark George, the company"s founder and president. We talked about his company"s business and how the BLM Adige LT712D laser tube cutter it purchased in 2004 has helped to transform its machine shop into a fabrication...

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American Standard's facility

A new standard in forming bathtubs

October 9, 2007

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The main hurdle to automating American Standard's bathtub forming line in its Salem, Ohio, facility was integrating new material handling tools into the older press line.

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Arcadia Waterjet figure 1a

Fabrication in transition

September 11, 2007

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Arcadia, Albany, N.Y., transitions from a metal supplier to a waterjet cutting shop to a laser cutting shop to a metal bender. Future plans call for the shop to evolve into a full-scale contract manufacturer.

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