FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Festivus poles for the rest of us souls

December 11, 2007

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Pop culture and fabricating

December 7, 2007

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Feeling fuel-ish

November 30, 2007

By:

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...

Continue Reading

A top 10 list from FABTECH & AWS Show

November 16, 2007

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Speaking out on aerospace manufacturing

November 9, 2007

By:

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....

Continue Reading

Hydroformed tubular part

Forming a new approach

November 6, 2007

By:

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.

Continue Reading

To serve is to lead

November 2, 2007

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Change is necessary for China

October 19, 2007

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Tube talk

October 12, 2007

By:

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...

Continue Reading

American Standard's facility

A new standard in forming bathtubs

October 9, 2007

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Arcadia Waterjet figure 1a

Fabrication in transition

September 11, 2007

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Special delivery from Mexico

September 6, 2007

By:

The world of materials delivery changed forever on Sept 6. Just mark it down as one more big change in the name of globalization.The big rigs now are moving product from Mexico into the U.S., beyond the 25-mile buffer zone that acted as a barrier between Mexican truckers and the rest of the U.S....

Continue Reading

Saw loader

Better safe than saw awry

July 10, 2007

By:

When a machine operator cut a bundle of barstock open to load into a saw, the bands popped, moving the blocks that were put there to safely contain the bars. The bars fell on the operator's foot and trapped it. Not wanting to duplicate that nightmare, engineers at Kirsan Engineering, Kenosha, Wis., set about to create a method of loading barstock that relied on lift trucks, not cranes.

Continue Reading

laser-cutting-machine

Laser cutting with less labor and less hassle

June 12, 2007

By:

Can a four-man job shop keep up with the demands of its manufacturing customers? IMS, Shakopee, Minn., will make you think about that and give you reason to question other practices going on in your job shop.

Continue Reading

Tube unloader

Tube fabricator, machine tool builder automates to accelerate

June 12, 2007

By:

Stealth Manufacturing Inc., Savage, Minn., is a tube fabricator, and machine tool builder that automated its tube punching, laser cutting, and material handling to improve the efficiency of manufacturing its gas heater tubes and other tubular products.

Continue Reading