FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Engaging the millennials

May 23, 2014

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Metal fabricators need to do a better job of attracting the millenial generation into manufacturing—or they are going to find it hard keeping up with future business opportunities.

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Mexico and metal fabricating

May 16, 2014

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On the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, it's easy to see that Mexico has really flourished. But today's success is not a guarantee for tomorrow's prosperity. Being a low-cost leader in manufacturing is not a long-term plan for survival. Just ask China.

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Plasma cutting pipe in the water mist

May 5, 2014

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An Iowa pipe fabricating shop discovers it can eliminate secondary grinding on stainless steel material by adding water misting to its plasma cutting operation.

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Selling safety

April 28, 2014

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If the attendees at the sixth annual FMA Safety Conference could agree on one thing, it was the fact that a safety-first work environment needs management buy-in to be successful.

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MVEs: More valuable employees

April 18, 2014

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Drew Greenblatt firmly believes that Marlin Steel, Baltimore, is only as successful as the talented crew that works on the shop floor. That's why the company's management team has created a Skills Matrix, ensuring that the shop always has someone who can stand in and perform the job of someone else.

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Fabricating next-generation workers

April 11, 2014

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Many fabricators are sitting on the sidelines when it comes to training their current stable of employees and creating a new generation of workers. In the end, that's bad for business.

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Life with a fiber laser

April 7, 2014

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Accrotool Inc., New Kensington, Pa., had a 1,500-W laser cutting machine from 2001 that needed to be replaced. A fiber laser was deemed the perfect choice for the shop’s cutting chores. However, to be successful, the company’s management discovered that a new mindset was needed to accompany the new technology.

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Political roadblocks

April 4, 2014

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Business leaders don't like unpredictability because it makes planning difficult. That's why they increasingly are calling on Congressional leaders to work together to chart some sort of course for the future.

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The need for speed to market

March 28, 2014

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Turnaround time matters for the fabrication shops of NASCAR teams as they try to get the latest mechanical improvements to the car down to the track as soon as possible. That "need for speed" is something all metal fabricators can identify with. Often new manufacturing technology can provide that much-needed boost.

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The benefits of off-site training

March 20, 2014

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Allowing employees to go off-site for training purposes improves the learning environment and shows everyone that the company wants to invest in the individual.

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Paying a heavy price for purchasing only on price

March 13, 2014

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As fabricators become more selective about jobs they accept, OEMs need to rethink purchasing procedures.

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Better organization of assembly templates

March 3, 2014

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KSM Industries Inc., Germantown, Wis., found success building rack mounts for power equipment, but as the business grew, the number of templates did as well. The company needed a better organization plan other than putting the templates on pallets, hoping to find them when they were needed again.

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As unionization shrinks, so does the pipeline for talent

February 21, 2014

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Last week autoworkers at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., voted down a proposal to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. Fifty-three percent said “no” to the idea, even though Volkswagen did not actively oppose or support the vote. While the automaker may have tried...

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Not your typical supply chain assistance

February 14, 2014

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David Tilstone, president, National Tooling & Machining Association, is pretty certain precision metalworking shops across the U.S. need help. According to a 2013 NTMA survey of its membership, just over 70 percent have a job opening that they are having difficulty filling. At least a third have...

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Realistic talk about jobs

February 6, 2014

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During President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in late January, he made a point to focus on the development of more advanced manufacturing institutes, also called “hubs.” The idea is that these hubs would focus on advanced manufacturing technologies and possible commercialization...

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