FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Skilled-worker shortage?

July 12, 2013

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After multiple e-mails from readers over the past couple of months claiming that our constant referencing to the skilled-worker shortage is a disservice, I figured it’s best to come clean. They are right. It’s not a skilled-worker shortage; it’s a...

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Special tooling makes short work of large-part production - TheFabricator.com

Special tooling makes short work of large-part production

July 12, 2013

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Any fabricator that has had to wrestle with large panels or thick plate in a press brake has to wonder if something can be done to make the job easier. In many instances, specialized tooling can help.

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Improving welding quality in a dramatic way - TheFabricator.com

Improving welding quality in a dramatic way

July 11, 2013

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What happens when new owners of a metal fabricating business find out that they have to improve the shop's welding performance or risk losing its biggest customer—in the first week they take over the business? They have frank conversations with employees, find the root cause of the problems, install new processes to ensure quality, and ramp up training so that everyone can deliver acceptable welds on a consistent basis.

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Laser cutting

Customer input influences metal manufacturer’s growth

July 8, 2013

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Artisan Industries Inc. began life as a metal former in Streetsboro, Ohio, but like other stamping houses, it recognized the need for diversification. Since jumping into the fabricating business, the company has found itself constantly evolving to become a one-stop shop for its customers.

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Rethinking manufacturing education

June 21, 2013

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The discussion moderator of Strengthening Manufacturing Education: An Experience Summit in late June posed a question that sums up the battle to replenish the ranks of retiring manufacturing workers: “How do we get young people interested in a career in welding?” The question was focused on...

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Learning about another culture

June 13, 2013

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Got a culture clash in your metal fabricating operation? That’s a terrible situation, because if the workforce is unsatisfied with their environment, their negative attitude is probably carrying over to their work. More than likely, that then affects the customers of that fabricating company....

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Race team embraces waterjet cutting - TheFabricator.com

Race team embraces waterjet cutting

June 3, 2013

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When John Force Racing took most of its manufacturing operations in-house in the early 2000s, the focus was on controlling quality and lead time. However, it didn't have a quick-response fabricating tool for 2-D cutting. It has since found that tool with its new waterjet

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Help wanted in hiring

May 31, 2013

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As I was walking in from the parking lot this week after giving blood, the driver of the bus that is used as a mobile blood collection center asked if he could walk in with me so he could use the restroom. He knew he needed someone to buzz him into the building, and I did just that. As I showed...

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Long-term trends are fabricators' friends

May 23, 2013

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With every conversation I have with a metal fabricator, I become more convinced that the companies left standing after two recessions within a 10-year span are primed to survive in this very competitive global economy. In essence, they have survived because they are the fittest. In the wake of the...

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Changing attitudes to boost STEM career

May 10, 2013

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My wife works with some pretty smart people. She's a math teacher, which puts her in day-to-day contact with talented teachers and highly intelligent students in her advanced placement courses. On her staff is a former engineer who recently had received constructive criticism about his teaching...

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A tragic reminder

May 3, 2013

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Can we write enough about safety in the pages of The FABRICATOR, its sister magazines, and thefabricator.com? Absolutely not. Do we actually execute that strategy in the media wepublish? No, we do not. And that's a shame. Fabricators might argue that safety is a given in their facilities, much...

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Sick of setup time at the press brake - TheFabricator.com

Sick of setup time at the press brake

May 2, 2013

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Alto-Shaam, Menomonee Falls, Wis., needed to find a way to reduce setup times for its low-volume, high-mix work associated with fabricating parts for food service equipment. The company found its answer with a panel bender that management had seen in action at a FABTECH tradeshow several years before.

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Stay safe and out of OSHA's way

April 26, 2013

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Fabricating shop owners—and business owners in general—have voiced concern about increased regulations that their companies have had to face since the election of President Obama, but that may be nothing compared to the trouble they might find if they run into trouble involving the Occupational...

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Welding training under the arc light - TheFabricator.com

Welding training under the arc light

April 25, 2013

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Virtual weld training tools have emerged in recent years, and some organizations have looked to them to help beginners learn welding basics before firing up the arc. Meanwhile, others are looking for a training device that better reflects the real-world activities associated with welding in a manufacturing environment. A new training device has emerged to bridge that virtual world with the real world.

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Surviving the storm - TheFabricator.com

Surviving the storm

April 24, 2013

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Hurricane Sandy wasn't kind to Architectural Grille, Brooklyn, N.Y., in late October 2012. Waters from a nearby canal flooded the shop and ultimately destroyed all fabricating equipment, which was paid for. The insurance companies and local officials didn't offer much help either. The Giumenta family didn't throw in the towel, however. They are determined to rebuild and do it with the latest technology available.

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