FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Mexico's other competitive advantage

January 11, 2013

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It used to be just labor cost, but apparently Mexico has another secret weapon in trying to expand its role as the world's manufacturing partner: It can churn out engineering and manufacturing talent for the large multinational manufacturers looking to locate in North America. Don't believe it?...

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Structural steel automation at the end of the line - TheFabricator.com

Structural steel automation at the end of the line

January 7, 2013

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Machine tool developers have done a great job of automating many of the operations associated with structural steel processing over the years. Automated cutting, drilling, and marking are widely adopted in the industry. The same, however, can't be said for assembly and welding, but that could be changing.

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Wanted: Experienced workers who never retire

December 13, 2012

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"They've tried for two years to find my replacement, but they didn't find one yet," said 67-year-old Gil Smith, a second-shift welding technician for Rose City Manufacturing, Springfield, Ohio. He shared that fact with me after saying that he had read the December edition of the Fabricating Update...

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What's up with helium for welding applications?] - TheFabricator.com

What's up with helium for welding applications?

December 3, 2012

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Helium has been hard to get for some, and certainly the consumable gas is more expensive for welders than it used to be. The bad news is that this may be the case for some time. The good news is that alternatives are under development to help welders out as they tackle aluminum and stainless steel welding.

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EuroBLECH 2012 recap: Fighting for more efficiency - TheFabricator.com

EuroBLECH 2012 recap: Fighting for more efficiency

December 3, 2012

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A terrible economy has forced European metal fabricators to focus on shortening turnaround time on jobs. If they attended EuroBLECH 2012 in Hannover, Germany, in late October, those fabricators probably discovered some tools that could help them accomplish their goals.

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It's a jungle out there

November 30, 2012

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What makes a jungle a scary place? It's probably fear of what might happen—not so much of what has happened. Uncertainty feeds paranoia, and paranoia forces one to lose focus. Without focus, a person is more likely to find himself in a dangerous spot. Upton Sinclair observed those dangers...

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FABTECH 2012: A reason for optimism

November 16, 2012

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The year was 2008. FABTECH, North America's largest metal fabricating and forming technology tradeshow, was making its first visit to Las Vegas. The opening day of the event generated a lot of excitement because more visitors attended that first day than had ever attended a FABTECH opening day,...

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Fabricating real value

November 9, 2012

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As I was watching Hurricane Sandy coverage on Oct. 29, I flipped on CNBC only to find a reporter lamenting the fact that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) might be forced to close for a second day due to inclement weather, marking the first time since the Blizzard of 1888 that weather had forced...

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Managing coil more cost-effectively - TheFabricator.com

Managing coil more cost-effectively

November 9, 2012

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A supply chain is only as strong as every link. That's why more metal formers are leaning on their material suppliers to improve their coil and sheet management. A couple of metal service centers offer up some advice for those metal stampers looking to do more.

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Stamper blazes a trail with in-die laser welding - TheFabricator.com

Stamper blazes a trail with in-die laser welding

November 9, 2012

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In-die capabilities are an important weapon in a metal stamper's arsenal. These capabilities provide the means to create assemblies as a strip of coil quickly moves through a progressive-die setup. Weiss-Aug, East Hanover, N.J., is taking that competitive edge to the next level by offering in-die laser welding to its customer base.

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Fabricating on the fast track

November 2, 2012

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UPI Manufacturing, Eagle, Wis., began with a noble thought: How can a company help out U.S. soldiers? The most obvious answer was to start manufacturing to support the war effort. So in 2003 the Dretzka family, who ran Underground Pipeline Inc., jumped into the metal manufacturing business. Since...

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Tig welding

Cutting the GTAW remote control cord

October 23, 2012

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A truly remote-controlled foot pedal for TIG welding sounds like the perfect tool for job site fabricators, but welders that work in a small cell are also finding advantages associated with cutting the welding control cord.

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Getting up to speed on "soft" costs

October 18, 2012

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I've got a friend that coordinates purchasing relationships between U.S. manufacturers and Chinese part suppliers. That may rub some people the wrong way, but his current occupation is just part of a natural evolution. He once acted solely as a manufacturer's rep for manufacturing service providers...

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Magical fabricating tour

October 12, 2012

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If you weren't a part of The FABRICATOR's Technology Summit in early October, you missed a great learning experience. About 50 attendees visited six fabricating operations, two manufacturers of laser equipment, and one systems integrator of custom laser machines. If the event didn't "ignite...

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LVD Strippit Punching

Punching up productivity

October 8, 2012

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Mid-West Metal Products Co. Inc., Muncie, Ind., needed a new punching press for a large-volume order and soon found out just how fast production flow can change on a shop floor with new technology.

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