FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

Editor in Chief
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
Fiber laser helps job shop cut thick metals - TheFabricator.com

Fiber laser helps job shop cut thick metals

April 8, 2013

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After selling his metal fabricating business in 2006, Jim Lee is back in the game with North Topeka Fabrication. But even in the short time that he was gone, metal fabricating technology has advanced and forced him to ask how the shop could apply new technology to grow the business. That led the company to invest in a fiber laser cutting machine, and the decision has thrown the shop into the thick of new business opportunities.

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Dysfunction junction

April 5, 2013

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How could the U.S. Congress screw up funding job training programs? Manufacturers need specialized workers, and the unemployed need training for those unfilled positions in manufacturing. Sounds simple, right? Nothing is simple nowadays. In mid-March Republicans in the House of Representatives...

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College basketball and cross-training

March 22, 2013

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'Tis the time of year when people might be secretly paying more attention to NCAA basketball tournament games than work and, in some cases, actually leaving work early to watch the afternoon first-round games. Even though March Madness might sap worker productivity, it still might hold meaning for...

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Time to start planning for additional capacity

March 14, 2013

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Can you expand capacity to the point where you can keep up with OEM customers? If not, you better start pulling together a formal plan. OEM customers aren't going to wait around. "It's getting to the point where we can't work with companies that don't have long-term capacity plans," said Warren...

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News you can use

March 8, 2013

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Last week more than 100 metal fabricators gathered for The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit in Palm Harbor, Fla. The conference attendees seemed optimistic as most are in the midst of coping with expanding business opportunities. But with such pressures come concerns. Everyone apparently is looking...

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The reinvention of stamping - TheFabricator.com

The reinvention of stamping

February 28, 2013

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The days of 1 million unit orders for simple metal blanks are over. But this doesn't mean that stamping can't survive in today's manufacturing environment. A.T. Wall Co. believes it can successfully position stamping as a go-to manufacturing process for parts that were at one time exclusively made through machining.

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New developments in tool steel - TheFabricator.com

New developments in tool steel

February 28, 2013

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Two new tooling steels can help stampers improve production efficiency. The metal formers just need to open their minds to the new possibilities.

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New manganese exposure guidance

February 15, 2013

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Metal fabricating companies that seek to provide the safest work environments for their employees might be interested to know that the job might get a little harder in the welding department. The leading industrial health and safety organization that regularly issues guidance for certain toxic...

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Developing shop employees for the field - TheFabricator.com

Developing shop employees for the field

February 15, 2013

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Companies involved in heavy-duty metal fabricating and fieldwork discuss the traits they want to develop in their own workforces.

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The effect of parental influence

February 8, 2013

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I have a 14-year-old who's a freshman in high school this year. He's already 4 inches taller than I am and possesses more knowledge about Civil War history than I have after 44 years on this earth—with all of my schooling taking place in the South where the Civil War is still recalled almost...

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Growing in the face of uncertainty - TheFabricator.com

Growing in the face of uncertainty

February 1, 2013

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Having survived a bankruptcy in the 1990s and the Great Recession, A&E Custom Manufcturing isn't about to embark on an aggressive growth path just to chase more business. It wants to grow intelligently, balancing investment with real opportunity. With that in mind, the company has made some very wise decisions that has allowed it to grow in the face of ongoing uncertainty.

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Better plasma cutting on stainless steel - TheFabricator.com

Better plasma cutting on stainless steel

February 1, 2013

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Penn Stainless Products, Quakertown, Pa., wanted to upgrade its plasma cutting operations so that it could cut thicker stainless steel plate. It found that plasma technology advancements could deliver the thicker cut and additional benefits as well.

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Taking control of training efforts

January 25, 2013

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A&E Custom Manufacturing, Kansas City, Kan., isn't much different from other metal fabricators today. It is looking for the right skilled employees. "If we could find the people, we would probably add four to five employees," said John Jaixen, A&E's general manager, in December....

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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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