FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

Editor in Chief
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
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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Make Manufacturing Day a memorable one

September 21, 2012

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"Want to come out to St. Francisville this Saturday and take a tour of the plant?" my dad asked me one night during dinner back in 1986. Knowing that such a visit would cut into my sleep time over the weekend, I declined with the grace and panache of a teenager. "Not really," the response might...

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IMTS 2012: Crazy times in manufacturing

September 14, 2012

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Sometimes you wonder if North American metal manufacturers got the memo. Europe is struggling with countries teetering on the brink of financial collapse. China is no longer seeing its GDP grow by double-digit percentage points. Other once-hot economies in the world, such as Brazil, have cooled...

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A taxing time

September 7, 2012

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I wonder if the average voter really knows what a jump back to a tax rate of 39.6 percent from the current level of 35 percent might mean. The underinformed might view it as a slight financial inconvenience for the Wall Street button-down types and the owners and management of large corporations....

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Connecting 3-D modeling to nesting - TheFabricator.com

Connecting 3-D modeling to nesting

September 7, 2012

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It sounds like a no-brainer in electronically connected world, but shops don't have the ability to integrate their 3-D modeling capabilities with nest creation. As more shops jump into 3-D modeling with the goal of decreasing turnaround time for jobs, they are looking at a more formal connection between the design and production world.

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In defense of military spending

August 24, 2012

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Who do you believe the Mayans or the political pundits? If the Mayans' ancient beliefs are correct, you shouldn't plan anything after Dec. 21 because that's supposedly the end of the world. For those that have their doubts about the prognostication power of ancient people, all they have to do is...

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Crazy to think things are getting better?

August 10, 2012

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Positive thinkers make me nervous, and motivational speakers make me roll my eyes. I'm a self-motivated individual who has a clear understanding of the reality around him. I believe in the ability to scale mountains, but those that believe they can move them through sheer will deserve to have Tony...

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IMTS 2012: The need for technology remains - TheFabricator.com

IMTS 2012: The need for technology remains

August 3, 2012

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Even as the June 2012 survey numbers suggest that manufacturing activity has retreated from robust highs in early 2012, manufacturers can't afford to start cutting back. They are in a race to reinvent themselves to be more responsive to cost-sensitive customers, and for many, that means investment in new technology. That's why shows such as the International Manufacturing Technology Show, Sept. 10-15, in Chicago, remain important.

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Green: The color of safety - TheFabricator.com

Green: The color of safety

August 3, 2012

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Going almost 11 years with only one injury isn't luck. That fabricating operation has taken steps to ensure that safety is considered before anyone undertakes a task on the shop floor. This is how ADM Mechanical, Decatur, Ill., created that environment.

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Where is structural steel material handling moving? - TheFabricator.com

Where is structural steel material handling moving?

August 3, 2012

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Structural steel fabricators now realize what their sheet metal counterparts have known for several years: It doesn't make sense to pay people for the non-value-added activity of handling beams. That's why these shops are investigating automated material handling, but before they do that, they need to answer some important questions.

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An aluminum success story

August 2, 2012

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Needless to say, working with aluminum is not the same as working with steel. "I think I lost a large portion of my hair trying to make that [first aluminum] job work. I must have spent weeks fighting splits and wrinkles. It wasn't long before I came to the conclusion that drawing and stretching...

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Please rain on this parade

July 20, 2012

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The rain fell so hard on June 18 in my hometown of Crystal Lake, Ill., that the power went out because broken tree limbs snapped power transmission wires. It was a great night. Forget any perceived sarcasm. I'm totally serious. Like other states, northern Illinois is in dire need of rain. It's...

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