FMA Communications Inc.

Dan Davis

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

Shop Management | Articles

Having a hard time relating to millennials?

May 26, 2014 | By Dan Davis

In this Q&A, Diane Thielfoldt, co-founder of The Learning Café, shares some ideas about how metal fabricating companies can convince young people that manufacturing is full of careers worth pursuing.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Engaging the millennials

May 23, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Mexico and metal fabricating

May 16, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Plasma cutting pipe in the water mist

May 5, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Safety | Blog Posts

Selling safety

April 28, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Articles

MVEs: More valuable employees

April 18, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Fabricating next-generation workers

April 11, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Laser Cutting | Articles

Life with a fiber laser

April 7, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Political roadblocks

April 4, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

The need for speed to market

March 28, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

The benefits of off-site training

March 20, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Paying a heavy price for purchasing only on price

March 13, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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

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Assembly and Joining | Articles

Better organization of assembly templates

March 3, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

As unionization shrinks, so does the pipeline for talent

February 21, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Not your typical supply chain assistance

February 14, 2014 | By Dan Davis

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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