September 7, 2012
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....
September 7, 2012
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.
August 24, 2012
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...
August 10, 2012
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...
August 3, 2012
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.
August 3, 2012
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.
August 3, 2012
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.
August 2, 2012
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...
July 20, 2012
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...
July 16, 2012
The field of aerospace tube fabricating is one marked by difficult-to-form materials and very tight tolerances. As a result, not too many shops are involved in the business. Tube Specialties, Tempe, Ariz., however, has emerged as a go-to shop for this type of challenging work.
July 5, 2012
Is the U.S. manufacturing slowdown a speed bump or a sink hole? Honestly, the answer really doesn't matter. The June 2012 Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey—the Purchasing Managers Index—declined 3.8 percentage points from the May numbers, falling to 49.7 percent,...
June 20, 2012
At the Salvagnini dealer gathering, Meet-In America, in Hamilton, Ohio, in last week, the company's sales representatives got a reminder of how the company has evolved in recent years. It's no longer just thought of as a major supplier of flexible manufacturing systems; people are recognizing the...
June 15, 2012
In a day when class action lawsuits centering on such things as asbestos, concussion injuries, or tobacco seem to be in the news quite often, don't expect to be reading about suits targeting welding rod manufacturers. Attorneys targeting those welding consumable manufacturers appear to have given...
June 13, 2012
Hot stamping has been around since the early 1970s, and it still holds as much promise today as it did then. Imparting strong steel characteristics on lighter-weight metals remains as relevant today as it did then. Today, however, the desire to exploit hot stamping remains strongest in the automotive industry as it seeks to develop lighter-weight vehicles that can still attain five-star crash ratings. The auto industry's work, however, may eventually influence other sectors that crave that combination of light weight and strength.