FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

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

Much ado about nothing

September 15, 2010

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China’s currency is in the news again. It made big news back in the summer of 2005 when the Chinese government unlocked the currency from the fixed exchange rate of 8.2765 yuan per dollar. Change came slowly; a year later it had appreciated just 3 percent, to 7.6055 yuan per dollar. The rate of...

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Buyer, beware!

September 9, 2010

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A colleague recently sent around some photos of the Skydeck at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Chicago. If you saw these photos too, you probably recall seeing the glass-bottomed ledge. If you’d like an unobstructed view of Chicago from 1,353 feet up, this is for you.  The photos...

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How great a sacrifice?

August 24, 2010

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The world watches, the rescuers drill, and the 33 miners wait. The miners are alive, but the conditions are grim. They’re trapped 2,300 feet underground and have taken refuge in a shelter that measures about 525 sq. ft., which means each person gets an area that measures about 3 by 3 ft. The...

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Green evolution

August 6, 2010

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I read Vicki Bell’s blog on green job opportunities and, frankly, wasn’t all that surprised to learn that this is still a small niche. While it’s encouraging that green awareness has taken hold and green jobs are out there, it’s a little disheartening that it has taken this long....

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Is it time for the small-business initiative?

July 29, 2010

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A small-business initiative working its way through Congress has been making headlines lately. It has the potential to provide $30 billion in new capital for community banks, which would use it as a foundation for lending to small and medium-sized businesses. Whether lawmakers will pass the bill is...

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Scenes from Europe - TheFabricator

Scenes from Europe

July 9, 2010

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Editor Eric Lundin recounts some of the product introductions and innovations seen at the TUBE expo in Düsseldorf, April 12-16, 2010.

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'Now hiring?'

July 8, 2010

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The data continues to pile up, yet the result is inconclusive. Judging by GDP, the broadest measure of an economy’s output, the U.S. economy has been growing since the middle of 2009. The PMI, a manufacturing-related gauge developed by the Institute for Supply Management, has been greater than...

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Cleaning up (slowly) in the gulf

June 10, 2010

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It’s no secret that the Transocean oil spill is among the largest man-made environmental disasters of all time. Given the impact, the word spill itself is a huge understatement. Gusher or torrent or catastrophe would be more accurate. An early estimate of 5,000 barrels leaking per day appears to...

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Small components, big plans - TheFabricator

Small components, big plans

June 4, 2010

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Since its start as a supplier of a single fabricated item in 1936, Zeman Manufacturing Co. has expanded its fabricating services to include all manner of cutting, bending, end forming, and finishing processes. In response to growing competition from companies in low- cost-of-manufacturing countries, it took a journey down the lean path and became a nimbler company in the process.

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Big spill, bigger problem

April 29, 2010

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What a difference a week makes. On April 19, Transocean Ltd.’s Deepwater Horizon rig was doing some exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on behalf of BP. After a six-year drought that started in 1994, BP had discovered several major oil deposits throughout the last decade: Marlin, 2000;...

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Reykja-where?

April 22, 2010

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Events in Iceland generally don’t warrant international headlines. That’s not to say it isn’t an interesting place. If you’re into linguistics, you already know that its language is essentially the same as when it was spoken by its original settlers; 1,000 years of relative isolation has...

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Lots of lies? No surprise

April 1, 2010

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American Metal Market held its Third Annual Steel Tube & Pipe Conference March 22-23 in Houston, and if you’re a steel tube or pipe producer, you might give some thought to attending its fourth annual conference. It held something for everyone—industry overview, industry forecast, and a...

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bends plane

Supply chain collaborates on bending project

March 1, 2010

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Faced with a daunting bending contract and a short timeframe, Rick Williams of Rockford Process Control (RPC) sought cooperation from a tubing supplier, bending machine manufacturer, and a tooling supplier at the beginning of the project. The information exchange enabled RPC and its supply chain partners to develop a process, deliver a bender, and engineer and manufacture tooling without the benefit of tubing samples.

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Carbon-free electric cars? Not quite

February 18, 2010

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The headline caught my attention like few do: “Oh-so quick and even carbon-free.” The article discussed Tesla Motors’ Roadster®, the $110,000 beauty that uses lithium-ion battery technology—6,831 individual cells, to be exact—to power a 375-VAC induction motor that redlines at 14,000...

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The future of training

January 28, 2010

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Whether or not you follow all the latest trends in digital technology, you’ve probably seen fancy devices such as the Smartphone from BlackBerry® or the iPhone from Apple. They allow you to do all sorts of things—play music, send and receive text messages, take photos, record and edit video,...

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