FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

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

Take a ride in a battery-powered what?

May 10, 2012

By:

It wasn’t that long ago that Alessandro Volta built the first battery. In 1800 he made a stack of metal plates, alternating zinc and copper, with each pair separated by layers of cloth soaked in brine. Today’s batteries are more sophisticated but use the same principle to create electromotive...

Continue Reading

From automobiles to artwork - TheFabricator.com

From automobiles to artwork

May 9, 2012

By:

Manuel Sarmiento went to a vocational school to learn to be a fender-and-body technician and to learn to paint cars. Fooling around with a plasma cutter one day, he cut out the shape of a hand and took it home to his wife. She loved it and encouraged him to experiment more. Years later he was successful enough as an artist that he quit his full-time job, and today his artwork supports him and his family.

Continue Reading

More armor for armored cars - TheFabricator.com

More armor for armored cars

May 9, 2012

By:

Thefts. Car-jackings. Kidnappings. Assassinations. If you’re a high-profile political figure or wealthy executive doing business in a foreign country, especially one in which the division between rich and poor is vast, you’re vulnerable. In addition to having a security system at your home and a personal security detail that travels with you wherever you go, you need a vehicle that can protect you against an attack. Texas Armoring Corp., a fabricator in San Antonio, has been providing armored cars to foreign heads of state and corporate executives since it was founded in 1997.

Continue Reading

The risks and rewards of genetic engineering

April 25, 2012

By:

It could be a dream come true or the latest scene in a long nightmare. Dow AgroSciences has developed a genetically engineered corn, named Enlist, to withstand herbicides containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). The chemical was developed with the intention of helping to increase crop...

Continue Reading

Producing more, hiring less

April 19, 2012

By:

We’re still slogging through the jobless recovery, and while slowly falling unemployment took many by surprise in 2010 and 2011, I guess most of us have resigned ourselves to looking for reasons. There isn’t much else we can do. Before we look for reasons, let’s look at the trend. If we go...

Continue Reading

Service center gets new set of wheels - TheFabricator.com

Service center gets new set of wheels

April 16, 2012

By:

When Tioga Pipe Supply Co. Inc. built a new facility in Easton, Penn., it leveraged its 60 years in business to design its new building. It planned the new facility, 150,000 sq. ft. under roof and 10 acres of outdoor storage area, around the use of side-loading lift trucks. The only drawback was occasional damage to the fork trucks' guide rollers, which Combilift eliminated when it designed a set of adjustable guide rollers specifically for Tioga.

Continue Reading

More about the moral imperative

April 11, 2012

By:

In a recent blog post, my colleague Tim Heston described the need for the U.S. to develop an advanced manufacturing base with turn-on-a-dime flexibility. He called it a moral imperative, and I couldn’t agree more.  The U.S. hasn’t lost its position as the world’s largest manufacturer, but...

Continue Reading

Fabricator reduces part handling, improves consistency with combination bender - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator reduces part handling, improves consistency with combination bender

April 11, 2012

By:

Full Vision Inc., a manufacturer of components and equipment for the off-road industry, encountered a hurdle in manufacturing roll-over protection systems (ROPS) and falling-object protection structures (FOPS) for its customers. To make a ROPS or FOPS, it needed three machines or two setups on three machines. This led to too much part handling and more scrapping of parts than necessary. A combination rotary draw and push bender from Horn Machine Tool allows Full Vision to make a complete part with one setup on one machine, eliminating part handling and reducing scrap.

Continue Reading

TPJ’s 2012 Industry Award Winner: Chicago Tube & Iron - TheFabricator.com

TPJ’s 2012 Industry Award Winner: Chicago Tube & Iron

March 5, 2012

By:

Don McNeeley, president and CEO of ChicagoTube & Iron, describes the big turning points in a company's inflection. For many companies, a point of inflection is the plateau between the company's youthful growth phase and the decline into old age, the point at which profibility slows. The winner of TPJ's 2012 Industry Award, Chicago Tube & Iron has a history of disrupting the growth-plateau-decline pattern.

Continue Reading

What's driving these industries? - TheFabricator.com

What's driving the tube/pipe industry?

February 1, 2012

By:

Interviews with several TUBE expo exhibitors reveal that two booming industries throughout the world are energy extraction and automobile production. Although some industries are expected to lag in 2012, notably the U.S. housing construction sector, on balance the year is expected to be stable for the tube and pipe production and fabrication industries.

Continue Reading

Fabrication automation - TheFabricator.com

Fabrication automation

January 10, 2012

By:

Need help dealing with the skilled worker shortage? Eric Lundin, editor of TPJ-The Tube & Pipe Journal, interviewed several automated equipment manufacturers for their perspectives on automation for tube and pipe fabrication.

Continue Reading

Dealing with high forces, metal in motion, hot parts? - TheFabricator.com

Dealing with high forces, metal in motion, hot parts?

December 21, 2011

By:

The main topic at the 2011 EDTR Roundtable conference in Wilmington, NC, was safety. Many of the issues involve high forces, metals in motion, and red-hot parts—in other words, topics relevant to any and all tube and pipe producers and fabricators. Editor Eric Lundin summarizes the main hazards and recommended practices for mitigating them.

Continue Reading

Cleaning up in the Gulf

December 12, 2011

By:

It has been nearly two years since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico. For most of us, the story slipped off our radar a few weeks after the rig exploded (April 20, 2010); the story made headlines again when the well was capped temporarily nearly three months later...

Continue Reading

This is the new normal

November 7, 2011

By:

The worst of the financial crisis of the 2008-2009 time frame is history, and as the recovery progresses, I think it’s fair to say that we’re all wondering when everything will get back to the way it was … when will we have a low unemployment rate, a thriving manufacturing sector, a healthy...

Continue Reading

The best of management-labor relations, the worst of management-labor negotiations

September 28, 2011

By:

Two stories of management-labor relations came to my attention in the past few days, and the two stories couldn’t be more different from each other. They’re so opposite that Charles Dickens’ well-known introduction to A Tale of Two Cities accurately describes them. “It was the best of...

Continue Reading