FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

OSHA is self-funded: Fact or fiction?

January 13, 2011


If you work in manufacturing, you’ve probably heard that some government agencies, notably OSHA and the EPA, have been mandated to become self-funding. I heard this in a discussion at a recent conference, and it seems reasonable. The government debt is $14 trillion, so why wouldn’t the... Continue Reading

Spiraling out of control

December 8, 2010


Last week I took a trip to Genoa City, Wis., and felt like I had spent a couple hours in 1955 or so. I paid a visit to Ralph Wells, owner of Wells-Osborn Spiral Stairs, a company that specializes in spiral staircases. Founded in 1949 as a welding and repair shop, it expanded its repertoire to... Continue Reading

Snow mean feat -

Snow mean feat

December 2, 2010


Snowshoes have been used for thousands of years, but only recently have modern manufactured materials come into the picture. These days lengths of bent and welded tube, usually aluminum, make up the frame. Although the market is crowded, Jake Thamm and Tamara Laug thought they could build a better snowshoe and founded a new company in 1997.

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A peek at the X-ray

November 18, 2010


If you didn’t attend FABTECH® 2010 (held in Atlanta Nov. 2-4), you missed quite an expo. As my colleague Vicki Bell described it in a recent blog, “So little time and so much to see.” That’s an understatement. It had more than 1,000 exhibits; if you had spent five minutes at each booth,... Continue Reading

The changing American landscape

October 14, 2010


I read Dan Davis’ blog “Rethinking the education-to-employment system,” and I figured I’d chime in with my two cents’ worth. Dan’s blog focused on the future of education, specifically in vocational areas; I’d like to shine the spotlight elsewhere to illuminate a few trends that are... Continue Reading

Waiting for the first shoe to drop

September 23, 2010


I looked at my colleagues’ blog posts (or rants as Tim calls them) and noticed that employment is a hot topic, so I figured I’d throw out my two cents’ worth on the topic. I think it’s fair to say that nearly everyone—not just people in manufacturing, but everyone—is wondering when the... Continue Reading

Much ado about nothing

September 15, 2010


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... Continue Reading

Buyer, beware!

September 9, 2010


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... Continue Reading

How great a sacrifice?

August 24, 2010


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... Continue Reading

Green evolution

August 6, 2010


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.... Continue Reading

Is it time for the small-business initiative?

July 29, 2010


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... Continue Reading

Scenes from Europe - TheFabricator

Scenes from Europe

July 9, 2010


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


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... Continue Reading

Cleaning up (slowly) in the gulf

June 10, 2010


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... Continue Reading

Small components, big plans - TheFabricator

Small components, big plans

June 4, 2010


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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