FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

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

Old-school fabricator takes it one step at a time

February 25, 2011

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Shortly after the company was founded as a welding and repair shop in 1949, Wells-Osborn Spiral Stairs found a niche in building spiral staircases. Founder Bill Osborn bought some equipment and made some of his own. Some of Osborn’s original ideas and equipment are still in use at the company 60 years later.

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Electric motorcycles? Yes please!

February 14, 2011

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In my previous blog entry, I made some comparisons between several gasoline-powered and alternative-fuel vehicles: Two passenger cars (a Toyota Prius® and a Toyota Camry®), two exotic sports cars (a Tesla Roadster Sport and a Lotus Evora), and two motorcycles (a model S from Zero Motorcycles and...

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Electric motorcycles? No thanks.

January 31, 2011

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Everyone knows that liquids, mainly gasoline and diesel, have been the main fuels for vehicles for decades. Although steam and electricity competed with gasoline at the turn of the last century, gasoline won that battle and ruled the automotive industry ever since. However, the oil shocks of the...

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Tube, pipe cutting equipment-Part 1 - TheFabricator.com

Tube, pipe cutting equipment - Part I

January 24, 2011

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Tube and pipe cutting advancements include saws that are programmable to cope with varying cross sections and a variety of material hardnesses; a rotary axis for waterjet cutting; and automation.

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Fabricating tube, learning lessons in Americaís Dairyland - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating tube, learning lessons in America's Dairyland

January 21, 2011

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J & D Tube Benders Inc., founded as a partnership to produce a single part number in 1971, today generates $16 million in annual revenues and is on the cusp of the third generation of family ownership. The key to its longevity is learning valuable lessons throughout the past four decades, finding opportunities during expansions and downturns.

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OSHA is self-funded: Fact or fiction?

January 13, 2011

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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...

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Spiraling out of control

December 8, 2010

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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...

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Snow mean feat - TheFabricator.com

Snow mean feat

December 2, 2010

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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

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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,...

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The changing American landscape

October 14, 2010

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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...

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Waiting for the first shoe to drop

September 23, 2010

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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...

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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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