FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Fabricating thin with photochemical etching

October 20, 2014

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Faspro Technologies identified a manufacturing need inthe alte 1990s that could be met with the use of photochemical etching technology. It has since built a successful business serving the electronics industry.

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The information age of automation

October 14, 2014

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These days automation and efficiency are givens. Today, more executives are talking about something that, in the high-product-mix world of metal fabrication, can be incredibly complex. They're talking about information.

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Manufacturing Day, and the joy of making things

October 3, 2014

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Manufacturing Day celebrates continuous improvement, excellence, and, perhaps most important, the tinkerer in us all.

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Skilled labor crisis, or a crisis of character?

October 1, 2014

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We call it a "skilled labor crisis," but is it really about skill? Skills can be taught. The real challenge may be much broader.

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Why safety is personal at Michigan metal fabricator

September 29, 2014

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Sue Rollins takes safety personally, and for good reason. The quality assurance manager and safety coordinator at Genzink Steel, Holland Mich., has a life history greatly affected by workplace hazards. To be effective and to convey her message, she makes quality and safety personal.

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Having the right information at the right time

September 29, 2014

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Advanced Metal Components has endured tragedy and evolved into a major employer in rural Swainsboro, Ga. Part of it comes from having the right technology, but most of the company’s evolution has involved a perception change about inventory management.

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How to reduce subjectivity in continuous improvement

September 16, 2014

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Manufacturing critical-path time, or MCT, puts a new perspective on activity across the enterprise. A job is either being worked on, or it's not. Period.

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A shop floor that needs both the old and new

September 10, 2014

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Faspro Technologies has both the old and new: automated lasers and press brakes alongside rows of small manual presses. In a sense, the Arlington Heights, Ill., shop paints an accurate picture of modern manufacturing in the United States.

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Why similar fabricators can have very different financial results

August 28, 2014

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Contract metal fabricators may have similar assets and offer similar services, but have very different financial results. The differences may come from differing customer mixes, but it also comes from the fact that many shops have highly concentrated sources of revenue. Lose one big account, and financial results seriously suffer.

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Producing a little bit of everything, every day

August 19, 2014

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Length: 6:08

Legrand’s West Hartford, Conn., plant produces cable management systems and has been on a lean manufacturing journey since the early 1990s. Results of improvement efforts abound, including quick tool-change stations by the company’s punch presses. The FABRICATOR sat down with Michael Kijak, West Hartford plant manager and Rui Monteiro, one of the company’s lean managers, to talk about some of the highlights. Read the article.

Swindling, murder, and additive manufacturing

August 19, 2014

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A generation or two from now, additive manufacturing may have changed everything, but the technology doesn't have storybook origins.

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Metal fabrication and the Internet of things

August 12, 2014

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If the majority of activities in a supply chain added value, what kind kind of world would that create?

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Lean data flow: From CAD to ERP to the shop floor

August 7, 2014

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Fabricators sell their ability to produce the right part in the right quantity and at the right time, and to do that requires good information. Communication troubles arise if front office systems don’t communicate with each other, and this can include CAD and ERP.

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The transformative power of the laser

August 6, 2014

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The laser has helped define the modern precision metal fabrication industry, and this year’s Advanced Laser Applications Workshop shows just how far the laser has come. Blink once, and you miss another technological milestone.

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How to build a little of everything, every day

August 6, 2014

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Legrand’s West Hartford facility has been on the lean journey for several decades, and the journey hasn’t stopped. The focus continues to be on clear communication and documentation, good metrics, ergonomics and safety, staff incentives—and producing a little of everything every day.

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