FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

White House shines spotlight on manufacturing

October 27, 2014

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The White House released a list of manufacturing initiatives today that involve various government agencies. A few programs in the release really stand out.

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Uncovering waste with an all-encompassing metric

October 22, 2014

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Manufacturing critical-path time, MCT, is a broad metric that encompasses the entire enterprise. The shorter an organization's MCT, the more adaptable and successful it can be.

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Plasma cutting or laser cutting? How about both?

October 22, 2014

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Not all parts need the tight-tolernace edge that laser cutting provides; now a fabricator canhave the fine touch of laser cutting and the poweful force of plasma cutting for thicker materials in one machine.

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Giving a welding robot some eyes

October 22, 2014

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Vision systems for a welding application usually are reserved for critical jobs associated with high costs of failure. New technology developments, however, may be introducing this technology to a new audience.

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Cut, bend, weld, paint, assemble—box—and ship

October 22, 2014

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Fabricators didn't join the profession because they love packaging and shipping. A custom-box-making machine may be just the thing to allow them to focus on the fun stuff.

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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.