FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Reporting to OSHA after a severe injury

May 2, 2016

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During their presentation at the FMA Annual Meeting, attorney David Jones, along with Doug Raff, owner of Paragon Industrial Controls, showed a lot about what a fabricator can expect during an OSHA inspection after reporting a major injury. They gave insights as to how companies can best navigate the OSHA inspection and citation process.

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Tennessee metal manufacturer ramps up research

April 27, 2016

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MECO, a metal manufacturer in east Tennessee, has a history both in product line and contract manufacturing. Moving forward, company leaders consider R&D the key to future growth.

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The sheet metal bending department evolves

April 27, 2016

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As cutting productivity rises to unprecedented levels, fabricators tackle their next bottleneck: bending. Today, panel benders, folders, and press brakes with automated tool changing are expanding forming possibilities and making new levels of bending productivity possible.

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Big-league metal fabrication

April 13, 2016

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In September 2015 contract fabricator BTD expanded to the Southeast with its purchase of Impulse Manufacturing. The deal hints at just how scalable custom metal fabrication may be.

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FMA Annual Meeting: Navigating into metal fabricating’s future

April 13, 2016

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This year’s FMA Annual Meeting, held in San Diego in February, celebrated the technology companies need to compete and the worker skill shops need to sustain that success through the generations.

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Offline weld robot programming evolves

April 4, 2016

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Several years ago Groupe Gravel invested in robotic welding and plasma cutting. And from the very start, for most work, technicians never programmed jobs using a teach pendant.

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How fabricators manage machining

March 31, 2016

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These days certain custom fabrication operations have in-house machining capabilities. How these capabilities are managed depends on a company’s location, access to talent, and customer demands. The FABRICATOR talked with managers at two custom fabricators, each of which takes a distinct approach to managing its machining operations.

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What brings youth to the sheet metal business?

March 31, 2016

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How can a fab shop bring talented youth into the fold? Two members of FMA’s Young Professionals’ Council tell what sparked their interest--and it isn’t what you might expect.

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New ideas spur success at Minnesota metal fabricator

March 21, 2016

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Bermo, a stamper and fabricator in Minnesota, takes idea generation seriously. Some of the company’s latest initiatives, including rapid prototyping and automated quoting, have come from employees starting a sentence with, “Wouldn’t it be great if …”

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So you want to buy a metal fabricator

March 21, 2016

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Buying a company isn’t just about getting a certain multiple. A buyer needs to define a buying strategy, analyze a seller’s business model, and uncover what the seller’s company truly is worth.

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Product development drives growth at Illinois metal fabricator

March 16, 2016

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The Great Recession nearly killed J-tec Industries, a cart manufacturer in East Peoria, Ill. But the company pulled through and, thanks to its product development efforts, is now experiencing record growth. During the past two years, its workforce has doubled in size.

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In custom metal fabrication, nothing is typical

March 16, 2016

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Average on-time delivery rates in custom fabrication have remained stubbornly low. Clear, constant communication and transparency can change this. And here software can help, even at the smallest shops.

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Scholarship fund to honor Dick Kallage

March 15, 2016

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FMA’s Nuts, Bolts, & Thingamajigs foundation has set up a memorial scholarship fund in honor of Dick Kallage, an influential member of FMA and columnist for The FABRICATOR magazine. Kallage died of cancer Feb. 18.

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Positive manufacturing news: A well-kept secret during the election season

March 14, 2016

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Negativity reigns during this elections season. Here's a secret: Some good news does indeed exist, even in manufacturing.

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FMA Annual Meeting: Sharing ideas to build a better business

March 10, 2016

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Networking, conversation, and idea sharing are at the heart of the FMA Annual Meeting. For instance, what if a shop salesperson learned to operate a tube laser? That idea at one roundtable got participants talking.

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