FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

FABTECH reporter’s notebook: A contract metal fabrication metaphor, in tube

November 17, 2014

By:

Atlanta played host to FABTECH last week, when tens of thousands descended upon the Georgia World Congress Center. Most said they expected good times for 2015, but it's a complex business that requires careful coordination. A unique exoskeletal racecar on display last week proved to be an apt metaphor of metal fabrication at its best.

Continue Reading

FABTECH 2014, and the hunt for smart capacity

November 10, 2014

By:

FABTECH 2014 is upon us, and industry leaders come to Atlanta to hunt for not just additional capacity—but smart capacity.

Continue Reading

The Erector set meets the material handling cart

November 10, 2014

By:

Three friends grew up in Sweden playing with LEGO®s and Erector sets. The creations they could make were endless, but their assembly method was pretty much standardized. Why, they asked, couldn’t a similar concept apply to material handling carts in a factory?

Continue Reading

Piecing together the continuous improvement puzzle

November 10, 2014

By:

Various improvement initiatives related to 5S, part flow, communication, management structure, and planning led to a stark change at Miller Welding & Machine Co., a contract fabricator in western Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, everything just clicked.

Continue Reading

Welding small, and growing

November 7, 2014

By:

MicroArc Welding specializes in putting tiny welds on tiny parts. It’s all manual. It requires a careful touch that few people have. For MicroArc, an eight-person weld shop outside Boston, this tiny niche has led to big opportunity.

Continue Reading

What is good company culture, exactly?

November 6, 2014

By:

Good culture may boil down to giving people an opportunity to contribute beyond their traditional job description, and rewarding them for it.

Continue Reading

Going beyond commodity sheet metal perforation

November 5, 2014

By:

Accurate Perforating doesn’t just make holes anymore. It provides entire perforated and fabricated sheet metal components. The 200-employee Chicago manufacturer has done a lot to stand out in a consolidated sector.

Continue Reading

The future of the medium-sized metal fabricator

November 5, 2014

By:

Small shops will be there for the small jobs; large shops are investing in equipment to compete; but what about the shop in the middle?

Continue Reading

Reinventing the caster wheel

October 30, 2014

By:

It sounds funny, but casters really are the wheels that assist in the smooth part flow that lean manufacturing demands.

Continue Reading

The human side of selling a business

October 30, 2014

By:

Cancer greatly altered the ownership sitatuation for GH Metal Solutions in 2005, but several years of hard work to put the company on a new growth path helped the fabricator to find just rhe right owner.

Continue Reading

White House shines spotlight on manufacturing

October 27, 2014

By:

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

Continue Reading

Uncovering waste with an all-encompassing metric

October 22, 2014

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Plasma cutting or laser cutting? How about both?

October 22, 2014

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Giving a welding robot some eyes

October 22, 2014

By:

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.

Continue Reading

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

October 22, 2014

By:

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.

Continue Reading