FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

The patio furniture reshoring test

December 15, 2014

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Businesses are reshoring when it makes sense to do so. This includes items requiring quick-response, such as seasonal items that hinge on less predictable demand factors, like the weather.

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One metal fabricator, two value streams

December 12, 2014

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For decades Nu-Way Industries operated with a conventional management structure. In recent years, managers at the Des Plaines, Ill., fabricator discovered that the two kinds of orders the company processed, engineered to order and make to stock, really called for two distinct value streams, each operating under a different business model.

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The energy boom, welding, and the modern-day cowboy

December 11, 2014

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Welders are the mortar holding the energy boom together, and today, we need more mortar than ever.

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Engineer, weld, fabricate, test, and perfect

December 10, 2014

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Rando Productions juggles various projects from various customers—TV shows, commercials, theme park attractions—and each has its own timeline. It’s all one-off, nonrepeat work. Sound familiar?

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2015 metal fabrication forecast: Steady as she grows

December 8, 2014

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Fabricators expect steady growth for 2015. At the same time, they’re gearing up to handle increasing customer demand by investing in capacity-building equipment.

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FABTECH reporter’s notebook: A reason to smile

December 2, 2014

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According to November manufacturing data, industry hummed along in November, shrugging off the economic slowdown in much of the rest of the world. Drew Greenblatt isn't surprised.

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How a small company competes in a big way

December 1, 2014

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Length: 10:00

This month Senior Editor Tim Heston talks with Michael Chirchirillo, operations manager at Cary, Ill.-based Chirch Global Manufacturing, about how the fabricator developed the Chirch Global Manufacturing Network, a group of 14 family-owned businesses, all in different competitive markets, that collaborate to compete. Read the story.

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FABTECH reporter notebook: A reason to be thankful

November 26, 2014

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Managers at one shop did the moral thing back in 2009, and that moral decision turned out to be a smart business decision, too. That's something to be thankful for.

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

November 17, 2014

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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.

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FABTECH 2014, and the hunt for smart capacity

November 10, 2014

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

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The Erector set meets the material handling cart

November 10, 2014

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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?

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Piecing together the continuous improvement puzzle

November 10, 2014

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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.

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Welding small, and growing

November 7, 2014

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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.

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What is good company culture, exactly?

November 6, 2014

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

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Going beyond commodity sheet metal perforation

November 5, 2014

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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.

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