FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Focusing on information waste

January 15, 2013

By:

Yesterday the Brookings Institution, along with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, proposed a program that would involve the federal government designating 20 “manufacturing universities” to prepare students for the sectors that need engineering help. Most intriguing, perhaps...

Continue Reading

Taxes, skilled workers, and certainty

January 10, 2013

By:

Will a new employee perform well? What will the new tax environment be? These challenges and more create levels of uncertainty that drive business decisions.

Continue Reading

Fabricating with purpose - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating with purpose

January 10, 2013

By:

Cambridge Engineering made the transition from batch manufacturing that threw labor at production problems to one-piece flow and continuous improvement. A good corporate culture played a critical role.

Continue Reading

Metal fabricating with focus amid chaos

January 8, 2013

By:

Early last year, I recall eating lunch in the break room at Atlanta-based Metcam, which hosted a press brake training seminar run by Steve Benson and organized by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. Sitting across from me was a press brake supervisor, we chatted a bit about his tours...

Continue Reading

Taiwan’s river of commerce - TheFabricator.com

Taiwan’s river of commerce

January 7, 2013

By:

Taiwanese metal manufacturers have grown from small, family involved entrepreneurial shops to world-class suppliers of parts and technology.

Continue Reading

A thanks to you all

December 17, 2012

By:

When I visit a contract metal fabricator, often the focus really isn’t about the metal parts or the fancy machinery. It’s about co-workers, who often happen to be family members. Some aren’t blood relatives, but they might as well be. There’s a real sense of community at these shops. I’ve...

Continue Reading

The competitive cluster in metal fabrication

December 13, 2012

By:

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out the strength of U.S. manufacturing when it comes to--get ready for the technical jargon--“big stuff.” By that the Journal reporter meant mining equipment and heavy machinery. Economist Chris Kuehl pointed out this fact in a recent edition of...

Continue Reading

Unions, right-to-work laws, and technical training

December 12, 2012

By:

On Dec. 20, 1936, workers at a  GM plant in Flint, Mich., had enough--and sat down. Many consider that sit-down strike in 1936 as the impetus for the modern labor movement. That made yesterday’s news more poignant--when Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature made Michigan a right-to-work state. People...

Continue Reading

Skills gap, or education gap?

December 11, 2012

By:

Government officials are paying more attention to manufacturing these days. It’s now politically prudent to preach the merits of reshoring, near-shoring, and the return of the “good manufacturing job.” Of course, this also puts more scrutiny on manufacturing as an industry. Are these good...

Continue Reading

A matter of trust - TheFabricator.com

A matter of trust

December 3, 2012

By:

Trust is something that’s earned not only through hard work, but also by treating employees not as “direct labor hours,” but as, well, people.

Continue Reading

2013 Forecast: Rosy for some, sterling mediocrity for others - TheFabricator.com

2013 Forecast: Rosy for some, sterling mediocrity for others

December 3, 2012

By:

Consumer spending is up. Even housing is up. Yes, pundits preach global uncertainty, even gloom and doom. But as owners of small or medium-sized businesses, metal fabricators have orders to fill, and next year many expect the volume of orders to continue or even increase a bit.

Continue Reading

Ironworker basics: Cut it clean - TheFabricator.com

Ironworker basics: Cut it clean

December 3, 2012

By:

How does an operator avoid distortion and burrs? For the ironworker’s common cutting stations--the punch, angle cutter, notcher, and plate shear--it boils down to matching the job at hand with some basic variables.

Continue Reading

Thankful for the people of metal fabrication

November 19, 2012

By:

This Thursday my family will continue a long, albeit corny tradition. We go around the table and tell people what we’re thankful for. It’s a refreshing respite from all the dreary news--about China, the European mess, the Fiscal Cliff, and all the uncertainty and dysfunction from our nation’s...

Continue Reading

At FABTECH 2012: Two people manufacturing will need

November 12, 2012

By:

What a crowd in Las Vegas. Official attendance numbers, which are audited, aren't released yet, but early estimates are that today may have been one of FABTECH's most well-attended opening days. Vendors I spoke with were happy with the crowds, and attendees said their shops were busy. Some have...

Continue Reading

Taxes and the deficit: The perils of oversimplification - TheFabricator.com

Taxes and the deficit: The perils of oversimplification

November 9, 2012

By:

Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, Lawrence, Kan., offers a reasonable look at taxes and what they mean to business planners.

Continue Reading