FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Arc Welding | Blog Posts

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

December 11, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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

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Waterjet Cutting | Articles

Engineer, weld, fabricate, test, and perfect

December 10, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Shop Management | Articles

2015 metal fabrication forecast: Steady as she grows

December 8, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

FABTECH reporter’s notebook: A reason to smile

December 2, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Shop Management | Podcasts

How a small company competes in a big way

December 1, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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.

This Podcast is sponsored by:

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

FABTECH reporter notebook: A reason to be thankful

November 26, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

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

November 17, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Blog Posts

FABTECH 2014, and the hunt for smart capacity

November 10, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Materials Handling | Articles

The Erector set meets the material handling cart

November 10, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Shop Management | Articles

Piecing together the continuous improvement puzzle

November 10, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Laser Welding | Articles

Welding small, and growing

November 7, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Shop Management | Articles

What is good company culture, exactly?

November 6, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

Going beyond commodity sheet metal perforation

November 5, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Shop Management | Blog Posts

The future of the medium-sized metal fabricator

November 5, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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?

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Materials Handling | Articles

Reinventing the caster wheel

October 30, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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

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