FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Shop Management | Articles

Metal fabricators spend big to build capacity

January 22, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Overall projected capital spending growth has slowed from the dramatic rebound seen postrecession, but the growth continues, especially in capacity-building equipment.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Free education and political football

January 19, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Making community college free is a bold move, but it shouldn't be used as a political tool. Unfortunately, that's the reality.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

The one collar of the knowledge worker

January 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Technological devices are changing the world, but in a very human way. It may not be about what technology can do. Instead, it may be about how technology changes our lives.

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Shop Management | Articles

Flying high at FABTECH

January 8, 2015 | By Tim Heston

More than 30,000 visited the FABTECH 2014, a show that had several dominant themes: skilled labor, intuitive manufacturing technology, and supply chain collaboration.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

A new year and a better image for manufacturing

December 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

As 2015 approaches, manufacturing's image is in pretty good shape, all things considered.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

The patio furniture reshoring test

December 15, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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Automation and Robotics | Articles

One metal fabricator, two value streams

December 12, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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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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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