FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston


FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123

Shop Management | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Uncovering waste with an all-encompassing metric

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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.

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Laser Cutting | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Plasma cutting or laser cutting? How about both?

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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.

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Automation and Robotics | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Giving a welding robot some eyes

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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.

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Assembly and Joining | Articles | The FABRICATOR

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

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

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.

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Shop Management | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Fabricating thin with photochemical etching

October 20, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Faspro Technologies identified a manufacturing need inthe alte 1990s that could be met with the use of photochemical etching technology. It has since built a successful business serving the electronics industry.

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Automation and Robotics | Blog Posts

The information age of automation

October 14, 2014 | By Tim Heston

These days automation and efficiency are givens. Today, more executives are talking about something that, in the high-product-mix world of metal fabrication, can be incredibly complex. They're talking about information.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Manufacturing Day, and the joy of making things

October 3, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing Day celebrates continuous improvement, excellence, and, perhaps most important, the tinkerer in us all.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Skilled labor crisis, or a crisis of character?

October 1, 2014 | By Tim Heston

We call it a "skilled labor crisis," but is it really about skill? Skills can be taught. The real challenge may be much broader.

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Safety | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Why safety is personal at Michigan metal fabricator

September 29, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Sue Rollins takes safety personally, and for good reason. The quality assurance manager and safety coordinator at Genzink Steel, Holland Mich., has a life history greatly affected by workplace hazards. To be effective and to convey her message, she makes quality and safety personal.

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Shop Management | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Having the right information at the right time

September 29, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Advanced Metal Components has endured tragedy and evolved into a major employer in rural Swainsboro, Ga. Part of it comes from having the right technology, but most of the company’s evolution has involved a perception change about inventory management.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

How to reduce subjectivity in continuous improvement

September 16, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing critical-path time, or MCT, puts a new perspective on activity across the enterprise. A job is either being worked on, or it's not. Period.

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Metals/Materials | Blog Posts

A shop floor that needs both the old and new

September 10, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Faspro Technologies has both the old and new: automated lasers and press brakes alongside rows of small manual presses. In a sense, the Arlington Heights, Ill., shop paints an accurate picture of modern manufacturing in the United States.

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Shop Management | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Why similar fabricators can have very different financial results

August 28, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Contract metal fabricators may have similar assets and offer similar services, but have very different financial results. The differences may come from differing customer mixes, but it also comes from the fact that many shops have highly concentrated sources of revenue. Lose one big account, and financial results seriously suffer.

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Metals/Materials | Blog Posts

Swindling, murder, and additive manufacturing

August 19, 2014 | By Tim Heston

A generation or two from now, additive manufacturing may have changed everything, but the technology doesn't have storybook origins.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Metal fabrication and the Internet of things

August 12, 2014 | By Tim Heston

If the majority of activities in a supply chain added value, what kind kind of world would that create?

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