FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Turnaround time versus on-time delivery rates

July 24, 2012

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For years economic growth has been stuck in neutral. Economists are lowering their already low GDP growth projections for 2012. Regarding this, Julia Coronado, chief economist at BNP Paribas, gave Bloomberg an intriguing insight. “Things are so lean and mean, there aren’t a lot of excesses that...

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The soft skills of precision manufacturing

July 16, 2012

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In early 2010 I attended an event hosted by plasma cutting systems maker ITT Kaliburn, near Charleston, S.C. That's when I met Joe McNamara. He had led ITT heat transfer unit's plant near Buffalo, N.Y., through a major lean manufacturing transformation. A few weeks ago I caught up with McNamara,...

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Fabricating the American Dream - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating the American Dream

July 16, 2012

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What’s the current state of the American dream? So many seem to work hard and do everything right--but just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Metal fabricator revamps raw material purchasing strategy - TheFabricator.com

Metal fabricator revamps raw material purchasing strategy

July 16, 2012

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General Sheet Metal Works revamped the way it handles raw material purchases. Floor personnel now release specific orders, while the purchasing department communicates with suppliers about future demand and negotiates contracts. Most important, the company order just what it needs--and no more.

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Plantwide Communications at Jones Metal Products

July 13, 2012

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Length: 8:39

Mankato, Minn.-based Jones Metal Products partnered with PDP Solutions to launch a unique plantwide communication program, as Sarah Richards (pictured), Jones Metal CEO, explains. Read more.

Pi and K factors: The mathematical beauty of sheet metal

July 10, 2012

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I was never a math wiz, but I was blessed with good teachers. In high school, I remember sitting in Algebra II class and hearing one of my fellow students give a loud sigh before he raised his hand: “When will we ever use this?” My teacher shot back. “See the pencil you’re holding? The...

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Of fire and metal fabrication

July 3, 2012

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Manufacturing didn’t fare so well last month, falling just slightly into contraction territory, as measured by the Institute for Supply Management. The data support what a few shop owners have been telling me. “Business is softening.” That was Bruce Hupfer, director of technical sales at...

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advanced fume filtration

Clearing the air for heavy welding

June 28, 2012

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Joy Global does some seriously heavy fabrication, welding atop mining shovel components several stories tall. Weld fume control was becoming a problem, so the company installed an innovative, nonlocal fume collection system to help clear the air.

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Metal fabrication, patent pending

June 26, 2012

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Welders and other workers at The Roberts Co. in Winterville, N.C.--part of this year’s FAB 40 list of successful contract fabricators--are used to signing secrecy agreements from customers. Dave Staskelunas, the company’s vice president of fabrication services, said that more and more customers...

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The vitality of purposeful work - TheFabricator.com

The vitality of purposeful work

June 15, 2012

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The median age of the Vita Needle emloyee is 73. The company practices what one anthropologist calls eldersourcing. Considering the knowledge they've gained over the years, the elderly may become one of metal fabrication's greatest assets.

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Keeping up with the Joneses - TheFabricator.com

Keeping up with the Joneses

June 13, 2012

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Jones Metal Products has deep roots in Mankato, Minn. It began as an industrial fabricator, which took rough concepts and saw them through design, fabrication, and installation. Today, the company in one sense is following that tradition.

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The FAB 40: It's delivery time - TheFabricator.com

The FAB 40: It's delivery time

June 13, 2012

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The FABRICATOR's FAB 40 suggests that the manufacturing revival in the U.S. is alive and well.

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Being big, acting small - TheFabricator.com

Being big, acting small

June 13, 2012

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Minnesota fabricator rebrands itself, standardizes operations, and remains nimble, even after years of aggressive growth. Managers expect the firm to grow another 18 percent this year. That’s not small potatoes for one of the country’s largest contract metal fabricators.

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The pruned metal fabrication supply base

June 12, 2012

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Natural disasters turn people’s thoughts toward risk. Last year, between floods and tornados and other Weather Channel fodder, I visited several fabricators told me about their customers’ concerns about mitigating supply chain risk. For years, large OEMs have pruned their supply chains to the...

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Fabricate, install, maintain - TheFabricator.com

Fabricate, install, maintain

June 8, 2012

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The Roberts Co. isn’t a heavy industrial metal fabricator. It’s not a erector, general contractor, maintenance services provider, or engineering firm. It’s all of the above.

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