FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
No-nonsense lean at Micron Metalworks - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

No-nonsense lean at Micron Metalworks

October 9, 2013 | By Tim Heston

This Minnesota fabricator took a pragmatic approach to lean manufacturing, one that takes the challenges of the job shop into account. Employees focused on communication, organization, and simplicity. The result was an operational and, most important, cultural transformation.

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Blog Posts

The virtues of paying your debts

October 8, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Whenever I think of the debt ceiling, I think of Vivek Gupta, managing director of Texas ProFab in Carrollton, Texas. In 2008—back when we were all debating whether we were really heading into a full blown recession (how quaint)—he told me that he not only pays the fabricator’s bills on...

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How one fabricator doubled revenue over 12 months - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

How one fabricator doubled revenue over 12 months

October 7, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing boils down to three principal services: design and engineering, prototyping, and production. One Georgia fabricator has evolved to offer all three.

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Blog Posts

Continuous improvement is forever

September 26, 2013 | By Tim Heston

When it comes to a lot of things about the economy, I’m a glass half-empty kind of guy. Will the government shut down soon because of the mess inside the beltway? Yeah, probably. The jobless rates are down this week! Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts. Five years after the financial crisis and...

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Shop Management | Podcasts

Bold moves during the Great Recession

September 19, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Five years ago, Dane Manufacturing, a small fabricator and stamper in Dane, Wis., made a bold move. As the credit market was freezing, Troy Berg, company president, began looking for a bolt-on acquisition. That bold move paid off. Read the article.

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Blog Posts

Five Septembers ago: Metal fabrication and the financial crisis

September 17, 2013 | By Tim Heston

In hindsight, it’s ironic. It was early September 2008, and FABTECH was set to open in Las Vegas in a few weeks. Up until that point a hot bed of growth, especially in real estate. But then Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. Still, even a few weeks into the crisis, the metal fabrication...

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Blog Posts

How a worldwide shipper acts like a job shop

September 9, 2013 | By Tim Heston

How is Maersk’s new Triple E class containerships—nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall—like a job shop? Forget the fact that, as reported by BusinessWeek, the behemoth is designed to go only 16 knots to save fuel. Sure, heat-capture devices use heat from the massive ship...

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The industry gets a quarterly physical - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

The industry gets a quarterly physical

September 5, 2013 | By Tim Heston

According to the inaugural Forming & Fabricating Job Shop Consumption Report, released in July, business isn’t horrible, but it’s not gangbusters either.

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Complete work instructions keystone of improvement - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Complete work instructions keystone of improvement

August 9, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Shops start improving by measuring and documenting what they already do, because they can’t improve what they don’t measure.

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The basics of wheel blasting - TheFabricator.com

Finishing | Articles

The basics of wheel blasting

August 1, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Blast cleaning can be an extremely effective way to prepare a part for coating. But if the machine isn’t set up, maintained, or monitored properly, the operation can go awry.

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Punch tooling strategy for punching thousands and thousands of holes - TheFabricator.com

Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

Punch tooling strategy for punching thousands and thousands of holes

August 1, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Carter Day International punches thousands of holes to make specialized screens. One screen can take several hours to punch. Problem is, the company doesn’t have enough volume to warrant using a specialized perforation press. So it uses a traditional turret punch press, but with highly durable tooling.

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Blog Posts

The gut-punch of Detroit in bankruptcy

July 29, 2013 | By Tim Heston

In 2009 I landed in Detroit and saw a billboard I’ll never forget. I was on my way to FMA's ALAW, the Advanced Laser Applications Workshop, and there was a massive billboard advertising something you rarely if ever see on the interstate. Metal fabricator W Industries was touting its ability to...

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Metals/Materials | Podcasts

Inspiring fabrication: Making the top of One World Trade Center

July 29, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Kammetal Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., just fabricated a bit of history-cladding for the beacon atop the (fittingly) 1,776-feet-tall One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. Company president Sam Kusack tells the story. Read the article.

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Blog Posts

Google Glass meets manufacturing

July 18, 2013 | By Tim Heston

We may be entering a new manufacturing age. OK, that’s hyperbole, but it’s one that comes to mind after you step back and think of just how far we’ve come, even during the past 10 years. First, consider the biggest challenges in U.S. manufacturing, most of which deals with high-product-mix...

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Shop Management | Articles

An end to silos and fiefdoms

July 12, 2013 | By Tim Heston

If an organization is looking to streamline its turnaround time—the moment an order is received to the time it is shipped to the customers—it requires healthy communication among employees and, not least, the destruction of silos and fiefdoms.

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