FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123

Blog Posts

FABTECH® 2016: Closing the loop

November 21, 2016 | By Tim Heston

When it came to new technology, FABTECH didn't disappoint. But this year, one theme dominated: closing the loop--or improving the entire process, from the initial quote to the final shipment.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Metal fabrication and the metals markets prepare for a Trump presidency

November 15, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The presidency usually doesn't have much immediate, direct impact on the economy, despite the campaign rhetoric we hear. But is this time different?

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Shop Management | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Job security in manufacturing: Why all the negativity?

November 7, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The labor market is tight. Wages are going up. In metal fabrication, small companies are paying just as well if not better than bigger firms, according to a recent survey from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International®. Considering all this, why all the negativity? High uncertainty about the future may have something to do with it.

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Shop Management | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Structural fabricator has trial-by-fire leadership succession

November 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Bass Mechanical, a mechanical contractor and structural fabricator in southeast Pennsylvania, has transformed during the past two years. The company founder died unexpectedly, and his 27-year-old son, who at one point did not plan to enter the family business, is setting the stage for long-term growth.

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Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Flexible metal fabrication, however you slice it

October 31, 2016 | By Tim Heston

MF&B Restaurant Systems Inc., a pizza oven manufacturer in Dunbar, Pa., increases its fabrication flexibility by shortening punch tool changeovers, making good use of form tools, and making product design choices.

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Safety | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Safety and ergonomics strategy at Heatcraft: Do it safely, or not at all

October 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration, a division of Lennox International, has a culture in which safety is baked into the organization’s technology, processes, and mindset. If a project can’t be done safely, it isn’t worth doing at all.

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Finishing | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Blast cleaning large fabrications efficiently

October 24, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Two blast room products aim to minimize the non-value-added time in manual blast cleaning.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Engagement, modern manufacturing, and why we work

October 20, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Variety is the spice of life, and it also may be the seed from which employee engagement can grow

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Shop Management | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Metal fabrication investment strategy: Keep buggering on

October 13, 2016 | By Tim Heston

This year’s “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from the FMA shows an industry that’s facing tight competition, but also one that is pushing on, investing, and making efficient use of resources.

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Bending | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Operator talent: The heart of the plate and angle rolling business

October 11, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Plate and angle rolling remains extremely dependent on operator skill. According to a U.S. roll shop roundtable discussion held at a Davi angle rolling event in Italy, that skill really is what sets a custom rolling operation apart.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Celebrating simplicity and flexibility on Manufacturing Day

October 7, 2016 | By Tim Heston

It's Manufacturing Day, when we celebrate where this industry has been, what it is, and, especially, where it is going.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Election season, management style, and the metal fabricator

October 6, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Cultural challenges on the shop floor may relate to challenges in politics and, for that matter, society at large.

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Laser Cutting | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Sheet metal blanking milestone: Continuous-feed laser blanking launches into production

October 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Earlier this year Worthington Specialty Processing, a toll processor serving the automotive industry, among others, installed a continuous-feed, coil-fed laser blanking line. An idea with roots in the 1990s has finally become reality.

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Laser Cutting | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Is this laser cutting lens damaged?

September 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Laser operators and maintenance technicians have a new diagnostic tool: a tiny crossed polarizer, which can detect lens stress. The crossed polarizer clips onto a smartphone and utilizes the phone’s polarized flat-panel display.

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Materials Handling | Articles | The FABRICATOR

Moving additive manufacturing forward

September 14, 2016 | By Tim Heston

EWI’s Buffalo Manufacturing Works, which opened in 2015, has resources covering all seven major categories of additive manufacturing. But having access to the technology and equipment in-house is just half the story. The other half involves experts in design, materials, processes, and quality all working together to move additive technology forward.

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