FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
How small batch sizes define modern manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

How small batch sizes define modern manufacturing

August 1, 2011

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The long-held belief that setups should be amortized over the largest possible lot sizes needs to change. As setup times become shorter, they become less relevant, and, according to some, so does the old notion of economic order quantities.

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Putting talent to work - TheFabricator.com

Putting talent to work

August 1, 2011

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Arin Inc. has evolved from a steel rule blanking house to a modern metal fabricator capable of producing precision, laser cut blanks. Bu workers can see history every day--a tool room for steel rule die remains, as do the mechanical presses. A tour of Arin's shop is a walk through time, a gallery showing what metal fabrication talent has produced over the decades.

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Fabricator finds path to skilled labor - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator finds path to skilled labor

August 1, 2011

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Crow Corp. had trouble finding the right person for the job, so company management took a bold step—and outsourced the hiring process. Today, the Houston-area fabricator is feeling the benefits.

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Design for manufacturability opens doors - TheFabricator.com

Design for manufacturability opens doors

August 1, 2011

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Dawson Doors, a fabricator in a small town in western New York, has developed a global presence in the high-end enclosure and door fabrication markets. By closely collaborating with customers, the unique fabrication company has continued to grow.

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Fabricator touts precision production - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator touts precision production

August 1, 2011

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Diversified Metal Products’ demanding niche—nuclear fabrication—spurred growth throughout the economic downturn. Its mix of production and one-off fabrication may give the contract fabricator a leg up in the years ahead.

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Shaking off the albatross of manufacturing’s image - TheFabricator.com

Shaking off the albatross of manufacturing’s image

August 1, 2011

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A northeastern job shop gets a new building and a complete makeover, with bright colors, a sleek front office, a quality assurance room that looks like a laboratory, and with it all, a new image.

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Flexible metal fabrication needs flexible people

July 26, 2011

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When I interviewed executives at Mayville Engineering Co., a seven-plant, 1,000-employee behemoth of a contract fabricator, I could tell the CEO Bob Kamphuis was proudest of one statistic. The company delivered on time over 99 percent of the time. On time delivery of quality parts lies at the...

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Manufacturing for the best minds of tomorrow

July 18, 2011

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It was refreshing to see the skilled-labor crisis--an issue near and dear to metal fabrication--grace the front page of the Sunday New York Times last week. It was the first in a weekly series called “Learn to Earn.” That’s such a great title. It hints at a pervasive problem. Recent grads may...

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Project engineer changes careers, chooses metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

Project engineer changes careers, chooses metal fabrication

July 18, 2011

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Jacob Melton quit his desk job in Chicago, drove home to Houston, and with his father bought a metal fabrication company. Several years later, even after a severe recession, it turns out that was a smart career move.

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The benefits of technical certification in metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

The benefits of technical certification in metal fabrication

July 18, 2011

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The prototype shop at International Gaming Technologies employs serious talent. They take a sheet metal part through the entire fabrication process, from laser cutting and bending to welding and grinding. To qualify for a job here requires technical knowhow about a variety of manufacturing processes. This is why management has decided to use FMA’s Precision Sheet Metal Operator certification as a benchmark.

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The industry needs “technical leaders”

July 14, 2011

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FMA survey reveals hiring managers are looking for technical leaders, those with technical knowhow with the ability to look beyond their individual work cell.

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Divine Rolling - TheFabricator.com

Induction key to complex beam rolling job

July 8, 2011

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Shop rolls beams for a unique place of worship--using an unusual process Abstract: Hardwick Co., a rolling shop in Birmingham, Ala., used its unusual induction beam rolling process to form beams into complex shapes involving multiple radii. Without such capability, the impressive design of the Ave Maria Oratory would not have been possible.

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The skilled worker’s pursuit of happiness

July 5, 2011

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This week’s pomp, sparkle, and pyrotechnics celebrated, among other things, Jefferson’s inspirational sentence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty...

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Job shop managers, the next generation

June 14, 2011

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At every gathering of shop managers in this business--at events like FABTECH® and The FABRICATOR®’s Leadership Summit--I always notice how diverse people’s backgrounds are. Most of the metal fabrication that goes on in this country happens in small businesses, firms much like Amtex Precision...

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MEC Robotic Welding

How a big fabricator grows even bigger

June 7, 2011

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Mayville Engineering Co. of Mayville, Wis., has grown into a metal fabrication powerhouse, with seven plants that altogether employ more than 1,000 workers. But it hasn’t been an easy ride. Less than a decade ago, MEC was struggling to find its way. Today, the company has a conservative, healthy balance sheet, and plenty of runway room for serious growth.

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