FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Manufacturing is not farming

September 27, 2011

By:

In manufacturing, fewer Americans are producing more. The output keeps growing, the employment numbers keep shrinking, and this spurs people to think about corn and soybeans. The same thing that happened to farming--which employs so few but produces so much--is happening to manufacturing. But...

Continue Reading

Manufacturing: The most powerful jobs engine of all

September 13, 2011

By:

On Sunday The New York Times business section put a metal fabricator front-and-center. The reporter visited Vermeer, a Pella, Iowa, manufacturer of heavy equipment--and a manufacturer The FABRICATOR covered several years ago. The Times reporter pointed out that “as president Obama urges Congress...

Continue Reading

How a shop devoted to improvement improved - TheFabricator.com

How a shop devoted to improvement improved

September 13, 2011

By:

At a major automotive OEM, a support operation is devoted to continuous improvement projects for the assembly line, fabricating items as needed to make life easier for line workers. Unfortunately, the improvement shop wasn’t very organized. As managers soon realized, it was time to improve the improvement shop.

Continue Reading

How the sales function became so important - TheFabricator.com

How the sales function became so important

September 13, 2011

By:

Fred Wilke of Wilke Enginuity knows how important the sales function is. Small jobs helped the company grow, but in 2007 they were looking to take the company to the next level. It was time to concentrate on the larger contracts. Then the recession happened.

Continue Reading

Same building, new people, new business - TheFabricator.com

Same building, new people, new business

September 13, 2011

By:

A Tulsa, Okla., job shop launches just as the economy starts to recover. The shop moved into a facility that was previously home to another, now defunct fabricator. The building is old--but everything else is new.

Continue Reading

Knowing the grammar of metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

Precision Sheet Metal Operator certification provides broad foundational knowledge

September 13, 2011

By:

Several employees at Metcam, an Atlanta-area fabricator, underwent a relatively new program--the Precision Sheet Metal Operator, or PSMO, certification from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. The certification requires in-depth knowledge of a range of fabrication processes--providing the foundation for a versatile, cross-trained, highly valuable employee.

Continue Reading

Aerospace manufacturer champions employee ownership - TheFabricator.com

Aerospace manufacturer champions employee ownership

September 13, 2011

By:

This California fabricator finds success with its employee stock ownership plan. The ESOP gives everyone a stake in the business. ESOPs go against conventional wisdom in retirement planning, where the financial gurus promote investment diversification. But for LeFiell employees, investing in the ESOP has paid off--big time.

Continue Reading

The job shop schedule: Always imperfect, ever adapting - TheFabricator.com

The job shop schedule: Always imperfect, ever adapting

September 9, 2011

By:

There's one constant about job shops specializing in high-mix, low-volume manufacturing: change. Changes happen continually, which means schedules must continually adapt. Today, software is allowing job shops to ensure the production schedule reflects reality and, most important, continually adapts.

Continue Reading

Manufacturing's Multiplier Effect - TheFabricator.com

Manufacturing's Multiplier Effect

September 9, 2011

By:

Sales at B&W Trailer Hitches dropped severely during the recession, but the fabricator had no mass layoffs. Instead, workers gave back to the community, fixing and repairing public parks, community centers, even employees’ homes. Judging by the company’s recent performance, such a strategy wasn’t just altruistic. It was good business.

Continue Reading

Metal fabricator asks what else customers need--and grows

September 2, 2011

By:

This Buffalo, N.Y., job shop is difficult to pigeonhole. It offers contract fabrication services, assembles complex material handling systems, and distributes certain products, including rooftop support systems. The company grew so diverse simply by asking what else their customers needed. In other words, managers followed the market.

Continue Reading

No weak link allowed - TheFabricator.com

No weak link allowed

September 2, 2011

By:

Holloway Houston Inc. uses waterjet cutting to fabricate critical linkages for its extreme testbed that's capable of exerting up to 5,000 tons of pulling force. Any weak link between the workpiece and testbed structure can render the pull test invalid--which is why waterjet cutting components to extremely tight tolerances is so important.

Continue Reading

Distributor, metal fabricator, metal finisher--wraparound service - TheFabricator.com

Distributor, metal fabricator, metal finisher--wraparound service

September 2, 2011

By:

This Atlanta area company is an extruded metal distributor, architectural metal fabricator, and metal finisher all rolled into one. Such vertical integration gives the company a leg up over the competition.

Continue Reading

Metal fabricator’s product launch proves profitable - TheFabricator.com

Metal fabricator’s product launch proves profitable

September 2, 2011

By:

A business doesn't have to be glamorous to be profitable. For Zeus metal Works, a Siler City, N.C., fabricator, heavy-duty cabinets, a necessity in many industries, have opened the door (so to speak) to new business opportunities.

Continue Reading

Job shop quotes competitively but fairly--not below cost - TheFabricator.com

Being fair and competitive

September 2, 2011

By:

Salem Metal Fabricators quotes a fair price, regardless of the economy, and has been able to maintain long-term customer relationships because of it.

Continue Reading

Metal fabricating with a sense of ownership

August 30, 2011

By:

I really like my job--but not in a corny sense. I don’t wake up and immediately whistle away in gleeful anticipation of the workday. Some days I feel I can’t write another word, while other days I type several pages before I realize that what I just wrote is either unintelligible or just plain...

Continue Reading