FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

For-profit education and manufacturing

December 13, 2010

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Do you dream of raking in big bucks? Well then, I’ve got news for you: Try the education field. I’m serious. Of course I’m not talking about actually teaching. I’m talking about administration. And don’t even think about the public schools. I’m not talking about Harvard either. I’m...

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Junk e-mail and unemployment

December 6, 2010

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I used to joke about my own little leading economic indicator, the JEI ... or my “Junk E-Mail Index.” I sometimes called it the FEI too, replacing “junk” with “forwarded.” In the 1990s, when e-mail was new and unemployment was incredibly low, my JEI was incredibly high. I attributed...

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FABTECH ushers in growth - TheFabricator.com

FABTECH ushers in growth

December 2, 2010

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At this year’s show, many attendees said they expected significant growth ahead. Some companies have acquired previous competitors, and the recession’s survivors are gearing up for growth.

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Fabricators anticipate growth in 2011 - TheFabricator.com

Fabricators anticipate growth in 2011

December 2, 2010

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Metal fabricators expect continued growth in 2011, but uncertainties abound. Many firms are going into the New Year with a straightforward strategy: Improve what you can control to prepare for what they can’t.

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Fabricator growth strategy: Lower cost brings greater profit - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator growth strategy: Lower cost brings greater profit

December 2, 2010

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Hi-Tech Industries of New York invests heavily in automation, including a new laser cutting center and robotic press brake--large investments unusual for a typical job shop. But this is no typical job shop.

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Fabricating to the drumbeat - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating to the drumbeat

December 2, 2010

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A central Ohio job shop uses a mix of improvement methodologies-- including the theory of constraints--to reduce lead-times from weeks to days.

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Two realities of economic recovery

November 30, 2010

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After more than a year looking, my neighbor finally landed a job. He previously worked as a construction manager, which is undoubtedly why it took him so long to find work again. His new job isn’t in construction but instead is related to supply chain management. He sells software that helps...

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Giving thanks for skill, engagement, and curiosity

November 22, 2010

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Later this week I’ll be stuffing a turkey (and myself) and giving thanks--thanks for family and friends, of course, but also for something my mind’s been mulling over for the past few weeks: human engagement, and not the betrothal kind. I’m just talking about direct, concise, clear engagement...

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FABTECH: An industry physical

November 16, 2010

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As a reporter for the industry, I’ve always treated FABTECH as a kind of metal fabrication physical. A healthy show is a sign of a healthy industry--usually. Two years ago FABTECH’s opening-day attendance--on Oct. 6--was the biggest on record, despite the financial crisis that exploded onto...

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Another day, another economic recovery - TheFabricator.com

Another day, another economic recovery

November 12, 2010

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One Columbus, Ohio, job shop recovered quickly from the recession. The organization has a history of financial conservatism and pragmatism—and today’s black ink is a testament to the shop’s success.

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Using watts, again - TheFabricator.com

Using watts, again

November 12, 2010

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A West Coast metal fabricator, Laser Cutting Northwest developed a product called the regenerator, which generates electricity from exhausted air. One application includes dust collectors for laser cutting systems. Installed into the shop’s own systems, the regenerator produces enough electricity to power a third of the shop lights.

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Tube bending with no straights? No problem - TheFabricator.com

Tube bending with no straights? No problem

November 1, 2010

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A Wisconsin tube shop invests in an unusual, freeform bending technology that can bend tube sections with no straight sections between bends. Different radii requires no tool changeouts or complex tooling setups. Instead, an operator changes the code in the controller.

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The power of predictability

October 25, 2010

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Several years ago Doug Gardner, president of Johnson City, N.Y.-based Hi-Tech Industries of New York, landed what’s increasingly rare today for fabricators: a multiyear contract. The shop’s Amada Pulsar 2-kW laser ran 24 hours a day and just couldn’t keep up, Gardner said, adding that the...

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Better shielding gas flow, efficient welding - TheFabricator.com

Better shielding gas flow, efficient welding

October 21, 2010

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After an automative supplier examines its automated and manual welding operations, it discovers greater efficiencies after analyzing and optimizing shielding gas flow.

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A tale of two companies

October 19, 2010

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times--and through it all, managers at two companies behaved very differently. First, there’s Brandon Fisher’s Center Rock Inc. of Berlin, Pa., a few hours east of Pittsburgh, not far from some of the hilliest terrain on the Pennsylvania Turnpike....

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