FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Blog Posts

Metal fabrication and the solid model

May 28, 2013 | By Tim Heston

A microcosm of the evolution of modern metal fabrication has unfolded outside Chicago since November of last year. A dumbwaiter manufacturer having roots going back to the 1880s, Matot’s Bellwood, Ill., factory, with its unassuming brick façade, houses a typical high-product-mix operation. Some...

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Blog Posts

ALAW celebrates 20 years

May 15, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Mariana Forrest perhaps knows ALAW® better than anyone. The president of laser consulting firm LASAP Inc., based in Troy Mich., has attended all 20 conferences. She was there back when it was called the Automotive Laser Applications Workshop, and in recent years, after the event was broadened and...

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Product line manufacturing meets contract fabrication - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Product line manufacturing meets contract fabrication

April 30, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Fabricating know-how and modern machine tool technology help Tie Down Engineering, Atlanta, balance its made-to-stock and made-to-order product line operations with a growing contract fabrication operation.

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Meeting deadlines in contract metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Meeting deadlines in contract metal fabrication

April 24, 2013 | By Tim Heston

A Houston fabricator maintains a 99 percent on-time delivery rate. The business maintains its place as a reliable link in the supply chain, and the shop’s growth strategy aims to keep it that way.

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Fabricator helps entrepreneurs grow - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Fabricator helps entrepreneurs grow

April 24, 2013 | By Tim Heston

As part of its unofficial business plan, Cumming, Ga.-based Accufab gets in on the ground floor and helps entrepreneurs to get off the ground. As a result, the company is able to grow with its customers.

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Blog Posts

It is not just business

April 23, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Troy Berg, president of Dane Manufacturing, a contract fabricator in rural Dane, Wis., attends equipment auctions not just to find a deal on equipment, but to learn. With success comes confidence and determination; with failure comes soul-searching, self-scrutiny and, quite often, unfiltered truth....

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The grwoth of servo - TheFabricator.com

Stamping | Articles

The growth of the servo-driven press

April 22, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Traditional mechanical presses remain dominant in industry, but sales of servo presses have gone into high gear in recent years. Controlling the press stroke turns out to have many advantages, and the technology’s adopters are reaping the benefits.

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Metal fabricators get on the same page, with software - TheFabricator.com

CAD/CAM Software | Articles

Metal fabricators get on the same page, with software

April 19, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Conductix-Wampfler, Omaha, Neb., developed software that integrates information from CAD, product data management, ERP, and customer relationship management. Built on the company's success, the software is now available for others interested in ensuring everyone in the business is on the same page.

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How trust drives business - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

How trust drives business

April 19, 2013 | By Tim Heston

At The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit in February, speaker Tom Ziglar used a bicycle as a metaphor for how people drive business success.

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Blog Posts

Careers for manufacturing professionals, not button pushers

April 15, 2013 | By Tim Heston

When it comes to the economy, everyone may be fretting about unknowns, yet manufacturing still is making headlines--this week on TIME magazine’s cover. The article tells a familiar story: Manufacturing is back, but don’t expect the industry to hire people en masse. Automation has reduced the...

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Laser Cutting | Podcasts

Lighter, thinner, stronger

April 12, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Tie Down Engineering and its contract fabrication division, Industrial Laser Solutions, has made significant machinery investments in recent years, including a several solid-state fiber and disk lasers as well as a press brake with automatic bend angle correction. Driving the investment is the shop's increased use of thinner but lighter high-strength steel.

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The comeback metal fabricator - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

The comeback metal fabricator

April 8, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Everyone knows that metal fabricators need to be good at quick turnarounds. Super Steel became just that, hitting the financial skids in 2009 and transforming itself into a quick-turn fabricator and key manufacturing supplier to the freight rail industry in just three years.

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Blog Posts

American business success: Optimism peppered with pragmatism

March 19, 2013 | By Tim Heston

So said Don McNeeley, president and COO, Chicago Tube & Iron Co., and professor at Northwestern University, speaking Feb. 27 at The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit in Palm Harbor, Fla. After conversations with various fabricators since then, most tend to agree with him. Business is OK, not...

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The chaplain and the press brake technician - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

The chaplain and the press brake technician

March 15, 2013 | By Tim Heston

Everyone has personal problems at some point of their lives, and those problems can affect productivity at work. In this sensitive area, workplace chaplains may be able to help.

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Blog Posts

Metal fabrication, a people business

March 12, 2013 | By Tim Heston

In an upcoming print edition of The FABRICATOR, columnist Dick Kallage, principal at KDC & Associates, Barrington, Ill., asks this fundamental question: Why do customers buy from you? As Kallage explains, “the answer often revolves around soft, generalized terms, such as quality, precision,...

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