FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Setting up for manufacturing growth

January 17, 2011

By:

Last week the federal government released a report saying exports grew for the third straight month. Despite the fact that new orders in November declined slightly, year over year new orders increased 12.3 percent from 2009 to 2010. Sure, the growth is coming off of some unprecedented lows, but the...

Continue Reading

Capital spending set to spike - TheFabricator.com

Capital spending set to spike

January 17, 2011

By:

2011 capital equipment spending could rise significantly, according to a recent survey from FMA Communications, publisher of The FABRICATOR. When compared with 2010 projections, projected plasma arc cutting investment jumped 47 percent, turret punch press investment projections were up 90 percent, and expected welding power source investment increased 70 percent.

Continue Reading

Laser cutting thick stainless steel--fast - TheFabricator.com

Laser cutting thick stainless steel—fast

January 17, 2011

By:

Fabricator uses a 7-kW CO2 laser cutting system to cut thousands of thick, stainless steel components for a critical component of nuclear plant safety. Today, the shop hopes to leverage its technology to gain work in other sectors.

Continue Reading

Head offices head to China

January 11, 2011

By:

If Dave Westphal doesn’t qualify as a lean manufacturing champion, I don’t know who would. The executive is director of global lean manufacturing for Nexteer Automotive, a $2 billion automotive supplier specializing in steering and front-axle components. Last year The FABRICATOR covered his...

Continue Reading

Fabricator goes 3-D - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator goes 3-D

January 10, 2011

By:

Fabricator uses both laser cutting and milling to manufacturer components quickly and to precision tolerances. Profiles are cut with a laser, and the mill machines specific elements with tight tolerance requirements.

Continue Reading

New year, next generation

January 3, 2011

By:

Tacking yet another new calendar to the wall makes me feel, well, old, and that in turn makes me think about the next generation. Judging by chats with readers in recent weeks, I’m not the only one. It’s no secret that manufacturing has a graying work force. Even during tough times, metal...

Continue Reading

For-profit education and manufacturing

December 13, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Junk e-mail and unemployment

December 6, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

FABTECH ushers in growth - TheFabricator.com

FABTECH ushers in growth

December 2, 2010

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Fabricators anticipate growth in 2011 - TheFabricator.com

Fabricators anticipate growth in 2011

December 2, 2010

By:

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.

Continue Reading

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

Fabricator growth strategy: Lower cost brings greater profit

December 2, 2010

By:

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.

Continue Reading

Fabricating to the drumbeat - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating to the drumbeat

December 2, 2010

By:

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

Continue Reading

Two realities of economic recovery

November 30, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

Giving thanks for skill, engagement, and curiosity

November 22, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading

FABTECH: An industry physical

November 16, 2010

By:

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...

Continue Reading