FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
Time is money--so, so much money - TheFabricator.com

Time is money--so, so much money

October 20, 2011

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Quick-response manufacturing (QRM) focuses on what’s called the “manufacturing critical path time,” or MCT. In manufacturing, time is money--in fact, it’s a lot more money than many realize. Rajan Suri uncovers why in his new book

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Need a light--now? - TheFabricator.com

Need a light--now?

October 20, 2011

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Phoenix Products Co.--a high-mix, low-volume lighting products manufacturer--has implemented an improvement methodology called quick-response manufacturing, and realized dramatic improvements in lead-times. One light fixture that used to take eight weeks to manufacture now only takes two.

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Fabricator takes a team approach to job management - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator takes a team approach to job management

October 20, 2011

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Anderson Dahlen is a precision sheet metal job shop. It’s an industrial contractor that designs and fabricates entire systems for the processing sector, everything from mixing systems for the chemical industry to holding tanks for dairy plants. It also fabricates architectural metal for commercial construction. In other words, the company doesn’t fit neatly into one category. Managers know this, which is why they’ve developed a unique approach to job management that centers on teams

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Manufacturers to unemployed: We are hiring

October 18, 2011

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“There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do.” That’s a quote from bestselling author Seth Godin from his latest book, Linchpin, in which he describes how the best, most satisfied workers these days have become indispensible. They take initiative,...

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Trumpet

Brass instrument manufacturing: How metal makes music

October 10, 2011

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Getzen Co. uses 200-year-old technology to make its high-end trumpets and trombones. Walking into the company’s Elkhorn, Wis., facility is a bit like walking into a metalworking museum. Here, worker experience and skill reign supreme.

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Manufacturing is not farming

September 27, 2011

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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...

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Manufacturing: The most powerful jobs engine of all

September 13, 2011

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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...

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

Same building, new people, new business

September 13, 2011

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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.

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How a shop devoted to improvement improved - TheFabricator.com

How a shop devoted to improvement improved

September 13, 2011

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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.

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Knowing the grammar of metal fabrication - TheFabricator.com

Precision Sheet Metal Operator certification provides broad foundational knowledge

September 13, 2011

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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.

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Aerospace manufacturer champions employee ownership - TheFabricator.com

Aerospace manufacturer champions employee ownership

September 13, 2011

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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.

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How the sales function became so important - TheFabricator.com

How the sales function became so important

September 13, 2011

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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.

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

The job shop schedule: Always imperfect, ever adapting

September 9, 2011

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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.

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Manufacturing's Multiplier Effect - TheFabricator.com

Manufacturing's Multiplier Effect

September 9, 2011

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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.

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No weak link allowed - TheFabricator.com

No weak link allowed

September 2, 2011

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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.

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