FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

The metal fabricator and the iPhone

March 8, 2011

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Immediately after listening to a presentation at The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit last week, a metal fabrication executive turned on his iPhone®, rose his eyebrows, and, smiling, showed me the screen. The iPad® 2 had been announced minutes earlier. The moment couldn’t have been more...

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Whitecastle building

Hamburgers, metal, and mettle

February 25, 2011

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White Castle’s metal fabrication subsidiary has abided by continuous improvement principles for decades—long before Toyota became a major player in the United States.

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You can’t manufacture human rights

February 22, 2011

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The news from North Africa and the Middle East has been truly amazing lately. It’s a little scary for business owners and everyone else who depends on oil (in other words, nearly everybody).  Recent unrest in oil-rich Libya has sent oil prices skyward. But over the long term, expensive oil may...

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Pareto and the job shop

February 15, 2011

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After 10 years and two recessions, Vilfredo Pareto’s principle has had a rocky history with the job shop. The Italian economist discovered that roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes. In business, this has come to mean that 20 percent of customers provide companies...

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Fabricators doing what matters

February 8, 2011

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I smile when I read articles like this. Kapco Inc., a Wisconsin metal fabricator and stamper, didn’t get noticed nationally because it expanded its metal fabrication capability during the past decade; because it continued to grow throughout the worst of the recession; or because the firm...

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Credit, cash, and the manufacturing recovery

February 3, 2011

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I still remember his tropical-print shirt, which stood out among thousands of people walking the FABTECH® show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center. He worked at a major wind tower production facility in California, which perhaps could explain the tropical print he was wearing. But it didn’t...

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More arc-on, less arc-off - TheFabricator.com

More arc-on, less arc-off

January 27, 2011

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A North Georgia fabricator analyzes welder productivity and revamps its operations so that welders spend more time actually welding, and less time moving material and fixtures, as well as typing in data.

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Confirmation, tracking, and transparency

January 25, 2011

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If you’ve done this, you know that sinking feeling after you click the mouse. Last week I booked tickets to The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit, the 6th Annual Metal Matters, to take place in sunny Orlando, Fla. These days I’m probably not the only one who likes to think about warmer...

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Setting up for manufacturing growth

January 17, 2011

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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...

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Capital spending set to spike - TheFabricator.com

Capital spending set to spike

January 17, 2011

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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.

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

Laser cutting thick stainless steel—fast

January 17, 2011

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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.

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Head offices head to China

January 11, 2011

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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...

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Fabricator goes 3-D - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator goes 3-D

January 10, 2011

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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.

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New year, next generation

January 3, 2011

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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...

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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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