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.
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,...
March 7, 2013 | By Tim Heston
A high-product-mix manufacturer chooses robotized bending not because it lacked a skilled workforce, but because it wanted to make the best use of the talented workforce it already had.
March 4, 2013 | By Tim Heston
What happens when you get more than 150 fabricators from across the country in one room? Ideas start flowing. Unlike three years ago, attendees at The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit this year spoke of expansion and capacity challenges. During a roundtable discussion, one operations manager spoke...
March 1, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Elizabeth Kautzmann, chairman of FMA’s Industrial Laser Council, keeps one eye on laser technology and another eye on a part’s overall processing time.
February 26, 2013 | By Tim Heston
This afternoon I’ll be boarding a plane to Tampa, Fla., for The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit. I’m biased, of course, but the industry conference remains one of my favorites. Talk centers on the many joys and challenges of running a metal fabrication business. Industry leaders discuss...
February 15, 2013 | By Tim Heston
A tube bending shop with roots that go back to the Gemini and Apollo missions looks far different today than it did eight years ago.
February 12, 2013 | By Tim Heston
This morning I talked with Paul Luber, CEO of Milwaukee-based Super Steel, a contract fabricator on a serious rebound. In 2010 the company went into receivership. Now, the fabricator recently has completed a serious growth spurt--it doubled revenue in just 12 months--and is preparing for 15 percent...
January 22, 2013 | By Tim Heston
At the last FABTECH® show, I ran into an engineer who works for GE Appliance & Lighting, looking for products that would speed that all-important art-to-part time--that all-important product-development time. Their comments make sense in light of recent growth of the company’s Louisville,...
January 15, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Yesterday the Brookings Institution, along with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, proposed a program that would involve the federal government designating 20 “manufacturing universities” to prepare students for the sectors that need engineering help. Most intriguing, perhaps...
January 10, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Will a new employee perform well? What will the new tax environment be? These challenges and more create levels of uncertainty that drive business decisions.
January 10, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Cambridge Engineering made the transition from batch manufacturing that threw labor at production problems to one-piece flow and continuous improvement. A good corporate culture played a critical role.
January 8, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Early last year, I recall eating lunch in the break room at Atlanta-based Metcam, which hosted a press brake training seminar run by Steve Benson and organized by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. Sitting across from me was a press brake supervisor, we chatted a bit about his tours...
January 7, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Taiwanese metal manufacturers have grown from small, family involved entrepreneurial shops to world-class suppliers of parts and technology.
December 17, 2012 | By Tim Heston
When I visit a contract metal fabricator, often the focus really isn’t about the metal parts or the fancy machinery. It’s about co-workers, who often happen to be family members. Some aren’t blood relatives, but they might as well be. There’s a real sense of community at these shops. I’ve...