FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Investor and consumer versus the citizen

February 23, 2010

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Dennis Rider’s career path changed directions recently, as reported by The Grand Rapids Press. After 27 years as a roll forming and laser cutting machine operator, he was let go in 2007. After spending serious time job hunting, Rider decided to retrain as an auto mechanic. He told the newspaper...

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Grabbing the skilled-labor issue by the horns

February 16, 2010

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High unemployment has muted manufacturing’s cry for skilled workers, but the cry is still there. It’s a paradox. As manufacturers shed unskilled workers, those who are left must be more skilled and versatile than ever. According to the Labor Department, American manufacturing produces more...

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Personifying Toyota

February 9, 2010

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This morning’s announcement of Toyota’s recall of 437,000 hybrid vehicles seems to have brought the automaker’s woes to a whole new level. Judging by the media coverage, these events are epic. Want to understand the media circus around the Toyota recall? Here’s a little something John...

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alabama laser hot wire

Two processes sometimes are better than one

February 9, 2010

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Alabama Laser ramps up its development efforts in hot-wire laser cladding, a new process that may have big potential, particularly in the oil and gas sector.

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sure iron work corrugated pieces

Bending perforated weathering steel: Not a pedestrian challenge

February 8, 2010

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Sure Iron works takes on a fabricating challenge: bump-bending perforated weathering steel plate sections with edges that aren't designed to be perfectly square.

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The dangers of hiring on the cheap

February 2, 2010

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Despite the drama at Toyota (talk about the risk of standardized parts) and the political sideshows in Washington, on the main stage of American life, something’s happening. Business is decidedly better. As Chris Kuehl, economist for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, put it in a...

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GI Bill for the shop floor

January 18, 2010

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This recession has got me thinking about careers. As you know, unemployment still is uncomfortably high. Businesses may be recovering, but they aren’t hiring in a substantial way just yet. The talking heads on TV are pointing fingers, saying the government stimulus hasn’t led to any significant...

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electrode good welding practices

Holding back the hydrogen

January 15, 2010

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Hydrogen cracking can send a project off schedule in a hurry. Here are ways to prevent it.

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The need to adapt, no matter what happens

January 12, 2010

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When I saw the words manufacturing and boom in one headline, I had to do a double take. An AllianceBernstein economist was especially optimistic, predicting that manufacturing may be gearing up for the biggest turnaround seen in 25 years. "The evidence points to a 20 percent jump in output in the...

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A welcome farewell to the aughts

January 4, 2010

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A year ago Troy Berg wasn't in a good place."I knew in January that 2009 was gone. Never in the history of my business have I had to kiss off a year in January & Now that we're through 2009, the hard cuts have been made, we've made a little bit of money, and those of us who are still...

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Joe Biden and a press brake

December 21, 2009

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Rickey Moulder probably won't forget the workday he had Thursday. Moulder is press brake department supervisor for Impulse Manufacturing in Dawsonvile, Ga., and on Dec. 17 he got to explain a bit about sheet metal fabrication to Vice President Joe Biden. An Associated Press photographer even...

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The Catch 22 of collateral

December 15, 2009

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Earlier this year, I landed at the Detroit airport en route to a conference. I got into my rental car, headed to the I-94 on-ramp, and then I saw it. There, next to the highway, was a big billboard advertising, of all things, a metal fabricator: "W Industries: Aerospace, Defense, Energy,...

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roll forming fully automated adjustments

Roll forming gets flexible

December 2, 2009

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Roll forming technology has adapted to a manufacturing market that demands short runs and quick response.

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Giving thanks & for cash flow

December 1, 2009

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As my toddler sculpted her mash potatoes into something resembling, well, a lump of mash potatoes, I looked around at the Thanksgiving table. Smiles all around, not only because my daughter's so darn cute (no bias on my part, of course), but also because they knew they didn't have to...

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Lean manufacturing meets health care

November 14, 2009

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The coverage on health care reform has been driving me crazy lately. As the saying goes, there are two things that are good to have, but you don't want to know how they're made: laws and sausages. For weeks, article after newspaper article has described the art of sausage-making.But one...

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