FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Is an expansion on the horizon?

September 10, 2009

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"Lay 100 economists end-to-end and you won't be able to reach a conclusion." Like all good quips, this one is both clever and true. Some economists are optimists and some are pessimists; economic indicators often point in different directions; and most business data—whether it deals with...

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Money and your life

September 9, 2009

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The financial wizards are at it again, and this time they're not betting whether you'll default on your mortgage. They're betting on your life. The financial folks on Wall Street, as always, are looking for certainty and to curtail risk. At one point, mortgages seemed to be a sure...

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gtaw technology advancements

Robotic GTAW or GMAW: No longer a clear-cut choice

September 6, 2009

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Gas tungsten arc welding is easier than ever to automate. At the same time, robotic GMAW technology now can produce welds that are close to GTAW quality

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Fabricating with a digital foundation

September 1, 2009

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An architectural metal fabricator takes a building-information modeling (BIM) approach, using enhanced computer modeling to streamline operations.

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Unique brake setup streamlines thick plate bending

September 1, 2009

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A heavy-equipment OEM's forming department develops a unique tooling setup for bending extremely thick, high-strength plate--designed for one application and one application only.

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A gust of good news

August 31, 2009

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If you're connected to the wind energy business or are looking to get your foot in the door, you're probably thinking about two things: 1. You're tired of cheesy puns in article headlines (like the one above). 2. You are hoping investors start embracing the business again....

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Rethinking the knowledge worker

August 24, 2009

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I understand the term's intent, and that it describes workers who are ever-more-valued. I just have reservations about how the term is used. When people think of a "knowledge worker," they think of a white-collar IT professional, engineer, doctor, or others who think to innovate, using their...

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No stimulus for manufacturing

August 17, 2009

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Buried within the Institute for Supply Management™'s July Manufacturing ISM Report on Business® is a telling quote from a metal fabricator."No stimulus for manufacturing." Technically, the government has set aside a bit of money. On Thursday the Treasury Department revealed...

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What is new is not so new

August 13, 2009

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I'm still recovering from a visit to Washington, D.C. It's not that I was taxed to death, even though I left with an empty wallet, or that I was roughed up during an angry AARP demonstration. It's just difficult to immerse myself back into the work world after being more than 750...

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Realigning value

August 7, 2009

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The numbers popping up in the media recently draw an interesting, perhaps conflicted picture of the state of business in the U.S. Here's why.First, there's unemployment. Like many, I expected the unemployment rate to continue its relentless rise past the symbolic 10 percent mark. It...

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Saying 'yes' when others can't

August 1, 2009

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IMEC, a small job shop in southwest Missouri, invests in automation not necessarily to increase capacity, but to increase flexibility.

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KO'ing keystrokes

August 1, 2009

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A transformer manufacturer completely automates folding machine programming.

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To think 'in tube'

August 1, 2009

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A tube laser spurs a shop to think about design and metal fabrication in a new way.

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Itching for economic recovery

July 27, 2009

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Rodie Woodard just finished a good week. When I talked with the president of Irving, Texas-based Maximum Industries Thursday, he told me he just closed a deal that will keep his contract fabrication shop humming 24 hours a day for several months. His customer in the signage industry is putting...

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Boldly go!

July 20, 2009

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Firing up your plasma cutting system might be a fitting tribute to the momentous event that happened 40 years ago today. Here's why.When Neil Armstrong planted the first lunar footprint, the world was watching with an excitement most famously seen in our recently departed Walter Cronkite, who...

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