FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Don't drop the box

May 26, 2009

By:

Friday was just one of those days. As usual, I drove my daughter to daycare, parked, carried her in, dropped her off, walked out, and saw the back end of my car smashed, with the hood lid looking a bit like a fortune cookie. Because the vehicle's 11 years old, it didn't take much to...

Continue Reading

The hunt for opportunity at ALAW

May 22, 2009

By:

Before one session at last week's ALAW Laser Applications Workshop, a fabricator stood in the back of the conference room at the Inn at St. John"s in Plymouth, Mich., just outside Detroit. He peered at the small sound board that controlled the microphone at the podium and noted the metal...

Continue Reading

Got to get to work

May 19, 2009

By:

A keynote speaker at last week's ALAW Laser Applications Workshop—an annual industry conference about lasers in automotive and general fabrication—gave some valuable perspective on the automotive industry. Bernard Swiecki of the Dearborn, Mich.-based Center for Automotive Research...

Continue Reading

A different Detroit

May 15, 2009

By:

"Look at the floor."That was Kent Woody, quality guru at Auto Metal Craft in Oak Park, Mich., a prototype shop just a few miles from the Detroit Three"s epicenter. The concrete floor I looked at was worn from years of use. "That's decades of hi-lo traffic, right there," he said. "That's...

Continue Reading

steel fire door

Keeping the (fire) door open

May 14, 2009

By:

A manufacturer of fire doors, in the South Bronx grows a business through market diversification and automation, just a few miles north of some of the most expensive real estate on earth.

Continue Reading

Two steps to success?

May 7, 2009

By:

This is going to sound strange, but a recession like this sometimes feels like a breath of fresh air. If a company can operate through a downturn like this relatively unscathed, that's really something. If a company's inefficient, it shutters its doors. Sometimes bad things happen to good...

Continue Reading

The wind business: Following a passion

May 5, 2009

By:

This has been a busy few weeks for Eric Isbister. The chief executive at General MetalWorks in Mequon, Wis., north of Milwaukee, held an open house Friday to celebrate 10 years since he and his wife, Mary, took over the fabrication business. Late last month he braved the halls of Hannover Messe,...

Continue Reading

Don't keep the fire burning

May 1, 2009

By:

I check out weekly news feeds for reports involving metal fabricating, forming, and welding. It's a great way to get a quick feel for the industry and find interesting leads and tidbits for stories.In checking out these leads, I find a common story appearing almost on a daily basis: Welding...

Continue Reading

heavy hauler trailers

Heavy hauling, heavy fabricating

May 1, 2009

By:

Ohio-based Diamond heavy-haul found efficiency in its cutting operations through nesting software by managing remnants and reducing scrap.

Continue Reading

Fewer malls, more factories

April 30, 2009

By:

I have a feeling something good's going to happen in manufacturing. Maybe not this year or next, but good times are coming.Yes, this is an odd thing to say just days after those dreadful GDP numbers were released. Gross domestic product declined by 6.1 percent during the first quarter, the...

Continue Reading

Lessons learned from Big Blue

April 27, 2009

By:

Did you hear IBM's getting into the water business?That"s right, the water business. Specifically, IBM managers are looking to change the way water is managed through digital sensors and computer networks. This is coming from a company that grew up in the era of mainframes and transformed the...

Continue Reading

Surprises from a robotics company

April 24, 2009

By:

Spring is the time for showers, flowers, and open house tours.When April rolls around, technology developers and service providers open their doors to supply chain partners, customers, and even employees. It's a cost-effective way to reach out and share knowledge about what's happening in...

Continue Reading

A good wind blows

April 20, 2009

By:

Some ugliness emerged Friday just south of Grand Rapids, Mich., where fights broke out at Wayland Chevrolet on the same day dealership employees learned they would be losing their jobs. According to the Associated Press, the dealership blamed its fate on the ailing auto industry, and on the...

Continue Reading

Measurement, assembly, and welding: Ultra Tool's quest for in-die perfection: Part I

April 14, 2009

By:

Ultra Tool & Manufacturing launches a program to tackle sensor technology in an effort to errorproof the pressroom.

Continue Reading

Crimson Fire Shop Floor

Putting out fires, the lean way

April 14, 2009

By:

Crimson Fire, a lean fire truck OEM, enjoys record orders, but prepares for challenges ahead.

Continue Reading