FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

How to build a little of everything, every day

August 6, 2014

By:

Legrand’s West Hartford facility has been on the lean journey for several decades, and the journey hasn’t stopped. The focus continues to be on clear communication and documentation, good metrics, ergonomics and safety, staff incentives—and producing a little of everything every day.

Continue Reading

Keeping pace with better ergonomics

August 4, 2014

By:

Every employee at Pentair operates under PIMS, or the Pentair Integrated Management System. PIMS encompasses everything from continuous improvement and hiring practices to safety and ergonomics. Concerning the last, the company instituted new material handling technology within a tightly run tank fabrication line in Delavan, Wis. The line has no WIP and, hence, little margin for error.

Continue Reading

Stamping with a better idea

July 29, 2014

By:

Cleveland-based Stripmatic Products strives to add more customer value by focusing on additional operations and asking what else customers may need. This led the company to a unique setup involving a servo press and a fiber laser welding cell.

Continue Reading

Tough optics for extreme laser welding

July 29, 2014

By:

Engineers at EWI have developed laser welding optics tailored for high-power applications.

Continue Reading

A new kind of skilled workforce

July 28, 2014

By:

The need for skilled worker continues unabated, but the issue has many wrinkles of complexity. For one, technology has changed the nature of the job.

Continue Reading

A matter of asking the right questions

July 28, 2014

By:

Some purchasers may view a fabricated metal product as a commodity, and if it’s a simple enclosure or flat piece-part, it may well be. But they’re not buying products, really. They’re buying expertise, both in fabrication and in capacity management.

Continue Reading

The complex reality of business spending

July 22, 2014

By:

Business spending is a complex animal, and it's difficult to sum it up in a few charts.

Continue Reading

The importance of process innovation

July 9, 2014

By:

Manufacturing is getting a lot of attention in Washington. Proposals abound about pushing new products and technologies from R&D to the market. But when it comes to a purely employment perspective, process innovation—including continuous improvement—may be even more important.

Continue Reading

From looms to thermal spray to laser cladding

June 30, 2014

By:

Hayden Corp. has persevered over a century of change. It began as a supplier of wire cloth sold to the papermaking industry. Now it makes use of some of the most advanced surfacing technologies available.

Continue Reading

Cutting clean with 1-micron laser optics

June 30, 2014

By:

The high-brightness 1-micron cutting laser is redefining productivity in metal fabrication. The laser’s good absorption helps it cut faster with less power. It also means that keeping optics clean and dust-free is essential.

Continue Reading

FAB 40: Springs Fabrication and the ice house

June 27, 2014

By:

Springs Fabrication has humble beginnings, stereotypical of many successful American businesses. As it turns out, there's a reason that's a stereotype.

Continue Reading

FAB 40: Thinking as owners at D&S Manufacturing

June 27, 2014

By:

At D&S Manufacturing, the books are open, employees know how to read them, and they use this information when dreaming up new ways to improve.

Continue Reading

Fab 40: Impulse Manufacturing tackles downtime with data

June 27, 2014

By:

You can't improve something you don't measure. Impulse Manufacturing wants to cut down the time between jobs—specifically, between the last good part of the previous job to the first good part of the next job.

Continue Reading

Lean manufacturing, line of sight, and old buildings

June 23, 2014

By:

Where are parts coming from, and where are they going? Line-of-sight issues plague older plants, full of walls to separate departments. But some companies have overcome this problem and adapted lean to fit very old work spaces.

Continue Reading

Cooking up fabrication with the fiber laser

June 23, 2014

By:

Atlanta Custom Fabrication focuses on the commercial kitchen industry, mainly cutting thin stainless. Its laser cutting wasn't a constraint process, but it needed excess cutting capacity to deal with demand variability. A new fiber laser has helped to resolve the problem.

Continue Reading