FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

An exit strategy for the metal fabrication job shop owner

February 3, 2015

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In their book Cashing Out of Your Business, authors Kathleen Richardson-Mauro and Jane M. Johnson tackle not just the nuts and bolts of selling an enterprise—revenue concentration, profitability, health of the market—but also the personal elements. When an owner sells a business, his or her life changes in a dramatic way.

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Quality springs forward with 3-D printing

January 29, 2015

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Newcomb Spring Corp. makes its quality assurance more efficient by upgrading its inspection equipment and investing in 3-D printing. The company’s move shows how advanced inspection and additive manufacturing work together.

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Manufacturing jobs pay well, right?

January 28, 2015

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Manufacturing wages vary widely, and like anything in life, the wage story isn't simple or straightforward.

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Done-in-one meets structural fabrication

January 23, 2015

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New system introduces full automation to structural fabrication, including cutting, beam and plate handling, and welding.

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Proactive maintenance, predictable performance in metal fabrication

January 23, 2015

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At Midland Metal Products, all machines have asset tags on them. So do calipers and tape measures—and even brooms—and it’s all tracked in a computerized maintenance management system. Tracking asset downtime has made life on the shop floor much more predictable.

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Metal fabricators spend big to build capacity

January 22, 2015

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Overall projected capital spending growth has slowed from the dramatic rebound seen postrecession, but the growth continues, especially in capacity-building equipment.

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Free education and political football

January 19, 2015

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Making community college free is a bold move, but it shouldn't be used as a political tool. Unfortunately, that's the reality.

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The one collar of the knowledge worker

January 15, 2015

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Technological devices are changing the world, but in a very human way. It may not be about what technology can do. Instead, it may be about how technology changes our lives.

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Flying high at FABTECH

January 8, 2015

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More than 30,000 visited the FABTECH 2014, a show that had several dominant themes: skilled labor, intuitive manufacturing technology, and supply chain collaboration.

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A new year and a better image for manufacturing

December 22, 2014

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As 2015 approaches, manufacturing's image is in pretty good shape, all things considered.

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The patio furniture reshoring test

December 15, 2014

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Businesses are reshoring when it makes sense to do so. This includes items requiring quick-response, such as seasonal items that hinge on less predictable demand factors, like the weather.

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One metal fabricator, two value streams

December 12, 2014

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For decades Nu-Way Industries operated with a conventional management structure. In recent years, managers at the Des Plaines, Ill., fabricator discovered that the two kinds of orders the company processed, engineered to order and make to stock, really called for two distinct value streams, each operating under a different business model.

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The energy boom, welding, and the modern-day cowboy

December 11, 2014

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Welders are the mortar holding the energy boom together, and today, we need more mortar than ever.

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Engineer, weld, fabricate, test, and perfect

December 10, 2014

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Rando Productions juggles various projects from various customers—TV shows, commercials, theme park attractions—and each has its own timeline. It’s all one-off, nonrepeat work. Sound familiar?

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2015 metal fabrication forecast: Steady as she grows

December 8, 2014

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Fabricators expect steady growth for 2015. At the same time, they’re gearing up to handle increasing customer demand by investing in capacity-building equipment.

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