FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Two steps to success?

May 7, 2009

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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...

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The wind business: Following a passion

May 5, 2009

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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,...

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Don't keep the fire burning

May 1, 2009

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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...

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heavy hauler trailers

Heavy hauling, heavy fabricating

May 1, 2009

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

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Fewer malls, more factories

April 30, 2009

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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...

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Lessons learned from Big Blue

April 27, 2009

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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...

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Surprises from a robotics company

April 24, 2009

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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...

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A good wind blows

April 20, 2009

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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...

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

April 14, 2009

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

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Crimson Fire Shop Floor

Putting out fires, the lean way

April 14, 2009

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

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Would you want to work here?

April 13, 2009

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A visit last week to an OEM of construction equipment made me feel good about manufacturing in America. Based in Salisbury, just north of Charlotte, N.C., Power Curbers Inc. plasma-cuts, saws, welds, and machines parts for curb-making machinery. Like many connected with the construction industry,...

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Spraying to all fields

April 9, 2009

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The baseball season started earlier this week. Temperatures in the Chicago area barely crept above 50 degrees this week, with snow falling on Sunday, but I witnessed baseball on the television. All is right with the world.So in the spirit of baseball, I'm going to cover a lot of area. Hitters...

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Gaining market share during tough times

April 6, 2009

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Buy low, sell high. Good rules to live by for the investment-savvy person. (I, being oh-so-not investment-savvy, usually do the opposite.) The phrase could be applied, slightly altered, to a business strategy: Invest during slow times so you can sell when times are good. That sounds like a smart,...

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The auto meltdown: 'It's all about the parts'

March 31, 2009

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"It's all about the parts. It's all about the parts."That was Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of Automobile magazine in an interview yesterday with Marketplace host Tess Vigeland. Her comment really hit home with me, particularly after digesting the auto industry news and opinion that have...

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Auto suppliers get relief

March 24, 2009

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A friend of mine in college couldn't wait to get to Detroit. A mechanical engineering major, he loved cars. He worked at summer co-ops trying to get his foot in the door. He'd talk about designs, inside and out. And though I never saw him do it, I bet he was the kind of guy who ran his...

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