FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Made in America, sold to BRIC

August 18, 2008

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Several events this month have made me feel a tad on edge, at least at first.First, it was the Olympics. I"m sure many of you saw the opening ceremonies, and like me you probably thought it was quite a spectacle. You probably also remember commentator Matt Lauer"s comment as 2,008 drummers played...

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Looking down the tiers for change

August 12, 2008

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This week the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) holds its Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich. After reading event news trickling onto the Internet, news that includes automotive execs opining away about industry troubles, I"ve come to a conclusion. They should listen to...

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SeaWorld Orlando

(Un) memorable fabrication

August 12, 2008

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Oceaneering's structural fab operation has built "dark ride" vehicles for theme parks around the world. It has custom-fabricated and erected aluminum components for a mammoth advertisement overlooking Times Square. It has welded a structural mount that holds up the recovered World Trade Center antenna, now on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. And it has fabricated and erected duplex stainless steel bridges over killer whale pools at the San Diego and Orlando SeaWorld® parks. That's quite a portfolio of jobs, and all of them quietly have gotten their start at a structural fabrication facility on the outskirts of Baltimore.

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Ski Jump Whistler Nordic Center

Gold medal fabrication for Olympic ski jump

July 29, 2008

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Dynamic Structures has fabricated huge structures across North America. But this project--two ski jumps for the Vancouver 2010 games--was different.

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Bobsledder in action

Cool (pipe) runnings

July 29, 2008

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A pipe fabricator finds a new way to fabricate and assemble a bobsled run for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

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Design to fabrication: All in a weekend's work

July 24, 2008

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Two-tenths of a second is all it took.In fact, that was more than enough time savings to trigger the 240 employees at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) into action. The high-profile NASCAR® racing team, based in Cornelius, N.C., just north of Charlotte, works fast. Earlier this month they found that...

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Shop floor Mbtech autodie

Forming AHSS: Playing by new rules

July 15, 2008

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Advanced high strength steels spur stampers to think about metal forming in new ways.

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This InBev's for you

July 14, 2008

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Two recent news items give a great juxtaposition, at least in my mind. One shows the price of globalization; the other shows the benefits.First, the price. The board of Anheuser-Busch Cos., a St. Louis institutionand a large employer of welders and other metal fabricators working in its breweries...

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The economy and the power of hindsight

July 8, 2008

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Reading the campaign news this week, I was reminded of a West Wing episode years back when the president"s personal aide, Charlie Young, asks what President Bartlet was doing. The president replied, I"m doing basically what the president does: Asking people for things, and then thanking them.He...

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Nuclear energy not going to waste

June 30, 2008

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Reading news of the campaign trail last week, I recalled a park cookout I attended years ago while visiting a friend in West Lafayette, Ind. The conversations there weren"t normal, and not your typical neighborhood get-together talk. These people, including my friend, were nuclear engineering...

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Money in green

June 23, 2008

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Last week media reported long gas station lines, with motorists grumbling over record prices. That sounded like 1970s oil-crisis America, but that"s not what reporters were writing about on Friday.They were reporting from Beijing.There, The Times of London gave reports of long lines outside petrol...

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ALAW 2008 conference

Lasers catch limelight at ALAW

June 17, 2008

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How can laser technology make metal fabrication more efficient? The efficiency comes not only from advances within the laser itself, but also in new ways to integrate those lasers for optimal part flow on the shop floor. Several presenters at ALAW 2008 hammered this point home.

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Staybridge suites chicago

Building success with the staggered truss

June 17, 2008

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Developed during the 1960s by MIT graduate students, the staggered-truss system avoids the use of interior columns to transfer loads to the foundation; instead, trusses themselves carry the brunt of the load transfers. More than anything, the steel design method has potential to take various hotel, condo, and office-building projects away from other construction materials, like concrete, and that's certainly good news for structural steel fabricators everywhere.

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Traci and Lori Tapani

Accounting for growth in lean manufacturing

June 17, 2008

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Lean manufacturing has a negative, often unexpected, impact on the balance sheet--but those negative effects are short-term.

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Traci"s story: A good reason to get lean

May 20, 2008

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By 1994, Traci Tapani knew things had to change. As co-president of a Stacy, Minn.-based job shop, she just had a baby and was about to go on maternity leavethat is until a certain customer, who provided more than half of the company"s revenue, found out. They had a fit, she said. They...

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