FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

It's not all gloom and doom

February 23, 2009

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Hey, just curious, but did you hear about the collapse of manufacturing last week? How about the fact that this recession could be the worst the world has ever experienced and that social unrest soon will create serious political instability in some parts of the world; that crime rates will rise,...

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Attracting the positive

February 16, 2009

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The sky fell over the weekend. Well, not really. (What would the sky falling look like anyway?) But some stuff did fall from the sky. A Russian and American satellite collided, and in another apparently unrelated incident, a giant fireball streamed over Texas.The stories read as apt metaphors for...

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The recession's end: Waiting for land

February 9, 2009

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Ignacio Nacho Palomarez is what you"d call an early technology adopter. The president of San Carlos, Calif.-based Spacesonic dove into laser cutting in the 1980s, and today he has laser cutting capability that includes armored plate, thin sheet, and everything in between. These days he"s...

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A not-so-good Year of the Ox

February 2, 2009

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This Chinese New Year wasn"t the rosiest for many folks on the other side of the planet. According to reports, Chinese exports were down 2.8 percent in December from the previous year--a significant number, considering the amount China exports. The country"s GDP grew 13 percent in 2007, but was...

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Being lean pays in a recession

January 28, 2009

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I spoke with a stamper last week who found one of the few areas for growth in this economy: takeover work. Jim Schwartz, general manager of marketing at Eagle Wings Industries, Rantoul, Ill., recently implemented magnetic die clamping, a technology that has allowed the company to take on new work...

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Putting a smile on a banker's face

January 19, 2009

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Away from the revelry on the National Mall in Washington, auto industry executives and insiders have spent much of January in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, an annual event that, for obvious reasons, has been toned down significantly. One of the few areas not in such a funk,...

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Manufacturing at your service

January 12, 2009

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Let the record show that I"m no fan of the iPod®. My wife got one two years ago, and upon downloading the iTunes® media player program and going through setup, the dang thing prompted us to register at the iTunes Store andwait for itinsert a credit card number.What? We just shelled out...

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Getting smart in a global downturn

January 5, 2009

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After reading the news feeds during the past few days, I can tell you what my best Christmas gift was: a refreshing break from those news feeds. The-sky-is-falling manufacturing news came in steadily over the holiday, and it didn"t make for fun reading. The Institute for Supply Management"s...

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Welding for all seasons - TheFabricator.com

Welding for all seasons

December 16, 2008

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Tom Young has lived an unconventional life full of opportunities that happened because he could do what others could not: He could weld.

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The world needs your stuff

December 15, 2008

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A friend recently forwarded me a great I-told-you-so kind of video clip on the economy.The basic problem with the U.S. economy is that we have too much consumption and borrowing, and not enough production and savings. The consumer is basically going to stop consuming and start rebuilding his...

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Myriad Proprietary Design Languages

Lost in translation

December 15, 2008

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Metrology managers are pushing industry to standardize, so that all digital inspection devices can, in essence, speak the same language.

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The successful candidate for car czar

December 9, 2008

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Position: Car CzarJob Location: Between a rock and a hard placeJob Description: The Bush Administration seeks a real self-starter to head a new government initiative to rehabilitate portions of the automotive market under duress. The successful candidate must have an extremely positive attitude,...

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Winners and losers in a recession

December 2, 2008

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At the restaurant, I knew something was up.The family ate out at a middle-class dining establishment next to a big shopping mall on Thanksgiving weekend the day after Black Friday. Only, the place was only half full. More than that, service was horrible. Two waitresses scurried around helping...

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E&E Metal Fab: Finding success and giving back

November 25, 2008

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As automotive execs, in delicious irony, flew luxury private jets to Washington to ask for billions of taxpayer money, I flew coach.In the middle seat, mind you.I landed Thursday in Philadelphia to tour E&E Metal Fab, a little more than an hour to the west in Lebanon, Pa. The company celebrated its...

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Strips of nitinol

Forming metal that 'remembers'

November 25, 2008

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Memry has built a business around shape-memory alloys, mainly for customers in the medical arena. It's a difficult, highly specialized field that managers at Memry are betting will grow.

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