FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
Fabricator growth strategy: Lower cost brings greater profit - TheFabricator.com

Laser Cutting | Articles

Fabricator growth strategy: Lower cost brings greater profit

December 2, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Hi-Tech Industries of New York invests heavily in automation, including a new laser cutting center and robotic press brake--large investments unusual for a typical job shop. But this is no typical job shop.

Continue Reading

Fabricating to the drumbeat - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Fabricating to the drumbeat

December 2, 2010 | By Tim Heston

A central Ohio job shop uses a mix of improvement methodologies-- including the theory of constraints--to reduce lead-times from weeks to days.

Continue Reading

Blog Posts

Two realities of economic recovery

November 30, 2010 | By Tim Heston

After more than a year looking, my neighbor finally landed a job. He previously worked as a construction manager, which is undoubtedly why it took him so long to find work again. His new job isn’t in construction but instead is related to supply chain management. He sells software that helps...

Continue Reading

Blog Posts

Giving thanks for skill, engagement, and curiosity

November 22, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Later this week I’ll be stuffing a turkey (and myself) and giving thanks--thanks for family and friends, of course, but also for something my mind’s been mulling over for the past few weeks: human engagement, and not the betrothal kind. I’m just talking about direct, concise, clear engagement...

Continue Reading

Blog Posts

FABTECH: An industry physical

November 16, 2010 | By Tim Heston

As a reporter for the industry, I’ve always treated FABTECH as a kind of metal fabrication physical. A healthy show is a sign of a healthy industry--usually. Two years ago FABTECH’s opening-day attendance--on Oct. 6--was the biggest on record, despite the financial crisis that exploded onto...

Continue Reading

Another day, another economic recovery - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Another day, another economic recovery

November 12, 2010 | By Tim Heston

One Columbus, Ohio, job shop recovered quickly from the recession. The organization has a history of financial conservatism and pragmatism—and today’s black ink is a testament to the shop’s success.

Continue Reading

Using watts, again - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

Using watts, again

November 12, 2010 | By Tim Heston

A West Coast metal fabricator, Laser Cutting Northwest developed a product called the regenerator, which generates electricity from exhausted air. One application includes dust collectors for laser cutting systems. Installed into the shop’s own systems, the regenerator produces enough electricity to power a third of the shop lights.

Continue Reading

Tube bending with no straights? No problem - TheFabricator.com

Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Tube bending with no straights? No problem

November 1, 2010 | By Tim Heston

A Wisconsin tube shop invests in an unusual, freeform bending technology that can bend tube sections with no straight sections between bends. Different radii requires no tool changeouts or complex tooling setups. Instead, an operator changes the code in the controller.

Continue Reading

Blog Posts

The power of predictability

October 25, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Several years ago Doug Gardner, president of Johnson City, N.Y.-based Hi-Tech Industries of New York, landed what’s increasingly rare today for fabricators: a multiyear contract. The shop’s Amada Pulsar 2-kW laser ran 24 hours a day and just couldn’t keep up, Gardner said, adding that the...

Continue Reading

Better shielding gas flow, efficient welding - TheFabricator.com

Arc Welding | Articles

Better shielding gas flow, efficient welding

October 21, 2010 | By Tim Heston

After an automative supplier examines its automated and manual welding operations, it discovers greater efficiencies after analyzing and optimizing shielding gas flow.

Continue Reading

Blog Posts

A tale of two companies

October 19, 2010 | By Tim Heston

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times--and through it all, managers at two companies behaved very differently. First, there’s Brandon Fisher’s Center Rock Inc. of Berlin, Pa., a few hours east of Pittsburgh, not far from some of the hilliest terrain on the Pennsylvania Turnpike....

Continue Reading

Blog Posts

Equipment investment and hanging fruit

October 5, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Several weeks ago I visited Ometek Inc., a contract manufacturer near the Columbus, Ohio, airport. After reading the manufacturing news this week, I started thinking about the company’s bending department. Here’s why. This week the business world learned what it pretty much already knew. The...

Continue Reading

New metal fabrication player touts high-value engineering - TheFabricator.com

Shop Management | Articles

New metal fabrication player touts high-value engineering

October 4, 2010 | By Tim Heston

A Baltimore job shop remained on the growth path throughout the recession by circumventing the traditional job bidding process and gaining a serious foothold in the export market.

Continue Reading

Blog Posts

Shifting, not reducing, the tax burden

September 27, 2010 | By Tim Heston

The more rhetoric I hear this election season, the more I’m reminded just how little the government can do to fix the economy in the short term. It can pour money into shovel-ready projects, but those don’t seem to be long-term fixes, and they won’t right the ship in time for the midterm...

Continue Reading

-- Choose a Type --

Why managing material matters

September 23, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Inventory matters when it comes to cash flow and overall profitability.

Continue Reading