FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Waterjet makes it into the mainstream

February 12, 2008

By:

Advancements in the control and equipment components, each working in concert, have pushed the technology from a relative novelty to the mainstream.

Continue Reading

Manufacturing's story on Super Tuesday

February 5, 2008

By:

In August 2006 a metal fabricator got a chance to tell the president why he felt businesses like his were good for America.John West, president of Fox Valley Metal-Tech in Green Bay, Wis., showed the commander in chief around the company"s facility that housed, among other things, one of the...

Continue Reading

Stein economics

January 29, 2008

By:

Recently the managing editor at Money magazine sat down with Ben Steinthe quirky lawyer, economist, comedian, and former Nixon speechwriterand asked if he was worried about a recession. Stein said no.The editor responded, But aren"t you worried about the headlines, about the credit crunch, about...

Continue Reading

Never give up

January 21, 2008

By:

The economic news has been pretty grim. Housing"s down; manufacturing production"s down; employment"s down; the stock market"s down. Most everything is pretty much, well, down.My gut says, though, that Parviz Shahriari hasn"t paid it a second thought. The director of engineering at GEMVIS, a...

Continue Reading

All aboard the Nano

January 15, 2008

By:

My brother-in-law, Chris, is spending the year in Mumbai, India, as a part of a fellowship program that helps for-profit humanitarian enterprises find better ways to do business--that is, if he can get to work in one piece. Last week he took a ride on Mumbai"s commuter trains. Call it herding,...

Continue Reading

Komatsu H2F Series Servo Press

The science behind the servo press

January 15, 2008

By:

Flexibility sums up where the servo-driven mechanical press stands in its evolution. Early adopters are seeing that flexibility and asking, "What if?" What if I could control ram motion throughout the stroke and dwell for a certain period at bottom dead center (BDC)? According to sources, those "what ifs" have led to new ways of thinking about forming metal.

Continue Reading

Perforated Stainless Steel Sheet

Avoiding a snag

January 15, 2008

By:

A company specializing in perforated sheet overcomes deburring issues with an automated system using nonwoven fiber brushes.

Continue Reading

Laser cut brass

Shop perfects laser cutting brass, titanium

January 15, 2008

By:

Meeting a challenge sometimes requires out-of-the box thinking. One contract manufacturer employed a thorough knowledge of laser cutting, determination, ingenuity, and tenacity to successfully laser cut difficult-to-process materials.

Continue Reading

The sweet smell of community

January 8, 2008

By:

The word global and all its derivations are everywhere. Saying a business is a global company may make a good marketing sound bite, but think about it: If your community is home to a company that calls itself a "global enterprise," would you really care? For instance, I grew up about an...

Continue Reading

Imagining the new for 2008

January 3, 2008

By:

Everyone who works at Tampa Sheet Metal Co. has a riverboat to thank. Yes, a riverboat.During the early 1900s, Augusta Jiretz, looking out the window of her room in a waterfront hotel, saw a riverboat that reminded her of home, Hamburg, Germany. That was enough for Augusta and her husband, John, a...

Continue Reading

A new kind of craftsperson for the job shop

December 18, 2007

By:

Dan Andersen graduated in 1992, trained as a robotics technician, only to find himself a few years later at Louis Industries, which at the time specialized in sheet metal cutting; no robotsjust flat-sheet processing, period.I didn"t grow up running a press brake, running the plasma cutter,...

Continue Reading

Keep on humming

December 11, 2007

By:

At the recent In-Tech 2007 open house at TRUMPF"s facility in Swabia, Germany, BusinessWeek and the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that "machine manufacturing has recorded its fourth boom year in a row. Companies are operating at full capacity and want to invest ... But a shadow lay over...

Continue Reading

The dollar"s decline: Good or bad?

December 4, 2007

By:

Jean-Guy April knows the value of a dollar, and in this case more value isn"t always better.April owns April Services Techniques, a metal fabrication consultancy in Montmagny, about 50 miles northeast of Quebec City, and many of his clients are feeling the pain as the dollar falls and the Canadian...

Continue Reading

The silent foundation of U.S. manufacturing

November 26, 2007

By:

On Sunday, after the Thanksgiving guests departed, with enough turkey leftovers to last for the next few millennia or so, and with my wife and 9-month-old daughter out at a brunch, I had a quiet moment to sit.Yes, sit. And as any parent knows, sitting is not something somebody with a 9-month-old...

Continue Reading

Raise your hand

November 14, 2007

By:

On Monday Jim Reeb, director, manufacturing R&D for Caterpillar, asked some hard-hitting questions of several hundred members of the metal fabrication industry.So how many of you want your children to grow up to be welders? A fraction of the audience members raised their hand. OK, now how many...

Continue Reading