July 19, 2010 | By Tim Heston
I’m glad I talked with Drew Greenblatt last week. Otherwise, news of waning manufacturing output might have gotten to me. At Greenblatt’s company, Marlin Steel Wire Products, output certainly isn’t waning. The 28-employee contract manufacturer has grown throughout the recession, and much of...
July 13, 2010 | By Tim Heston
In April 2010, more than 100 wordsmiths from 30 countries traveled from as far away as New Zealand and Australia to the picturesque hills of County Monaghan, northwest of Dublin, to visit Combilift, a forklift manufacturer that manufactures locally, but sells globally.
July 8, 2010 | By Tim Heston
The country continues to fret about unemployment. Millions want jobs, and millions of business owners want those people to have jobs so that they’ll buy products. Most business owners, though, don’t want to be the ones hiring. That’s where the government has stepped in. Of course, government...
July 1, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Fiber lasers have enormous potential in metal fabrication. They aren't a panacea, but for certain applications, they may be extremely attractive. They're solid-state, require less maintenance, and often can cut twice as fast as their CO2 counterparts.
June 28, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Last week DeWys Mfg., a metal fabricator based in west Michigan, launched a new Web site, and the content of that Web site is worth noting. The contract fabricator is touting its “circle of companies” concept, which is another way to describe the fact that DeWys is a one-stop shop for metal...
June 21, 2010 | By Tim Heston
An international economic chess game just got more interesting, and metal fabricators may one day see the benefits. Today the Chinese currency rose against the dollar 0.42 percent in Asia—not much, but that’s the biggest one-day gain in five years. This came after Chinese officials announced...
June 15, 2010 | By Tim Heston
John McPhee is a hero of mine. As one of the best nonfiction writers out there, the Princeton professor and contributor to The New Yorker magazine can turn any subject into a pleasurable read. He’s written about geology, the merchant marines, physics—heck, even an entire book on oranges....
June 8, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Business owners in the metal fabrication industry are getting to be old hands at hosting top dogs from Washington on both sides of the political aisle. Several years ago President Bush visited Fox Valley Metal-Tech in Green Bay, Wis., and gave a speech. Last year Vice President Joe Biden visited...
June 4, 2010 | By Tim Heston
A new press brake and tooling purchase leads to a new way of thinking about manufacturing, including the reduction of batch sizes and work-in-process.
June 1, 2010 | By Tim Heston
NEX Solutions experiences double-digit growth during the worst economic climate in a generation. How did managers and employees achieve such performance? By adding value.
June 1, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Galpin Auto Sports pushes the envelope when it comes to car customization, and plasma cutting helps the company push the limits.
May 25, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Butch Munson has worked at the same metal fabrication company for 43 years, and in a few years he plans to retire. He’s had a good career at LeFiell Mfg. Co., a tube and specialty fabricator in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Sure, the shop has had its ups and downs, but generally the company has always...
May 17, 2010 | By Tim Heston
On May 16, 1960, Theodore Maiman of Hughes Labs became the first person on the planet to build light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation—or laser. (Thank goodness the acronym stuck.) On Sunday, the laser turned 50. I’m willing to bet that on that day in 1960, Ignacio “Nacho”...
May 10, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Did you here? The folks who make things for a living are now … cool. Many business gurus out there, including Warren Buffett, say manufacturers are leading the economic recovery. The Institute for Supply Management reported the fifth month of growth in manufacturing employment. ISM’s employment...
May 4, 2010 | By Tim Heston
Combination machines have brought the done-in-one concept to the heavy plate fabricator's shop floor.