FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

A new kind of craftsperson for the job shop

December 18, 2007

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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,...

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Keep on humming

December 11, 2007

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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...

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The dollar"s decline: Good or bad?

December 4, 2007

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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...

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The silent foundation of U.S. manufacturing

November 26, 2007

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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...

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Raise your hand

November 14, 2007

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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...

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Keep your powder dry

November 6, 2007

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When tool and die maker Michael Ward Sr. started Ward Manufacturing Co. in 1936, one principle gave the business a solid foundation: Keep your powder dry.That"s according to the founder"s grandson, Tom Ward, vice president of the Evanston, Ill., company, now under its third generation of...

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Are you ready for boarding?

October 29, 2007

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Last week Chew Choon Seng hosted a symbolic event in aviation history. The CEO of Singapore Airlines threw a party more than 30,000 feet in the air, where he strolled the aisles in his company"s new crown jewel: the Airbus A380. After years of delays, the thing is finally airborne. From Singapore"s...

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There's no place like home

October 23, 2007

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It boils down to a simple fact: Consumers get picky.That"s according to Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., managing director of Lawrence, Kan.-based Armada Corporate Intelligence. The economist stopped by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), International, headquarters last week to communicate some...

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Point, click, buy anything—from anywhere

October 16, 2007

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Say you"re looking to buy a new stainless steel refrigerator, but instead of driving down to your local Sears, you hop online, review your options, customize it, and purchase itdirectly from a factory in rural China. The manufacturer takes your specific requirements and builds a fridge just for...

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Fabricating a new future in Michigan

September 28, 2007

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The economy of many Rust Belt states has undergone quite a transformation over recent years. These states that were so closely tied to manufacturing have had to deal with the effects of globalization. Michigan is no exception.Michigan reportedly has lost about 170,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000....

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Really big lunch boxes

September 20, 2007

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So I"m watching an episode of Feasting on Asphalt on The Food Network about a week ago. The show documents chef/scientist Alton Brown and his motorcycle crew"s cruise up the Mississippi River in search of authentic roadside grub.After feasting on all sorts of fried food in south Louisiana, the...

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Chinese steel targeted

September 14, 2007

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Everyone knew that the Aug. 1 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis would spark plenty of scrutiny into the state of this country"s infrastructure and the construction methods used in these projects. But who knew that China would fall smack dab in the middle of the investigations? On...

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