FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

CAD/CAM Software | Blog Posts

The digital-thread potential in custom metal fabrication

February 22, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The ideas behind the "digital thread" in the manufacturing supply chain may have big potential in custom metal fabrication.

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Machining | Blog Posts

Sheet metal and plate meet the mill and lathe

February 17, 2016 | By Tim Heston

3-D software may be bringing two different crafts, sheet metal fabrication and machining, just a little closer together.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Oil and gas downturn: Worse than 2009? For some, yes

February 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston

For some fab shops with deep ties to the energy sector, the past year and a half has not been fun.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Manufacturing’s image: The engaging logic of the entire process

February 15, 2016 | By Tim Heston

What sparked Pat Hopkins' interest in manufacturing wasn't just the technology, but the engaging logic of the entire fabrication process.

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Shop Management | Articles

Managing metal fabrication through the generations

February 10, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Although the study of generations is an inexact social science, it may help company leaders empathize, minimize conflict, and get everyone on the same page.

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Shop Management | Articles

Lean manufacturing prepares lawn care OEM for the future

February 10, 2016 | By Tim Heston

After rapid growth, a commercial lawn care OEM prepares for the future with better part flow, better production controls, better communication, and better planning. The company’s continuous improvement initiative is well on its way.

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Shop Management | Articles

26 Commerce Road and the life of the small manufacturer

February 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston

A small industrial building just off the highway in northeast Pennsylvania has seen a few businesses come and go. Their stories tell a lot about what it’s like to be a small manufacturer in the U.S.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Voices that matter, in Iowa and the metal fabrication shop floor

February 2, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Having your voice matter may be at the core of good culture. This may apply as much to Iowa voters as it does to people on the fab shop floor.

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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Structural tube fabrication: Getting a solid connection for HSS

February 1, 2016 | By Tim Heston

One architectural fabricator has developed a connection and fabrication system for the modular construction of hollow structural sections, or HSS. Such connections show just how efficient modular construction can be.

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Assembly and Joining | Articles

Brushing up sheet metal assembly

February 1, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Scratching a cosmetically critical part during assembly can be costly. This is where choosing the right material for the assembly table surface can be critical. It’s here that the table brush may be able to help.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Perspective on 2016: Metal fabricators stand ready to swing

January 19, 2016 | By Tim Heston

For U.S. manufacturers, 2016 is full of uncertainty. But shops with diversified customer bases and healthy balance sheets stand ready to swing.

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Assembly and Joining | Articles

Building improvement at JCB: A case study in lean manufacturing

January 6, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The part flow at JCB’s Savannah plant has changed significantly over the past six years. The company redesigned a major product line to meet customer demand while also making part flow much easier to manage.

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Shop Management | Articles

A “digital thread” runs through FABTECH, North America’s largest metal fabrication show

January 6, 2016 | By Tim Heston

FABTECH broke records again in 2015, drawing more attendees and exhibitors than ever. One theme this year seemed to pervade the event. It relates to what keynote speaker Karen Kerr, director of advanced manufacturing at GE Ventures, called a “digital thread” through the manufacturing supply chain.

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Laser Welding | Articles

Differentiation in manufacturing: Cadence hits its unique stride

January 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Cadence, Inc. in Staunton, Va., launched with a proprietary technology. But if the company had relied solely on that technology for growth, it wouldn’t be the $100 million, 500-employee, six-location industrial and medical device contract manufacturer it is today.

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Shop Management | Articles

One metal fabrication shop takes on B2C

January 4, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Launched in 2015, Florida-based MetalsCut4U offers low-volume metal cutting and bending to the consumer market. To make it happen, the company simplifies ordering and automates quoting.

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