FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Why the stigma attached to factory work?

March 14, 2014

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People should spend less time pushing every student toward college and spend more time realizing what people are actually doing on a shop floor of progressive fabricating shops. They aren’t “laborers,” but skilled machine operators and technicians—typically without a traditional four-year degree. Any stigma that exists about today’s factory worker is no longer relevant.

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Sustainable growth in the sunny Southwest

March 13, 2014

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You might have noticed the employees of CAID Industries Inc., Tucson, Ariz., walking around FABTECH 2013 with bright yellow shirts indicating that the fabricator was hiring. The company is looking for the right talent to help turn the $40-million-a-year business into something much larger.

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About growing the economic pie

March 3, 2014

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At The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit, held last week in Austin, Texas, industry executives talked about growing the economic pie. One keynote speaker recalled how his business effectively grew the pie, thanks to open book management.

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millennials

How millennials will make a difference

February 28, 2014

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Millenials have gotten a bad reputation. But the best of them may find a metal fabrication career extremely rewarding.

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The few, the proud, the small-shop employee

February 19, 2014

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Small business employees now make up a smaller piece of the employment pie, and this may say a lot about manufacturing's perennial skilled-labor crisis.

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mission-critical

Mission-critical metal fabrication

February 17, 2014

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No matter how eye-popping the technology, the means of getting a job done is secondary; the result is primary. This is where General Tool Co.'s "team of experts" appraoch comes into play.

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ESAB parent to acquire Victor Technologies

February 13, 2014

A welding and cutting equipment company with significant presence in Europe and South America is set for a bump in market share stateside. On Feb. 12 ESAB’s parent, Colfax Corp., based in Fulton, Md., announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to buy St. Louis, Mo.-based Victor...

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laser photonics

Laser photonics meets shop floor pragmatism

February 10, 2014

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Pragmatism rules the day at Directed Light, a job shop focusing on a wide range of industrial laser applications, from UV to far-infrared.

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stamping

How stamping and fabrication work together

February 4, 2014

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At Fisher-Barton South Carolina, historically a stamping operation, now gets half of its revenue from products that use metal fabrication. But there's not a stamping and fabricating "side" to the business. In fact, the part flow shows just how complementary fabrication and stamping can be.

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How to get rich—slowly

January 30, 2014

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The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association’s 2013 Salary/Wage & Benefit Survey suggests that people can find fulfilling careers—especially monetarily—if they are willing to learn the trade and acquire additional skills during their careers.

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The factory worker stigma

January 29, 2014

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The factory worker—that is, the skilled technician—makes the products others have researched and engineered, and you can’t have a domestic manufacturing industry without them.

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Passing on the torch in metal fabrication

January 20, 2014

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The boomer generation is retiring, and they’ll need to hand off the torch to somebody. The big question is who.

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Photo Welders

Where the best welders go, and why

January 13, 2014

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Why aren’t wages rising for welders even though companies say they can’t find skilled welders? Why is welding still one of the most difficult skills for fabricators to hire? What can fabricators do to find the best welding talent?

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Press brake training helps build a foundation for success - TheFabricator.com

Press brake training helps build a foundation for success

January 2, 2014

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Robbins Manufacturing of Fall River, Wis., has invested in an extensive training program, including machine-specific training, especially on the press brake. The company also has invested heavily in new technology, including a brake with automatic tool change. Both investments are paying off.

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A trade meritocracy

December 16, 2013

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Last week, when I visited Fisher-Barton South Carolina, Alex Robertson, business development manager, showed me a part on the shipping dock—a part he was proud of. The contract manufacturer had won the job about eight months ago. And it beat a quote from a stamper and fabricator in India....

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