FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
2014 forecast: The big question mark - TheFabricator.com

2014 forecast: The big question mark

December 1, 2013

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2014 could be a banner year for the metal fabricaton business, or it could be a dud. Uncertainty reigns, and at the end of 2013, most of it focused on Washington.

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How one job shop retains skilled talent - TheFabricator.com

How one job shop retains skilled talent

November 25, 2013

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Southern Metalcraft Inc.’s average employee tenure is 20 years. Speaking on a shop tour during The FABRICATOR’s 2013 Technology Summit, the company founder described why employees rarely leave.

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A reporter’s notebook from FABTECH

November 20, 2013

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FABTECH® is on. It’s big---well on track to be the largest to date. Before Thursday’s close, it’s anticipated that more than 35,000 will walk the halls of McCormick Place. It’s flashy. Solid-state lasers are cutting thin, but also thick stock. I saw a 1-micron laser slice through 1 inch...

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The future of the laser in metal fabrication

November 12, 2013

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This time next week I’ll be walking the floor at McCormick Place, seeing what’s new, what’s unusual, and perhaps a little about what the future holds in metal fabrication. Even after years covering FABTECH®, I feel like a kid at a candy store. Sometimes I think about what the industry will...

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The potential of collaborative manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

The potential of collaborative manufacturing

November 6, 2013

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As globalization took hold in recent decades, Tony Chirchirillo was keenly aware of how many viewed manufacturing. He decided to change that perception in an unconventional way—by forming a network of noncompeting, complementary companies.

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A metal fabricator’s quiet transition - TheFabricator.com

A metal fabricator’s quiet transition

November 6, 2013

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The management buyout of the Schott metal fabrication division was, for many employees, a quiet affair. But transitioning to become an independent enterprise did call for major changes behind the scenes.

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Going cellular: A year later - TheFabricator.com

How cellular manufacturing can work in contract manufacturing

November 5, 2013

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For the past year one contract fabricator in Georgia has operated under the cellular manufacturing concept. Even in the shop’s high-product-mix environment, the concept is working—even thriving.

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How lean manufacturing makes labor more valuable

October 29, 2013

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Last week I flew to Chicago to attend LeanFab Workshop & Tours, a continuous improvement event devoted to the metal fabrication business, organized by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International. Dick Kallage of Barrington, Ill.-based KDC & Associates (and monthly...

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How to Double Revenue Over 12 Months

October 23, 2013

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Length: 10:25

Senior Editor Tim Heston talks with Frank Cucchiara, general manager at Gap Partners Inc., about how the contract fabricator, nestled amid the north Georgia mountains, doubled revenue over 12 months. Read the article.

Sausage-making at its best and worst

October 15, 2013

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When it comes to government, I don’t particularly want to know about the sausage-making—the bargaining, arguing, and deals made (and now almost always required) to get anything accomplished. I know reading about it would just infuriate me, because inside the beltway, at least, it seems that...

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How top performing metal fabricators get it done - TheFabricator.com

How top performing metal fabricators get it done

October 9, 2013

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FMA’s recently released Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey digs deep into the numbers. The results give a realistic view of the industry and reveal how successful its top performers can be.

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Roll form and shine bright - TheFabricator.com

Roll form and shine bright

October 9, 2013

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As revenue tumbled nearly 80 percent during the downturn, OMCO’s sales team searched for new markets that could carry them through the tough times and beyond. Ultimately, they found a sector that grew faster than anyone expected. They found solar.

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No-nonsense lean at Micron Metalworks - TheFabricator.com

No-nonsense lean at Micron Metalworks

October 9, 2013

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This Minnesota fabricator took a pragmatic approach to lean manufacturing, one that takes the challenges of the job shop into account. Employees focused on communication, organization, and simplicity. The result was an operational and, most important, cultural transformation.

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The virtues of paying your debts

October 8, 2013

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Whenever I think of the debt ceiling, I think of Vivek Gupta, managing director of Texas ProFab in Carrollton, Texas. In 2008—back when we were all debating whether we were really heading into a full blown recession (how quaint)—he told me that he not only pays the fabricator’s bills on...

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How one fabricator doubled revenue over 12 months - TheFabricator.com

How one fabricator doubled revenue over 12 months

October 7, 2013

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Manufacturing boils down to three principal services: design and engineering, prototyping, and production. One Georgia fabricator has evolved to offer all three.

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