FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107
The comeback metal fabricator - TheFabricator.com

The comeback metal fabricator

April 8, 2013

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Everyone knows that metal fabricators need to be good at quick turnarounds. Super Steel became just that, hitting the financial skids in 2009 and transforming itself into a quick-turn fabricator and key manufacturing supplier to the freight rail industry in just three years.

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American business success: Optimism peppered with pragmatism

March 19, 2013

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So said Don McNeeley, president and COO, Chicago Tube & Iron Co., and professor at Northwestern University, speaking Feb. 27 at The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit in Palm Harbor, Fla. After conversations with various fabricators since then, most tend to agree with him. Business is OK, not...

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The chaplain and the press brake technician - TheFabricator.com

The chaplain and the press brake technician

March 15, 2013

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Everyone has personal problems at some point of their lives, and those problems can affect productivity at work. In this sensitive area, workplace chaplains may be able to help.

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Metal fabrication, a people business

March 12, 2013

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In an upcoming print edition of The FABRICATOR, columnist Dick Kallage, principal at KDC & Associates, Barrington, Ill., asks this fundamental question: Why do customers buy from you? As Kallage explains, “the answer often revolves around soft, generalized terms, such as quality, precision,...

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How automation makes best use of talent - TheFabricator.com

How automation makes best use of talent

March 7, 2013

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A high-product-mix manufacturer chooses robotized bending not because it lacked a skilled workforce, but because it wanted to make the best use of the talented workforce it already had.

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Fabricators march on despite dysfunction in Washington

March 4, 2013

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What happens when you get more than 150 fabricators from across the country in one room? Ideas start flowing. Unlike three years ago, attendees at The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit this year spoke of expansion and capacity challenges. During a roundtable discussion, one operations manager spoke...

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Enhancing the customer relationship

March 1, 2013

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Length: 9:24

Innovation has been said to be at the heart of business success, but in a contract fabrication company that often doesn't work with product development or design, where is that innovation? According to Jeff Mengel, partner and a leader in Plante Moran's manufacturing group, innovation doesn't apply to just products. It can also be about changing a customer relationship. Read the article.

Conducting the laser - TheFabricator.com

Conducting the laser

March 1, 2013

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Elizabeth Kautzmann, chairman of FMA’s Industrial Laser Council, keeps one eye on laser technology and another eye on a part’s overall processing time.

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The FABRICATOR's 2013 Industry Award: An anti-Oscar ceremony

February 26, 2013

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This afternoon I’ll be boarding a plane to Tampa, Fla., for The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit. I’m biased, of course, but the industry conference remains one of my favorites. Talk centers on the many joys and challenges of running a metal fabrication business. Industry leaders discuss...

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Tube bending, the next generation - TheFabricator.com

Tube bending, the next generation

February 15, 2013

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A tube bending shop with roots that go back to the Gemini and Apollo missions looks far different today than it did eight years ago.

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Mr. Bureaucracy, tear down this wall

February 12, 2013

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This morning I talked with Paul Luber, CEO of Milwaukee-based Super Steel, a contract fabricator on a serious rebound. In 2010 the company went into receivership. Now, the fabricator recently has completed a serious growth spurt--it doubled revenue in just 12 months--and is preparing for 15 percent...

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Are we busy yet?

February 7, 2013

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Length: 5:10

Employees at CR Metal Products were worried last year. Machines weren't running constantly, and the shop seemed empty. Thing was, 2012 was one of CR Metal's best years, and managers attribute much of the success to an improvement method called quick-response manufacturing. Read the article.

The real costs behind miscommunication

January 22, 2013

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At the last FABTECH® show, I ran into an engineer who works for GE Appliance & Lighting, looking for products that would speed that all-important art-to-part time--that all-important product-development time. Their comments make sense in light of recent growth of the company’s Louisville,...

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Focusing on information waste

January 15, 2013

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Yesterday the Brookings Institution, along with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, proposed a program that would involve the federal government designating 20 “manufacturing universities” to prepare students for the sectors that need engineering help. Most intriguing, perhaps...

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Taxes, skilled workers, and certainty

January 10, 2013

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Will a new employee perform well? What will the new tax environment be? These challenges and more create levels of uncertainty that drive business decisions.

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