FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

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

Shop Management | Articles

Are workers really less productive?

September 2, 2015 | By Tim Heston

According to the Labor Department, American workers aren’t as productive as they once were. But how do we measure productivity? Perhaps most important, do customers value it?

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Shop Management | Articles

Metal fabrication basics: 5 insights on the humble hand tool

September 1, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Career metalworker Tom Lipton shares his insights on something that’s often taken for granted in the fab shop: hand tools.

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Roll Forming | Articles

Better testing leads to better roll forming

August 25, 2015 | By Tim Heston

A new testing device uncovers the range of yield stresses in specific materials and thus helps roll forming technicians better predict how certain materials will perform.

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Oxyfuel Cutting | Articles

Oxyfuel cutting thick, fast—and safely

August 11, 2015 | By Tim Heston

An oxyfuel cutting gas from MagneGas Corp. cuts thick plate with a highly concentrated flame. The gas—created from liquid biomass via plasma gasification—has in a mechanized setup cut 3.5-in.-thick plate at 18 IPM. The company also says that the gas is especially safe because it’s lighter than air.

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Assembly and Joining | Articles

Custom metal fabricator grows beyond sheet metal

August 4, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Nu-Way Industries, a fabricator near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, launched a new touchscreen display business, combining expertise in metal fabrication, assembly, and supply chain management.

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Shop Management | Articles

4 tips on avoiding property tax sticker shock

August 4, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Planning for your next commercial property tax assessment boils down to having the right information at the right time, and using the right strategy.

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Bending | Articles

8 questions for efficient bending on the press brake

July 27, 2015 | By Tim Heston

At S&B Machine in Mobile, Ala., Head Programmer Danny Brown streamlines bending by making sure the right operators have the right information at the right time.

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Shop Management | Articles

CB Fabricating finds success giving people second chances

July 20, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Indiana fabricator continues to grow thanks to technology and a small, dedicated staff. The small shop may prove the merits of giving people a second chance. It’s not just moral. For CB Fabricating, it’s not just moral; it’s good business.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

Knowing and appreciating the craft of metal fabrication

July 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston

The recipe for precision metal fabrication includes technology and craft. We hear a lot about the technology, but not so much about the craft.

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Shop Management | Articles

Employee engangement drives the manufacturing economy

July 15, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Automation and other advanced manufacturing technology have become the ticket for entry to compete in custom fabrication, but people still make the difference.

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Shop Management | Articles

Software tracks truth on the manufacturing shop floor

July 14, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing execution systems manage schedules based not about assumptions on available capacity, but on data gathered directly from manufacturing equipment.

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Laser Cutting | Articles

Gas gives the big assist in laser cutting

July 13, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Assist gas aids cutting and evacuates molten material from the kerf. It’s a key variable, one that may be the culprit for a bad cut edge. Just know that it’s not the only potential culprit.

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Shop Management | Blog Posts

A job shop story about diving in head first

June 23, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Many fab shop owners aren't in this business for the money. The act of diving in head first drives them.

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Laser Welding | Articles

Clamp, enclose, laser-weld

June 23, 2015 | By Tim Heston

Laser welding works extremely well, as long as you have the right enclosure, keep a clean environment, and make sure you have proper clamping to maintain a consistent gap between your base metals. One laser welding technology tackles all three of these challenges.

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Assembly and Joining | Articles

Negative pressure yields positive results in resistance welding

June 23, 2015 | By Tim Heston

A system helps resistance welding lines save water as tip changeouts become more frequent. The technology uses negative pressure, similar to placing your thumb on top of a straw and lifting it out of a glass of water.

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