FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

Web Content Manager
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

From the Web 2.25.14

February 25, 2014


Beginning today, offers its Fab Top 5—links to items of interest to fabricators published on the Web in the previous week. Among today’s Top 5 are stories about women filling welding jobs in Louisiana, manufacturing hubs in Detroit and Chicago, and a change in the way... Continue Reading

Barnes Metalcrafters

The Fabricator Spotlight update-Part I

February 24, 2014


From 2010 through early 2013, profiled various metal fabricating shops in “The Fabricator Spotlight.” How have these businesses fared since their profiles were published? Here’s a look at two profiled at the beginning of 2010: Barnes Metalcrafters and Brown Dog Welding.

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Location, location, location?

February 19, 2014


“Location, location, location” long has been a catchphrase for describing just how important it is for a business to set up shop in the right place, or a homebuyer to make a good investment. It also describes an important criteria for finding a welding job. Some parts of the country are begging... Continue Reading

Aluminum tough as steel? Does it matter?

February 12, 2014


Scanning news sites this morning looking for something other than coverage of PAX, which I’m experiencing firsthand in the North Atlanta suburbs, I came across an interesting item on—“Ford’s aluminum secret weapon.” The automaker is banking on its decision to build its... Continue Reading


Chances for economic improvement ‘shaky at best’

February 5, 2014


The Great Recession officially ended June 2009 in the U.S. Since then, the economic recovery has plodded along slowly. Nearly five years later, the snail’s pace continues, with small business optimism crawling along with it. The National Federation of Independent Business (NIFB) Research... Continue Reading

Earth may not be flat, but the economy is

January 30, 2014


You no doubt have heard many experts weigh in on the economy, and you may have heard the 2014 State of the Union address, which focused a lot on economic conditions. Yes, we want to know what others think, what the trends are, and where experts think we are headed. But those who weigh in seem to... Continue Reading

In praise of snow plows

January 28, 2014


As I write this, I’m watching the snow fall outside my office window. If you’re in a part of the world that has seen far too much snow this winter, you’re probably thinking, “Big deal.” Actually, for those of us in parts of the country that seldom see snow, it is a big deal. It’s... Continue Reading

Team USA wearing USA-made

January 23, 2014


Less than two years ago, the 2012 U.S. Olympic athletes’ official uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, drew much criticism—not for appearance, but because they were made, head-to-toe, in China. The 2012 fiasco was a subject of a blog post on entitled, “Will Olympic uniform... Continue Reading

A nickel for a nickel

January 21, 2014


Fabricators aren’t alone in looking for ways to cut back on material costs. A friend recently posted a photo of a large jar of coins on his Facebook page—change from a routine purchase. In coming years, that change jar might have a different color, from the inside out. As reported in the... Continue Reading

Shop Towel

Shop towels and the unseen danger

January 17, 2014


Those freshly washed shop towels you may be using to clean your hands in the workplace might be doing more harm than good. A recent study shows just how contaminated these towels can be.

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U.S. small businesses increase revenue exporting to China

January 15, 2014


If you think only large U.S. corporations export to China, you’re wrong. Small businesses export as well. recently profiled five small businesses that currently are exporting their products to China. These products include wine, air purifiers, wallpaper, explosives detection... Continue Reading

Encouraging employees to solve problems

January 8, 2014


Yesterday’s “Fabricating Update” e-newsletter featured an item about a soft skills gap—how manufacturers are finding that their current employees and potential hires, are deficient in communication and problem-solving skills. According to a recent survey of hiring managers and human... Continue Reading

The shoppingest time of the year

December 17, 2013


Three days ago someone asked if I was done with my Christmas shopping. When I said, “No,” this person said, “Why not?” Not that I owed him or anyone else an explanation, the truth is, I really dislike shopping. I know this flies in the face of the stereotypical thinking about women: Women... Continue Reading

'I quit'

December 12, 2013


Yesterday's "Stamping News Brief" e-newsletter focused on job satisfaction. It featured a blog post by my colleague, Dan Davis, in which he wrote about the relationship between age and job satisfaction, and how employers are happy with older workers. We asked newsletter readers to share their ages... Continue Reading

Honor and influence

December 4, 2013


Today is my dad’s birthday. If he were alive, he would be 89 years old. Sadly, he passed away at the young age of 48. He served in World War II honorably, enlisting when he was 17. Well, he lied about his age to go into the military, but for an honorable reason. He lived his life honorably, and... Continue Reading