FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

Get with the program

February 7, 2008

By:

Have you ever noticed how things run in cycles? Feast or famine? Drought or flood? No phone calls, or one call after another? I telecommute, and days go by that my work phone doesn't ring at all. On those days, all communication transpires electronically. This is not one of those days.Among...

Continue Reading

Frills or no frills?

January 30, 2008

By:

A mere three weeks ago, the introduction of the Nano, the $2,500 car produced by Tata Motors, made the headlines worldwide. It also was the topic of the Jan. 15 "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter lead-in, which asked subscribers what they thought of the new car and whether it would have any impact...

Continue Reading

Flashdance meets real life

January 23, 2008

By:

I'm interviewing Brennan Palmiter, a young race car driver with a passion for welding that's almost as strong as his passion for racing. His profile will be featured on thefabricator.com next month.Palmiter's story, along with two stories I ran across today, proved to me that there...

Continue Reading

Hodgepodge

January 17, 2008

By:

Today's post is a mishmash of interesting items that have crossed my desk in the last few days.The words hodgepodge and mishmash are alterations of Middle English words, hochepot and misse-masche, respectively. The English language has evolved over the years, and so has the English...

Continue Reading

Filling a need

January 9, 2008

By:

Can you remember a time without wheelchairs? Probably not. According to wheelchairnet.org, the earliest found image of a wheelchair is incised in stone on a 6th century Chinese sarcophagus. In the 16th century, King Philip II of Spain used an elaborate rolling chair with movable arm and leg rests....

Continue Reading

Educators, listen up

December 13, 2007

By:

Much has been said and written about the skilled labor shortage, yet it remains an issue that plagues manufacturers across the U.S. and the rest of the world.Skill comes from training and experience. It begins when an individual is exposed to a craft, develops an interest, and decides to pursue the...

Continue Reading

Say it isn't so

December 5, 2007

By:

Confession time. I'm a survey junkie. When I scan news sites, I always check the survey section to see the latest topics. In fact, my very first blog post on thefabricator.com, What to do about health care costs, mentioned surveys about dashboard dining and windbreakers imported from...

Continue Reading

After the war

November 28, 2007

By:

As the Iraqi War continues, business is booming for defense contractors. According to Michael Brush"s article on MSN Money, War means a windfall for CEOs, the military buildup has caused defense-contractor revenue to double, triple, and even more during the past five years, and executives at these...

Continue Reading

Notes on FABTECH

November 15, 2007

By:

WARNING: I'm on FABTECH overload. I'm back in my office looking at stacks of press kits about products featured at the 2007 FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show that wrapped up Wednesday. Held in Chicago, this year's show was the largest I've seen in my nine years with the...

Continue Reading

Cutting the pipeline

November 7, 2007

By:

This week two metal tube and pipe companies announced plant closings.Wolverine Tube Inc. announced Nov. 6 that it will discontinue its U.S. plumbing tube business and will close manufacturing facilities located in Decatur, Ala., and Booneville, Miss. The same day, U.S. Pipe & Foundry announced that...

Continue Reading

Heavy metal

October 31, 2007

By:

It's Halloween, and to celebrate I thought I'd Google "Halloween metal," just to see what results the phrase would conjure up. I entered the words in quotation marks to try and limit the number of results. Among the 85,900 links returned were sites that featured metal Halloween...

Continue Reading

Revving up in China

October 24, 2007

By:

While the U.S. auto industry is busy dealing with the dollar-yen exchange rate, contract negotiations with the UAW, rising fuel prices, falling sales, and a "product so mediocre they need to bribe customers with incentives to buy American," (quote from a Forbes article Detroit to Japan: Strengthen...

Continue Reading

Sargent current building

Not your average job shop

October 23, 2007

By:

Sargent Metal Fabricators, Anderson, S.C., is not your average job shop. In an economic climate in which many U.S. fabricators have suffered, the company has stayed focused on its goals, invested in new equipment, grown by leaps and bounds, and positioned itself for future growth. How? By concentrating on key factors.

Continue Reading

Domestic steel's image

October 18, 2007

By:

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a dinner and presentation hosted by the Outside Processors Council (OPC). The council, organized in 1997 with the assistance of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Outside Processing Managers Committee, serves metal producers, service centers, and...

Continue Reading

Fighting brain drain

October 10, 2007

By:

For years the term brain drain has been defined as "an emigration of trained and talented individuals (human capital) to other nations or jurisdictions, due to conflicts, lack of opportunity, health hazards where they are living, or other reasons." More recently, the term is being used to describe...

Continue Reading