Vicki Bell

Vicki Bell


FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123

Blog Posts

Filling a need

January 9, 2008 | By Vicki Bell

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....

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Blog Posts

Educators, listen up

December 13, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Say it isn't so

December 5, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

After the war

November 28, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Notes on FABTECH

November 15, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Cutting the pipeline

November 7, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Heavy metal

October 31, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Revving up in China

October 24, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Sargent current building

Shop Management | Articles

Not your average job shop

October 23, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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.

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Blog Posts

Domestic steel's image

October 18, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Fighting brain drain

October 10, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Road trip

October 3, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

Yesterday was a beautiful day in North-metro Atlanta. Not a cloud in the sky. Pleasant temperatures. A perfect day for a road trip to visit a company that will be profiled in an upcoming article on thefabricator.com.I printed out directions from Google Maps, climbed in my Jeep (the one that metal...

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Blog Posts

Another trade milestone

October 2, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

I received a press release recently about the U.S."s trade deficit relative to China. It announced that during the George W. Bush years the total merchandise deficit has exceeded $1 trillion.Now that"s a stunning statistic. Not to sidestep this bit of data or downplay the importance of it, but it...

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Blog Posts

Being green

September 26, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

Green—my favorite color—may be the most popular these days. More and more manufacturers are working to have their products labeled green, which has become synonymous with environmentally friendly. Advertisers use it to promote everything from automobiles to shampoo. Websites, magazines,...

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Blog Posts

Hands off my Jeep!

September 19, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

I read an item today from the Charleston Daily Mail that had me shaking my head in disbelief and even frightened me.The item was about recent thefts in West Virginia of catalytic converters, which are being sold by thieves to scrap metal dealers. Many are being taken from Jeeps. This frightened...

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