FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

In praise of snow plows

January 28, 2014

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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...

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Team USA wearing USA-made

January 23, 2014

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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 thefabricator.com entitled, “Will Olympic uniform...

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A nickel for a nickel

January 21, 2014

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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...

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Shop Towel

Shop towels and the unseen danger

January 17, 2014

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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

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

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Encouraging employees to solve problems

January 8, 2014

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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...

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The shoppingest time of the year

December 17, 2013

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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...

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'I quit'

December 12, 2013

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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...

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Honor and influence

December 4, 2013

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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...

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Day 3 of FABTECH

November 20, 2013

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Day 3 of FABTECH® 2013, and my mind is filled with all things fabricating. At a booth visit earlier today, an exhibitor asked what my colleagues and I are seeing that’s new and unique. Where to begin. Although fiber lasers have been out for a while, the race has been on to produce a model that...

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A bright spot in an otherwise dark day

November 19, 2013

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Early on the morning of November 17, with severe storms forecast in Chicago, my husband turned to me and said, “It’s your call.” Translation: You decide whether we are going to participate in RUN4MFG, a 5k run/walk sponsored by FABTECH® hosts the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association,...

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The greatest show in fabricating

November 13, 2013

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The holiday season is fast approaching, and what better way for fabricators to kick it off than by holding their own extravaganza celebrating metal manufacturing and its technology. FABTECH® truly is an extravaganza—a spectacular array of the latest equipment and software for producing metal...

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Keepers

November 6, 2013

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As promised, here are some positive comments from “Welding Wire” readers about their experiences dealing with today’s young workers. First up is Dan, who works for a Michigan-based company that touts its “benchmark craftsmanship by certified welders.” Dan said, “I like to work with the...

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Those who do well really shine

October 31, 2013

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The October “Welding Wire” e-newsletter asked readers to share their observations about today’s workforce, specifically, younger workers. You can always count on “Welder Wire” workers to respond and to do so with candor and conviction. Based on their responses, there are some issues with...

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Barely 18, Part II

October 23, 2013

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Joe, Joe, Joe. It’s now been three weeks since I e-mailed you in response to the comment you left for a blog post about how welders began their welding careers. You wrote about your desire to begin yours and how no one would give you a chance. I wanted to find out and report on your experiences...

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