FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

'My story: How I became a welder'

January 4, 2012


If you're like me, you're interested in people's stories. We all have them, and typically they are more interesting than we might think.  FMA Communications' editorial department—the department in which I work—got together last month to brainstorm all things related to our print and... Continue Reading

Act thankful: Buy American

November 23, 2011


My favorite holiday is upon us—Thanksgiving. A day spent sharing a meal and quality time with loved ones; calling family and friends in other parts of the country; watching football (in moderation); and expressing gratitude for all the good things in our lives makes for a great day in my book.... Continue Reading

Reefer madness coming ashore?

November 2, 2011


This past Labor Day weekend, my husband and I spent a quiet early morning hour on River Street in Savannah, Ga. River Street is a hopping place from mid-morning until late night, filled with people, music, and vendors selling hand-crafted items. It's the home of the second largest St. Patrick's Day... Continue Reading

Award-worthy and then some

October 28, 2011


It was a typical October day in Orlando, Fla., sunny, warm, and crowded with tourists from all over the world (at least it seemed so during my time at the Orlando airport October 26). I flew in to attend the Laser Institute of America's annual awards luncheon, at which Dr. Berthold Leibinger... Continue Reading

Foreign fabricators setting up shop in the U.S.

October 24, 2011


The October "Stamping News Brief" featured an item about South Korean auto parts maker GNS Automotive buying the former Walway Enterprises of Holland, Mich., in December 2009 as part of its plan to better serve its main customer, General Motors, and move up the value chain from a Tier 2 to Tier 1... Continue Reading

Welding students preserving the past for the future

October 5, 2011


Earlier today I made the final edits to an article to be published next week (Oct. 11) on Written by welding instructor and quality manager Carl Smith, a frequent contributor to the Web site, this article, "Don’t junk it; make it better,"  is about welding to extend equipment... Continue Reading

Defending Chinese-made products

September 29, 2011


Ricky Nelson had it right. You certainly can't please everyone, and it's foolish to try. If we editors had to please everyone every time we write something, nothing would ever be published. Someone somewhere will find fault, perhaps deeming it factually or politically incorrect or personally... Continue Reading

'The devil is in the details'

September 21, 2011


Earlier this month President Obama delivered a speech about the proposed American Jobs Act to Congress. His speech included these remarks: "... we're going to make sure the next generation of manufacturing takes root not in China or Europe, but right here, in the United States of America. If we... Continue Reading

More about the future of U.S. manufacturing

August 31, 2011


I devoted last week's blog post to one "Stamping News Brief" reader's comments regarding the current state and future of manufacturing in the U.S.  He expressed his concerns about governmental rules and regulations that are "strangling" his business and said things could turn around if the... Continue Reading

Manufacturing could come roaring back, if

August 24, 2011


The August issue of "Stamping News Brief" featured an article written by Michele Nash-Hoff, the author of the book Can American Manufacturing Be Saved? Why We Should and How We Can. In the article, which was published on, Nash-Hoff noted that "after dominating the globe for over... Continue Reading

Wanted: Business leaders to run the country

August 10, 2011


Several readers e-mailed their thoughts to me regarding the lead item in yesterday's "Fabricating Update" that featured another reader's comments about businesses being in business to make a profit. And then there was the anonymous caller who wanted to call attention to a mistake in the item.... Continue Reading

Racing to find skilled workers

August 3, 2011


If there's one topic that weaves its way into more articles and blog posts on than almost any other, it's the dearth of skilled labor. Despite high unemployment, many manufacturers continue to struggle to find workers with the right skills.  In his article "Fabricator finds path... Continue Reading

What's your job satisfaction number?

July 27, 2011


Among the most popular articles on is a series about Job Satisfaction that was written early in 2003. In December 2002, we surveyed “Fabricating Update” readers about how satisfied they were with their jobs. We asked them to rate their job satisfaction for the year on a scale... Continue Reading

Suppressing wages?

July 13, 2011


The July "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter featured reader comments about wages and whether employers are suppressing them to boost profits. These comments were inspired by a quote in the June issue from a reader reflecting on a potential manufacturing renaissance: "It is great that the companies... Continue Reading

'A small bit of good news'

June 29, 2011


Among the headlines on today was one that stood out as some very positive news for manufacturing: 'Manufacturing companies returning to U.S.' The linked article title, “Surging China costs forces some U.S. manufacturing companies back home," had me fist pumping a la Maria Sharapova at... Continue Reading