FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

Making music in the U.S.

February 23, 2012

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If music is the universal language, then metal fabricators who make musical instruments and their components must be the masters of the universe. OK … that might be a stretch, but at the very least they are creators of products that can bring pleasure to many. (Sorry, but following my own...

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A U.S. export that might surprise you

February 15, 2012

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Almost lost among today's msnbc.com headlines and the Internet chatter about Whitney Houston's death and whether the New Jersey governor is justified in calling for the state's flags to be flown at half-staff in memorial was a link in the "Business" section that captured my attention and made me...

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'Skilled labor standing right here, willing to relocate!'

February 7, 2012

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The January "Fabricating Update" included statistics and comments from the e-newsletter's recent survey about fabricator concerns. Some of the comments focused on the lack of skilled labor, an oft-cited concern in the fabricating industry and manufacturing as a whole.  This information garnered...

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Advice for Ken about his welding career

January 25, 2012

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Are you among those who "like" The FABRICATOR page on Facebook? If so, you may have seen the January 11 post from Kenny Johnson, who wrote: "Where does everyone see the future of fabrication in the U.S.? Certified welders, or welders with degrees but no certifications? I ask this because I am...

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Metal stampers' take on unions: Part II

January 18, 2012

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Last week's post, Metal stampers' take on unions: Part I, revealed findings from a "Stamping News Brief" (SNB) survey about unions. It also featured comments from survey respondents—both those who believe unions are still necessary and those who don’t. Those who believe unions are to blame for...

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Metal stampers' take on unions: Part I

January 11, 2012

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Labor unions continue to make news. Today, sfgate.com published the article Twinkie-Maker Hostess Files for Bankruptcy Citing Pensions, which said that the baker's latest bankruptcy filing is being blamed on the weak economy and costs tied to pension- and medical-benefit obligations resulting from...

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'My story: How I became a welder'

January 4, 2012

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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...

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Act thankful: Buy American

November 23, 2011

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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....

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Reefer madness coming ashore?

November 2, 2011

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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...

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Award-worthy and then some

October 28, 2011

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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...

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Foreign fabricators setting up shop in the U.S.

October 24, 2011

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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...

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Welding students preserving the past for the future

October 5, 2011

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Earlier today I made the final edits to an article to be published next week (Oct. 11) on thefabricator.com. 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...

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Defending Chinese-made products

September 29, 2011

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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...

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'The devil is in the details'

September 21, 2011

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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...

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More about the future of U.S. manufacturing

August 31, 2011

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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...

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