March 11, 2014
Highlights for fabricators from content published on the Web during the past week— planes, dragsters, “old lady welders,” and a close look at today’s factory worker.
Among today’s Fab Top 5 items of interest to fabricators published on the Web in the previous week are stories about Boeing’s Dreamliner, which continues to experience problems; what today’s manufacturing job looks like; how an NHRA-licensed young woman helped build her dragster; and “old-lady” welders. Also featured is an article about a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based startup that’s playing manufacturing matchmaker:
A manufacturing problem has caused hairline cracks in the wings of some of Boeing’s Dreamliners. It appears that a change in the manufacturing process may have caused the cracks. As the article noted, news of the cracks was quickly overshadowed by the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jet, reportedly one of the safest aircrafts in the world. More trouble for Boeing’s Dreamliner; money.cnn.com
Despite automation and improved work environments, factory jobs still have the potential for injury, and not all jobs are created equal in terms of pay and benefits—not even in the same facility. Read the story of Chris Young, who works for a Nissan factory in Smyrna, Tenn. This is what a job in the U.S.’ new manufacturing industry looks like; washingtonpost.com
At 8 years old, Marina Anderson was revving her parents’ cars up and down the family home driveway. At 10, she was riding dirt bikes, at 17, she got her first NHRA license, and this spring, at 21, she’ll be driving a 3,500-horsepower A-Fuel dragster she had a big part in building. “’I wanted mine to look prettier and have more curves,’ said Anderson, who learned how to weld, bend the tubing that underlies the chassis and many other fabricating skills throughout the process.” Young racer set to unveil family-built dragster; detroitnews.com
More and more females of all ages are trying their hands at welding. The Arc Angels of Cut Bank, Mont., a small group of women who meet at the Cut Bank Schools’ bus garage for two to three hours each week, attend the ladies ornamental welding class. Most of the “gals” refer to the women-only class as “Old Lady Welding.” Commenting on the class, instructor Brian Hayes said, “One of the neatest things about these gals was in the beginning, they would look at a piece of equipment like it was a monster and was going to attack them. And then, by the end of the class, there was no fear, no apprehension. They had gained a significant amount of confidence and were enjoying using all the equipment.” Sparks are flying in ‘old lady welding’; cutbankpioneerpress.com
Brooklyn, N.Y.-based startup Maker’s Row saw a need and filled it. Its eight employees match U.S. manufacturers with American companies that want their products made here. The objective is to speed up a process that often can take too long—finding the right contract manufacturer. So far, the business operates in the apparel industry only, with plans to expand into furniture in the next few months. The business model easily could be expanded to serve other industries. Co-founder Matthew Burnett is talking with officials elsewhere who are “concerned with bringing back more manufacturing jobs”— including his hometown of Detroit. Brooklyn startup plays manufacturing matchmaker; money.cnn.com