Industry Featured Articles
Monday, September 17 2018
By Michael D. White, author and freelance writer
It really isn’t too much of a stretch to say that metal fabrication is a lot like the musical score to a great film—you don’t realize how important it is until it isn’t there.
Close your eyes and imagine Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Cast Away, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan or The Magnificent Seven without the music that lifts them to the level of masterpiece. Imagine, then, going about your business every day, or at least trying to, without refrigerators, washing machines, thumbtacks, air conditioners, automobiles, wire, bridge spans, locomotives, lap tops, knives and forks, airplanes, nuts and bolts, agricultural machinery, watches, window frames, hand tools, nails, and the humble ‘tin’ cans that contain everything from brake fluid to creme soda. Good luck.
Ubiquitous metal fabricators across the country cut, bend, roll, punch, forge, turn, stamp, cut, shape and form metal–primarily steel and aluminum rods, bars and sheets-for virtually every ancillary industry one can conceive, from manufacturing, construction, aerospace, automotive, architecture, and electronics, to food processing, telecommunications, medical, energy and power generation, just to name a few.
Sunday, October 01 2017
Article contributed by, All Metals Fabrication, www.allmetalsfab.com
The potential for technology to change the way the metal fabrication industry operates is ongoing and enormous. We’ve already benefited from laser technology with faster, more accurate metal fabrication. As 3D printing evolves, it will also have a big impact on how things are manufactured.
Also known as additive manufacturing (AM), 3D printing is changing the face of manufacturing and production when it comes to just about every industry: automotive, electronics, military, even food. Originally used with plastics and polymers, recent innovations include a type of 3D metal printing as an additive process that uses a laser beam to melt micron layers of metal powder instead of plastic filament. New 3D printing machines will allow for using a wider variety of metals, which will simplify the printing process.
Friday, September 29 2017
By Dr. Chris Kuehl, the economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) and managing partner of Armada Corporate Intelligence
To the majority of the population, manufacturing itself is pretty mysterious. We know that everything we touch and use is manufactured in some way, but the process is something that takes place behind closed doors, and when people are asked to describe manufacturing they usually describe assembly rather than actual manufacturing. The fabrication sector is that much more mysterious to most. The classic definition of metal fabrication is producing the component metal parts that combine with other metal parts to form larger machines. By its very nature, the metal fabrication business is made up of smaller specialty companies that can do this kind of detailed work. The world of manufacturing tends to be divided between the large companies which essentially assemble components and the small and medium-sized companies that make them.
Thursday, September 15 2016
Savvy Teaching Strategies, Manufacturing Day Initiative Can Play Key Roles
By Edward Youdell, President, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl.
Teachers, professors and other academic leaders often emphasize that among the greatest challenges in education and training is getting students engaged. This theory holds true regardless of the age of students, the school they attend or the subject they study. It has been a challenge for some time in the manufacturing discipline.
One effective strategy for engagement, according to many experts, is creating classroom environments that offer hands-on experiences, passionate instructors and clear connections to real-world applications.
This approach is particularly vital to spark interest from young people to consider a career in manufacturing, often maligned by negative perceptions from parents, the media and even some educators. This occurs despite the fact that the sector has numerous positions available for skilled, trained workers. Shop classes, which were once seen as a precursor to the work environment of manufacturing, started disappearing in the 1970’s. And the manufacturing world today bears little resemblance to that of an earlier time or those earlier shop classes.
Wednesday, September 23 2015
The manufacturing industry works on the infrastructure to boost the manufacturing talent pipeline
As economists dial back U.S. gross domestic product forecasts for 2015, you’d probably think that manufacturers would be less concerned about filling key job openings within the manufacturing ranks. You’d be wrong.
The economy may be performing at an uneven pace, but the baby boomers remain confident enough in their financial future to move toward the exits on their way to retirement. These boomers, roughly defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, are said to be retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day, and that is leaving plenty of job vacancies in the front office and on the shop floor of manufacturing companies.
Over the next several years about 3.5 million manufacturing jobs are going to be made available, with an estimated 2.7 million of those jobs likely the result of retirements of the existing workforce, according to a 2015 study from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. The same study suggests that the lack of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills among workers and a general dearth of graduates from vocational schools will result in two million of those jobs going unfilled.