FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107-6302
815-399-8700 | Fax 815-484-7700
President & CEO,
FMA Communications Inc.:
Group Publisher: Dave Brambert
Editor-in-Chief: Dan Davis,
Senior Editor: Tim Heston,
The Tube & Pipe Journal Editor:
Eric Lundin, firstname.lastname@example.org
STAMPING Journal Editor:
Kate Bachman, email@example.com
Practical Welding Today Editor:
Contributing Editor: Amy Nickel
Associate Editor: Sue Roberts
Senior Copy Editor: Teresa Chartos
Graphic Designers: Mary Mincemoyer,
Janell Drolsum, Margaret Clark,
Publication Coordinator: Kelly Palmer
Director of Circulation: Kim Bottomley
Circulation Manager: Brenda Wilson
Data Verification Specialist:
Senior Fulfillment Specialist:
Web Content Manager: Vicki Bell
Multimedia Specialist: Sherry Young
Senior Web Developer: Jason Bartholme
Web Developer: Johanna Albee
Senior Account Representatives:
Statement of Policy
As the official publication of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, The
FABRICATOR recognizes the need and importance of disseminating information about modern
metal forming and fabricating techniques, machinery, tooling and management concepts for
the metal fabricator. The policy of the publisher and this journal is to be nonpartisan, favoring
no one product or company. The representations of fact and opinions expressed in the articles
are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher and this journal.
By including information on new products, new literature, news of the industry, articles, etc.,
this impartiality is strived for and extends to the mention of trade names. Unless product
identification makes the reference unavoidable, the generic name is used. We acknowledge
that on occasion there may be oversights and errors; the editors regret such oversights and
re-emphasize their policy to be impartial at all times. The publisher reserves the right to
refuse advertising deemed inappropriate for publication in The FABRICATOR, including ads
for classes of products and services not considered of significant interest to the readership.
“The FABRICATOR” is a service mark and a trademark of the Fabricators & Manufacturers
Association, International, and is used, under license, by FMA Communications Inc. Standard
Rate & Data Service lists our advertising rates in Section 88. Consult SRDS or our current rate
card for full rates and data. Publications of FMA Communications Inc. maintain a policy of
keeping editorial and advertising separate to ensure editorial integrity that most benefits our
readership. Editorial content, including feature articles and press releases, is determined solely
by the publisher. Editorial content cannot be purchased, nor can it be used as a benefit of
advertising dollars spent. Editorial is free-of-charge, subject to space availability, and open to
all interested parties that submit items meeting our editorial style and format as determined
by the publisher. Note: Some photographs printed in this publication may be taken with safety
equipment removed for photographic purposes. However, in actual operation, it is recommended that correct safety procedures and equipment be utilized.
Don’t Forget the R&D Tax Credit
I just read the February issue of The FABRICATOR
and saw the article on page 58 [“New law enhances
manufacturers’ tax benefits,” Around Washington]
about the actions taken by Congress as part of the
PATH Act of 2015. However, there was no mention of
the great changes made to the R&D tax credit. How
One of the biggest roadblocks around usability of
the R&D tax credit is the alternative minimum tax
(AMT), and starting in 2016 shareholders can apply
credits against the AMT! This is huge! A significant-
ly larger number of companies will be utilizing the
credit next year.
We have been a member for many years of the Precision Metalforming Association and the National
Tooling and Machining Association. What we know
is that Section 179 and bonus depreciation are the
two most used tax tools, with about 90 percent of
members in both associations using them. The R&D
tax credit is the third most used tax tool with about
50 percent of members using it. However, the differ-
ence in the utilization rates is not because these 40
percent of companies are not doing R&D. To a very
large extent, it’s because many are prevented from
using the credits they could generate because of the
Now granted, many companies still don’t believe
that they qualify and that they are doing R&D. Many
believe that they are too small to generate a meaningful number of credits worth pursuing, and others
still don’t get the advice from their CPA firm because
of the specialized nature of this part of the tax code.
But a main reason for many companies not pursuing the R&D tax credit was that the shareholders of
flow-through entities like S corporations saw the
AMT as a roadblock to utilization of the credits generated.
This is a game-changer for 2016!
Black Line Group
Editor’s Note: The FABRICATOR explores the R&D tax
credit more in this month’s feature “Does taking on
complex projects have unforeseen benefits?” which
can be found on page 58.
Issues With HF Welding
I have used a high-frequency (HF) welder for about
17 years. It wasn’t used every day, but I did use it
perhaps two to three days a week. When we worked
in an old, damp workshop, this machine had its moments, such as having the ability to suppress the radio, switch on fluorescent lights, and cause sparking
on other equipment.
I was always more concerned with heat running
up the legs. (It was a slow, rising heat that traveled
up the legs until the time phase in the machine had
finished.) This happened every time you put your
foot on the pedal to operate the machine.
I asked for clarification on these happenings, and
we were assured at the time that all was OK.
Something that I heard the other day reignited
the debate. I spoke to some guy that had operated
a similar machine, and he covered his legs with a
protective blanket. (He said it may have been as-
bestos-lined but could not swear to it.) I would be
interested to know if anyone else in the fabricating
community has ever heard of this.
We moved to new premises about eight years ago,
and the machine operates better. However, from
time to time, the HF welder still heats up our legs.
It may be nothing, but as I reach my 63rd birth-
day, I am increasingly getting pains and aches that
doctors can’t explain. It may just be old age, but it
would be nice to have a definitive answer on the
subject of the HF welder’s effect on welders’ legs.
Editor’s Note: If you have any comments or advice,
please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and
we’ll share them with the letter writer.
Welders Need Their Own Tools
Editor’s Note: The following note was sent in response to a discussion in the recent “Welding Wire” e-newsletter about a blog entry from welder Josh Wel-ton titled “ 10 things welding students need for class.”
Guys should have their own tools for school. The
school environment is different than the work environment, and most students don’t take care of anything until they have to pay for it. That doesn’t mean
they have to start out with a Milwaukee grinder and
top-of-the-line tools. They just need the most basic
tools of their chosen trade.
Another reason for having your own basic tools is
that we eventually develop habits and favorites. If
the job is messy or has some risk to damage a piece
of gear, I will use my cheap grinder.
“One of the biggest roadblocks
around usability of the R&D tax credit
is the alternative minimum tax (AMT),
and starting in 2016 shareholders can
apply credits against the AMT!
—Scott Schmidt, Black Line Group