40 Steel News
A more business-friendly presidential administration
was supposed to bring more stability to the U.S. economy,
but a Section 232 investigation and trade complaints
against China and Vietnam are making it hard for service
centers to figure out where steel prices may be headed
in the near term.
46 Continuous Improvement
The beginning of most lean journeys usually focuses on
operations. People in accounting and finance, including
the CFO, aren’t really involved. Over the long term, though,
they can help everyone focus on improvements that matter
most: those that cut costs, add revenue, or do both.
52 Biz Talk
What do a parking garage and marketing for custom
fabrication have in common? A lot, no pun intended.
53 Around Washington
A;er a U.S. Department of Commerce investigation is
concluded, could tari;s be levied against imported steel?
56 Chief Concerns
Like many custom fabricators, Bensenville, Ill.-based Ace
Metal Cra;s Co. struggled with scheduling. Today the shop
has stellar on-time delivery, and sequential manufacturing
helped get it there.
106 Forming & Fabricating® 2017
2-D Laser Cutting Machine
70 The FAB 40 List
What type of revenue growth are the fabricators in the FAB 40
forecasting for the months to come? Check the list to see.
74 FAB 40: Morton Industries—
A new start at 70 years old
Morton Industries has had a tumultuous few years, enduring
fire, bankruptcies, and many shi;s in ownership. It’s now
back again under local ownership and, most important, has
restructured to become a customer-focused organization.
78 FAB 40: One company, many options
Collaboration between Tenere’s metals and plastics divisions
has played a big part in its growth, and recent expansions
in Wisconsin and Mexico have turned the diversified custom
manufacturer into a major, unique metal fabrication player.
82 FAB 40: The three layers of a
metal manufacturer’s growth
NSA Industries’ growth story has three layers: one, customer
and equipment diversification; two, employee and customer
engagement; and three, a sense of place.
86 The evolution of the
When hydraulic ironworkers appeared on the scene in the
1960s, they made their mark almost instantly. They were
a;ordable and much safer. Today metal fabricating has
evolved, but so has the ironworker in many ways. It still
remains an important tool for fab shops.
88 What’s trending in waterjet technology?
Multidimensional cutting, abrasive media recycling,
intuitive so;ware, and smarter pumps are just some of
the things that waterjet technology developers are o;ering
to the metal fabricating market.
92 What should a weld shop
In theory, a weld shop supervisor should oversee welding
productivity, quality, cost, and safety. In actuality, the job
is defined by what needs to happen on the shop floor. Like
fabricating in general, flexibility is required.
94 Pumped about waterjet cutting
B.J. Schrank is a self-identified metalworker. He’s done it
for the 29 years that he has run AA Precision Tooling
in Blooming Prairie, Minn. A waterjet is changing the
dynamics of his business, and he’s pretty excited.
98 Diamond cluster forming tools
make exterior panels shine
An academic develops an algorithm for a hole pattern that
looks symmetrical even if it isn’t. A fabricator using diamond
cluster forming tools makes that pattern come to life on
San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center.
100 Building the safety culture
Fabricators and industry safety professionals at the
2017 FMA Safety Conference o;er suggestions on how to
establish a safe working culture and how to motivate the
workforce to maintain it.
102 The roux of Laitram Lane
Harahan, La.-based Laitram isn’t just one company,
it’s many. It all started with a shrimp peeling machine,
but it has evolved to become so much more.
Vol. 47 No. 6
68 The FABRICATOR’s
2017 FAB 40:
Tooling up for growth
A;er several less-than-stellar years, top shops in
the FAB 40 are doubling down and preparing for
significant growth. Sponsored by CNA.
Cover photo courtesy of NSA Industries, St. Johnsbury, Vt.