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The Year Ahead

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Well, we’re just about through one of the most challenging and uncertain years for business in recent memory — and good riddance!  Here’s to a prosperous 2010.

Although we’ll all be glad to put 2009 behind us, the unfortunate reality is that changing our economic fortunes is not as simple as changing our calendars. Despite some signs that the economy is recovering, many individuals, businesses and industries continue to struggle through the ongoing effects of the recession.

Nevertheless, the new year does provide an opportunity to take a small step back and assess the lessons learned in 2009 and think about how to apply that hard earned knowledge upcoming challenges in 2010.

A common business practice when deciding on a course of action is to perform a S.W.O.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you expect to face in 2010? Do you plan to make any changes to your business in the coming year in response to the ongoing economic slump? Do you expect to see a strong pick-up in business next year, or more of the same?

Tell us what your crystal ball is telling you by posting a comment below

Your Impressions of FABTECH International/AWS Welding Show

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Once again, another FABTECH International/AWS Welding Show has come and gone. If you were there, or if you checked out our social media reports live from the show floor, you saw many brand new products and even more existing products refined to better serve the industries for which they were developed.

The theme of the show this year was “Converge to Emerge,” as in emerging from the recession in a better position to profit and gain market share as the economy recovers. To that end, both the exhibitors and attendees at the show demonstrated an optimism that the light at the end of the economic tunnel is growing brighter and brighter.

If you attended the show, were you impressed by the products and technologies on display? Do you plan on making any purchases based on the equipment you found at the show? Did you leave the show with a renewed hope for the future of the welding and fabrication industry?

Share your thoughts on this year’s FABTECH International/AWS Welding Show by posting a comment below.

A Sign of the Times: FABTECH International/AWS Welding Show

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The largest American welding, manufacturing and fabrication trade show of the year, the FABTECH International/AWS Welding Show, is less than a month away. Many insiders will be watching this year’s show in Chicago closely to gauge the economic condition of industry and where it is headed in the near future.

Strong attendance at the show will be taken as a sign that employers are at least thinking about investing in new equipment and are anticipating an economic recovery by looking into equipment that can give them a competitive advantage when the turnaround happens. (more…)

(Highly Skilled) Help Wanted

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Going back to school to learn a new skill or trade – such as welding – has been a popular choice for many during these tough economic times, but a recent report in the New York Times casts some doubt on whether new graduates will be able to find work in their chosen field.

According to the article, employers are desperately in need of welders with very advanced skills, such as laying a flawless TIG weld on oil piping, but they are not looking for basic-level skills. Those with the advanced skills, however, are able to demand top wages and where they want to work. (more…)

New Year’s Welding Resolutions

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Once again, the season of shopping, cooking, eating and caroling is now past, and we hope your holidays were filled with joy and merriment. Now that the season of celebration is nearly past, it is time to begin looking forward to the year ahead and the changes we would like to make in our lives.

Some people make new year’s resolutions to lose weight or to quit smoking. Some may set goals to run a marathon in under three hours or climb Mount Everest.

But we’re not interested in those people. We’re interested in you — the people who resolve to finally finish that shelving project in the garage or make a new trailer for your snowmobiles.  Or maybe this is the year you vow to finally lay down that perfect aluminum TIG bead.

So, what is your new year’s welding resolution? Is it a project you’ve been dreaming about for months or years? Maybe it’s to learn a new welding process or hone your skills. Whatever it is, please share your welding resolutions for the upcoming year.

Best wishes from Miller Electric for a happy and prosperous new year!

Adopting New Welding Technologies

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Technology has progressed at an amazing rate over the last 10-15 years, heralding advances in welding performance, productivity and quality once thought impossible, or at least improbable.

Before the advent of inverter technology in AC TIG welding, for example, maintaining a tight, focused arc on thin aluminum without burning through or warping the material was like building a car that got 60 miles to the gallon: a great idea, but not something anyone believed was realistic.

In both cases, technological advancements made the seemingly impossible a reality. It’s exciting to think about what will be a reality in 15-20 years that is now considered out of reach. (more…)

The Rise of Welding Videos

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

For people who learn best by seeing and doing (a group in which many, if not most, welders belong), the advent of Internet video has opened up entirely new frontiers in the realm of welding education.

Instead of having to read about or look at static photographs of welding techniques, you can now see those techniques being performed live. What’s more, many video sites allow you to post comments or ask questions of the person who uploaded the video, making it almost like being in the room while the technique is being performed. (more…)

Where Do You Go For Welding Info?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

The resources available for learning more about welding have increased substantially in the last five years, primarily as a result of the internet and the recent expansion of its technological and social networking capabilities. There are videos, message boards, blogs, manufacturer’s web sites, welding magazines, books, pamphlets, and many more ways to learn about welding.

At the same time, the proliferation of welding information also makes it more difficult to find reliable, accurate information. The advent of the internet has essentially allowed anyone with a computer to disseminate subject matter without having it first vetted by an industry expert.    

Nevertheless, the quantity of valueable information out there should outweigh the misinformation for anyone willing to spend a few hours researching their topic of interest.    

What are your favorite resources for welding information and why? What kind of welding information do you use these resources for, and what welding information do you find lacking in these resources? Share your thoughts on this subject by posting a comment below.

Taking Advantage of the Welder Shortage

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

By now, we’re all aware that as the baby boomer generation retires and fewer young people enter the industrial trades, there will be a critical shortage of qualified welders.

By most estimates, the shortage will begin hitting full stride around 2010 and 2011. As disheartening as this might be for the economy and U.S. manufacturing, times have never looked better for skilled welders. (more…)

New Year’s Welding Resolutions

Monday, December 31st, 2007

The season of shopping, cooking, eating and caroling is now past, and we hope your holidays were filled with joy and merriment. Right on its heels, however, comes a new season — the season of resolutions.

Some people make resolutions to lose weight or to quit smoking. Some may set goals to run a marathon in under three hours or climb Mount Everest. But we’re not interested in those people.

We’re interested in you — the people who resolve to finally finish that shelving project in the garage or make a new trailer for your snowmobiles.  Or maybe this is the year you vow to finally lay down that perfect aluminum TIG bead.

So, what is your new year’s welding resolution? Is it a project you’ve been dreaming about for months or years? Maybe it’s to learn a new welding process or hone your skills. Whatever it is, please share your welding resolutions for the upcoming year.

We at Miller wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.