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Stephanie Johnston

Stephanie Johnston is editor of Fabricating & Metalworking magazine, Email

Articles by Stephanie Johnston

Appearances Can Be…Achieving!

Jarvis Cutting Tools, Alissa Blouin (left)

Everyone’s ready for a fresh start this year, but one company isn’t leaving 2021 outcomes to chance. A dynamic new marketing approach for 120-year-old Jarvis Cutting Tools included a logo redesign, a bold undertaking led by an industry outsider.  

By Doubling Down on People, Mold Maker Doubles Down on Sales 

Westminster Tool

Connecticut mold maker Ray Coombs put capital investment on hold for five years to work with the local educational and manufacturing communities to solve his labor problems once and for all. Then he added three new machines that are helping to cross-train employees for record sales.

Flexible Robotic Welding System Reduces Nonvalue-Added Labor by 60%

ACS Industries

U.S.-based ACS Industries had a lock on the market for standard attachments – buckets, forks, blades, etc. – for construction equipment, but needed to cost-effectively fabricate specialized implements for related markets. Six-axis robotic welding clinched $1.5 million in new business while lowering labor costs 60%.

Firing Up Growth with Design Collaboration

Esprit, Clutch & Brake Exchange

As heavy equipment manufacturers gear up for healthy backlogs, a key West Coast supplier is helping customers find reliable and cost-saving replacements for obsolete parts. Meet the former chef-cum-machinist who’s serving up all kinds of new orders via his CAM software.

Vernet-Behringer Fully Integrated into Behringer Group

Vernet-Behringer 100% integrated into Behringer-Group

Vernet-Behringer’s integration into the Behringer Group is part of a long-term relationship between the two companies. The transition allows VB to expand internationally by meeting the growing demand for integrated and automated lines.

Safe Shops: Factory Operations During COVID-19

All Axis Machining

Manufacturers no longer wonder when the pandemic is going to be over, but how to profitably interact with customers and suppliers in a way that protects the health of employees, their families, and the local community. As ever, U.S. metal fabricators and machining companies are highly resourceful.

Partnering for a New and Stronger Tomorrow

When the pandemic hit, many companies used the downtime to make data-driven automation, process, and employee training improvements. As global supply chains reconfigure, those investments are paying off.

Ready for the Rebound? This Manufacturer Is

Optimas Solutions

Nuts, screws, and bolts comprise one of metal manufacturing’s most competitive product niches. As it works to gain market share by capitalizing on pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions, this Illinois fastener manufacturer and distributor illustrates the art of decision-making in uncertain times.

Solving & Evolving With An Unflappable Mindset

National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray

Modeling deeply intentional and thoughtful leadership, the CEO of a machining company equips his team mentally and digitally to muscle through myriad obstacles –– and emerge victorious for their customers and themselves.   

Back to America: Game Over For The Global Supply Chain?

Reshoring Initiative data

The global pandemic has revealed the fundamental flaw of relying on only one or two manufacturers of metal parts, components, and assemblies: Companies pay less up front, but are scrambling to fill their customers’ orders. Here’s how to grab your piece of the pie as U.S. companies search for local partners.

PMA Poll: Orders on the Rise for Metal Manufacturers

MachineMetrics, Machine Utilization as of June 19

Yet another development shows the global coronavirus pandemic’s unique impact on U.S. manufacturing trends: After a sharp downturn in the first few months of the crisis, fabrication and metalworking companies are more optimistic about the future.

For Digitization in Manufacturing, the Show Will Go On

Not even a pandemic can interfere with metalworking’s inexorable technological progress. Blowing way past automation, entrepreneurs are harnessing digital know-how to solve analog problems — wherever they find them.

Manufacturing is the Secondary Operation for This CNC Machining Shop

Plethora Corp. on-demand CNC machining

San Francisco-based Plethora Corp. shaves as much time as possible from the iterative design process. After developing software that enables customers to design for the shop’s capabilities in real time, this 2017 start-up delivers prototypes and production runs within three days.

Pandemic Underscores Need for Supply Chain Agility

Fictiv virtual contract manufacturing

For almost a decade, machine tool consumption in the U.S. has increased and China’s has decreased. As global supply chain emergencies accelerate a manufacturing migration to the U.S., metal fabrication and machining companies that use manufacturing as a service (MaaS) platforms stand to benefit.

Need a Face Shield Fast? Make Your Own

Incodema face shield

A New York sheet metal prototype specialist is sharing PDF and DWG files it developed to make face shields comprising a Mylar shield with an adjustable stainless steel headband. Unlike much personal protective equipment (PPE), they can be used more than once.

With Skelton Crew, Teleservice, Parts Maker Not Quitting on Customers

LVD Strippit’s

LVD Strippit has kept its New York plant and all four of its North American support facilities open during the pandemic to continue supplying parts and aftermarket service to essential manufacturing businesses. And when remote service isn’t enough, their techs hit the road to keep customers’ equipment running smoothly.  

Legislation Takes FMLA Into COVID-19 Context

Industrial Magnetics Inc

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is designed to help companies with fewer than 500 employees navigate the pandemic. Like metal fabricators and manufacturers nationwide, this Michigan fabricating company is following federal and state guidance to keep employees safe while maintaining operations.


New year, new decade, new opportunities, new editor. Allow me to introduce myself.

Opportunity Knocks: Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure

We have few more pressing needs than updating roads, bridges, pipelines, and energy grids – a potential goldmine for suppliers of heavy equipment, off-road machinery, assemblies, parts and services used in construction projects. The trick is breaking into the market.

Coming in Loud and Clear

This Kentucky communication tower fabricator got its start a century ago by maintaining water infrastructure assets. Now it’s cashing in on the market for telecommunications infrastructure.

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