Sunday, December 20, 2009


What will 2010 bring? At this point, nobody can say for sure.

BUT…most indicators are positive. And there are reasons to be very optimistic.

Fabricators & Manufacturers Association economist Chris Kuehl named several factors that should guide the business climate. First is international markets, which are already leading the economic recovery. Next is the U. S. consumer, who will start to relax…and spend. Also, government spending will begin to benefit the shop floor.

There are no guarantees, but optimism fuels confidence, and confidence helps create spending. And those are very good signals.

Read more in “Metal Fabrication in 2010: A Wildcard Year” from


When it comes to making manufacturing improvements, getting people involved is what drives long-term success.

At Dalco, we've been involved in Lean, 5S and other quality improvement initiatives and we're proud to say that it's been our people...and not just management memos...that have made those initiatives pay off.

A recent Industry Week article mirrored this, and went into more detail on how every manufacturer, large or small, can make sustainable changes. The focus? People above processes:

It takes your people at their workstations, using the right tools, to make change happen in your organization to achieve the desired results that will be measurable in your company's financial performance. It's only through people that your problems can be identified, and then your people select the appropriate tools to use in deploying countermeasures to correct them.

Here's a link to the complete article

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Someone showed us this article from Purchasing Magazine and we thought it was right on target. It illustrates the competitiver advantages that are created when suppliers team up with buyers (and their companies) to find better ways of working together. Real partnerships (which got a lot of lip service back in the 1990's).

One example:
Steve Strongosky, purchasing manager at paint giant The Sherwin-Williams Co. in Cleveland, says that deeper and longer-term relations with suppliers can be an important element in differentiating his company from its competition. Thus, Strongosky, who is an engineer by training, works closely with both R&D internally and outside suppliers to try to spot promising areas of cooperation.
"We look for a robust commercial relationship with our partners focusing on price and quality but we also take into consideration what they have to offer us in terms of product innovation," he notes.

At Dalco, we couldn't agree more. We don't just try to close sales. We try to build a relatuionship that works!
Find the full article here.


From Forward Magazine.....
China's State Council, or cabinet, this week called on local authorities to "resolutely" reduce overcapacity in steel and cement manufacturing. This is not a new idea in China, which for years has been decreeing steel capacity reductions, even as tens of millions of tons of new capacity have been added. Local governments, which often compete with one another in steel production, have been reluctant to close all but the most obsolete and inefficient plants. Further, China's US$586 billion economic stimulus has helped create a capacity glut.

"Overcapacity and redundant projects remain prominent because of slow progress in industrial restructuring...," the State Council said. It plans, this time, to use controls on market access, reinforced environmental supervision and new land use controls to slowly strangle away capacity. Banks were directed to lend money for the targeted sectors only in strict adherence with industrial policy.

But the problem of reducing output is illustrated by the current struggle for control of Rizhao Iron and Steel Group, a privately held steelmaker that produces about 8 million tons annually. The Shandong provincial government wants to build a large steel group, with an annual capacity of 20 million tons, in Rizhao city. Shandong Iron and Steel Group, the provincial government's steelmaker, has been trying to buy out Rizhao, its competition, opposed by Du Shuanghua, Rizhao Steel's founder. To help, the provincial government has applied muscle in the form of special inspections of Rizhao facilities to find environmental issues that would justify its shutdown... unless it merges with Shandong. Local officials say that if Shandong can't buy Rizhao Steel, it may simply build a new plant, thus significantly adding to the area's capacity while achieving the provincial steelmaking goal. Du, who has run a profitable operation through the economic downturn, has been courted by his native Hebei province, which wants him to move his company and production there.can’t see the opportunity.

Monday, October 5, 2009


What can going LEAN do for your company? Here at Dalco, it’s helped us focus on every aspect of serving our customers, from order to delivery. And customers who have adapted LEAN for their own businesses can really appreciate the increased efficiency and cost savings.

If you’re leaning toward LEAN, here’s a primer from Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Laser Automation is one of the innovations changing the face of metal fabricating. Our friend and customer, Fox Valley Metal Tech in Green Bay, is one of the companies at the forefront. To better explain the laser cutting process, they put together a video that walks through the process of their two Mitsubishi lasers running with River System automation. Check it out here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


At Dalco Metals, we’re committed to paying close attention to quality control. Of course, we’re also human and occasionally, something slips past….but not often! There definitely are times when out-of-spec steel is the cause of cracking, wrinkling or springback. It’s the first thing we look at.

But…consultant Art Hendrick took a closer look, and uncovered some common causes behind steel issues. Check out his article from Stamping Journal magazine.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


What does the future hold for manufacturing in Wisconsin, and across the U. S.?

The answers are in.

Recently, more than 500 manufacturers responded to the Wisconsin Next Generation Manufacturing Study, conducted by the Manufacturing Performance Institute. Next Generation Manufacturing refers to a framework of forward-looking strategies that are driving manufacturing growth and profitability in the 21st century.

The study identified key components, including:

*Customer-Focused Innovation;
*Team Hiring, Development and Retention;
*Superior Processes/Improvement Focus;
*Supply Chain Management & Collaboration;
*Green/Sustainability, and
*Global Engagement.

Our good friends at Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) can provide you with a copy of this extensive and exciting report. Click here for details.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The metals industry has experienced - and brought about – some pretty dramatic developments in the past century.

In a nifty timeline chart, Forward Magazine has put together 100 Significant Events, from the minting of the first Abe Lincoln penny in 1909, to the technological wonders that are sweeping the industry today.

Click here for the full chart in PDF

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Here's a terrific article from CoilWorld Magazine on some brand new (and coming in the near future) changes in coil slitting (and how it can affect your business!).


As the economy improves, the way that steel is bought and processed will take on more exacting demands. Efficiency will be King. To blaze the way, Dalco has installed a new, high-performance Double-Loop Turret Head Slitting Line, equipped with a Shape-Correction Cluster Leveler in our newly-expanded Walworth, WI facility. This new line can slit and shape correct 50,000# x 65" wide hi-strength pickled, cold rolled and galvanized carbon steel coils in gauges from .187" through .010" at processing speeds to 1,000 FPM.