Monday, November 28, 2011


In a steadily-improving economy, steel prices have been volatile. That affects you as well as suppliers like us.

So, why the up and down pricing? As usual, it’s not because of any one thing. A report in this month’s Metal Center News points to a series of contributing trends and conditions, including cautious buying and a still-tenuous economy, But prospects for growth continue to look good. Demand is still pent-up and, although slowly, is on the rise.

But always be assured, we’re staying ahead of the curve to provide competitive prices without ever compromising on quality.

You can read the complete article here.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Like lasers, plasma cutters are on the cutting edge of simplicity, precision and productivity. Many of our customers have seen how new technologies in high definition plasma has made it even more user-friendly, flexible and productive.

This month, in "Mechanized Plasma Cutting," The Fabricator magazine examines plasma cutting and how it’s helping fabricators attain both tighter tolerances along with greater productivity.

Take a look at the complete article here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Impact of Manufacturing

Just how important is manufacturing to the over economy?

Here in Wisconsin, it's vital. Always has been, and will be for years to come. So says a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Chamber Foundation and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

In 2001, Wisconsin had a 65% higher manufacturing job concentration than a typical state. Today, it's 88%. But huge challenges, including an aging workforce, remain.

Read more about it in this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Women in Welding

While women hold many rules in the steel industry, the lucrative area of welding has been an exception. But that’s changing, including here in the Midwest.

“Welding: a Viable Option for Women,” from The Fabricator magazine, points this out through the eyes of Rachel Koon of Charleston, S.C. She followed her husband into the sheet metal industry and is now a exceptional welder. "A lot of women think it's hot and sweaty and dangerous. It's very safe," said Koon. "It's a great way to support your family,” Read more about it here.

In Cleveland, welding instructor Richard Hart teaches a 3-year arc welding and job placement course called “Project WELD” (worthy employment leadership development). The freshman class is 50% women. The complete article, from Welding Design & Fabrication, is here.

But the best is happening here.
This year, alone, Moraine Park, Wisconsin Indianhead, and Northeast Wisconsin Technical Colleges were among those hosting special events and courses specific to Women in Welding.

The future looks bright indeed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Government Contracts

Doing business with the Federal government can reap huge rewards. Yet, getting there can be a daunting task. Northeast Wisconsin’s Insight Magazine (“connecting business and people in the New North) takes a look at several manufacturers and what it took to get involved.

With time, patience and the right strategy, the projects are a big opportunity for component makers, providers of manufacturing services such as machining or welding, as well as services like painting, electrical or maintenance. More importantly, though, is having a company culture that lets you become a trusted part of one of the supply chain, one that fosters information sharing, continuous quality improvement and cost reductions.

You can read the full article here.

For more, read “What It Really Takes to Do Business with the Federal Government” from the American Express Open Forum newsletter.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We all know that manufacturing costs change rapidly these days, everything from raw materials to equipment, utilities and shipping. That’s where a company’s own fixed prices can easily get them into a bind.

In Production Machining Magazine, business expert, Mitch Gooze, shares some specific ideas that can help fabricators and manufacturers avoid getting trapped in a too-low, fixed-price quandary.

Here’s one example:
A common practice that is more visible these days than in the past is bundling versus unbundling. The simplest example is the airline industry. In the “old” days, you bought a ticket for a price and everything was included: luggage, food, a seat, and so on. Today, depending on the airline you choose, the fare is for the ticket only. Luggage (even a carry on in the case of one airline), food and preferred seating is extra. The airlines have unbundled their pricing to achieve higher prices. This has occurred because their customers focus on the price of the ticket to make their buying decision, not the total cost of travel.

You can read his complete article here


Manufacturers in the Milwaukee area continued to increase their production in July, but at a slightly slower pace than June.

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Milwaukee’s Seasonally Adjusted Purchasers Managers Index dipped to 59 in July from June’s PMI of 61. (Still, any number above 50 indicates expansion.)

According to the index, new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and prices increased in July, but at a slower rate than they increased in June. Customer inventories declined, while the backlog of orders improved. Exports were stable with June’s level, while imports increased.

The survey monitors manufacturing activity in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

You can read more from BizTimes here


There have been a lot of innovations in manufacturing in recent years. Lean, Kaizan, micro-machining and more. Each of them with a specific set of purposes and benefits.

Here’s another term: Smart Manufacturing. This one is more than an efficiency program. Smart Manufacturing is the convergence of information, technology and human ingenuity applied to the inventing, manufacturing, shipping and sales of an item. It’s been getting most attention in large, global companies, but the same principles will apply to any size manufacturer.

Smart Manufacturing doesn’t replace Lean or any other program you have in place. In fact, those efficiencies will become even more in demand.

You can read more about it in this Special Report from Rockwell International

Monday, July 4, 2011

Check Out Our New Website

Change has become a constant here at Dalco Metals. New customers, new processes, and brand new, industry-leading new equipment.

We want you to tour our facilities for yourself. But, in the meantime, please take a tour of our newly remodeled website.

You’ll see new and improved services, an expanded list of products and a fresh focus on customer service. Not just ‘pretty pictures,’ but a better resource for your constantly changing needs.

Oh, and we’re serious about having you tour our facilities here in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin area. See the “Our Location” tab for details.

What Americans Know About Manufacturing

Recently, Delloitte and The Manufacturing Institute surveyed Americans to find out what they think of manufacturing. The results were surprising, and supportive.

Here are a few samples:

1. Do Americans continue to believe manufacturing is vitally important?

The survey showed that 78 percent of Americans believe that ‘American manufacturing is vitally important to our economic prosperity’ and 76 percent think it is also ’important to our standard of living,’

2. Do Americans think that we have the skills and resources to compete globally?

60 percent said “yes” because they believe we have an advantage in technology, R&D, and skilled workforce.

In Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation, author Mike Collins comments on the terrific positives uncovered in the survey, but also problems, including ‘image’ (stemming from large corporation layoffs) and lack of consistent workforce development, especially in new technologies.

Check out his complete article, including more from the survey, here.

Job Shop Managers, the Next Generation

We won’t use the tired phrase “things are changing,” but Tim Heston’s recent Fabricator Magazine article, “Job Shop Managers, The Next Generation,” shows us how the skills and responsibilities of shop managers has shifted in a fairly short amount of time.

He writes that a mere two decades ago “many shops had one or two customers that made up the lion’s share of their work, and people trusted that work would always be there. These days it’s so different. A shop with one or two large customers may have steady work coming in the door, but for how long? Job shop managers know a diverse customer base helps build a stable business.”

Today, even small shops are setting up sales departments and developing comprehensive marketing programs to generate consistent new business. And that’s creating a new breed of manager.

You can read the full article here

Friday, June 10, 2011

Business Forecast for Wisconsin

We’ve got good friends throughout the Midwest, but let us take a minute to brag a little about Wisconsin. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a survey of 500 CEOs gave the state a huge ‘thumbs up.’ They graded the states on taxes and regulation, quality of the work force and living environment. Wisconsin made the biggest jump of any state, and one of the largest in the history of the survey, rising to 24th from 41st. While some of the changes being made here are still in debate, they see our “Open for Business” approach as a strong positive. And that’s good for everyone.

You can read the full article here

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dalco Featured in Modern Metals Magazine

We’re proud that Modern Metals Magazine has featured us again, this time for our latest addition: The Dalco Metals Stretcher Leveler.

Roller leveling is a good choice for most applications, but for manufacturers cutting with laser machines, it’s a different story. They need material that is stress free and remains flat when cut. Although roller levelers will supply an extremely flat product in most applications, they don’t eliminate the trapped internal stresses entirely. This can cause problems, especially when a laser system is running “lights out "over the weekend or at night when nobody is around.

Enter the Dalco Metals Stretcher Leveler.

"Another word for stress free is memory-free," the article quotes our President, Bill Ring. "We receive material in a master coil. It’s a circle, and we’re trying to turn it into a straight line, or taking away that coil memory." The control system on Dalco’s leveler allows the company to ensure that material is memory-free when it leaves the facility, and there’s no guesswork involved.

Call us! We can’t wait for you to see it in action. And you can see the complete Modern Metals article, “Consistent, Reliable Processing” here

What's Driving Steel Prices???

These days, we’re all facing rapid fluctuations in steel prices. But price changes are one thing. How they affect the supplier – customer relationship is another.

Because nobody has a crystal ball to accurately predict the future, we thought you’d like to hear a no-nonsense explanation from Glenn Kidd, long-time industry expert, who spoke at Fabricator Magazine’s Leadership Summit, “Metal Matters” last month. He explained how the growing demand for both steel and scrap, combined with global demands has created “an extremely volatile” market.

You can hear a brief interview with Mr. Kidd here

Here at Dalco Metals, we constantly strive to give you the best value, and that’s one thing you can always count on.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This is a Major Recovery Indicator

In economic growth cycles, hiring usually lags behind. Growth in activity and income are needed to support new jobs. And right now, especially in Wisconsin, manufacturers are hiring. A Journal Sentinel article put it this way:

Wisconsin's status as the leading manufacturing state in the nation, as measured by the proportion of its workforce engaged in manufacturing, has translated into a faster job recovery for that portion of the economy here.

"Our manufacturing sector got hit pretty hard during this recession," said Scott Brave, senior business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. "The interesting thing is it has also come back much more strongly as well."

You can read the full article here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We have always reinvested in our business to provide our customers with continuous improvement and the latest in technology, productivity, and service.

Continuing with this tradition, we are excited to announce the addition of our new Dalco Metals Stretcher Leveler!

With new technologies in manufacturing and a greater need for ‘memory-free’ steel, we can guarantee your steel will be of the highest quality and processed precisely to your specifications. It will start flat and stay flat so that your laser and precision plasma processes are worry free. Eliminating coil memory means your equipment can run faster and more consistently because the time-consuming problems of warping or spring-back become things of the past, which means you can run ‘lights out’ with fewer interruptions and:
- Superior Reliability
 -Less Downtime
 -Competitive Cost Advantage

The DALCO Stretcher-Leveler produces ‘memory-free’ sheets up to 0.25" thick, 72” wide, with lengths up to 240”. Let us show you what we can do for you. Call us at 262-275-6175


As the economy continues to shake off the dust and grow, a lot of manufacturers are seeing a troubling trend. New technologies in manufacturing, and a growing list of alternate career opportunities, have created a void in trained and ready talent.

Fortunately, there are solutions. Programs that recruit and train a new generation of skilled workers are cropping up all over the country. Here is Wisconsin, one of them is Second Chance Partners for Education, a Pewaukee-based nonprofit that operates eight alternative high schools, each of them HQ’d inside a manufacturing facility.

Read the whole story from BizTimes Magazine here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Productivity is up. Profits are, too. And the trend should continue in 2011.

In this weeks BizTimes Milwaukee, Eric Decker has researched and compiled a stream of positive data for Southeast Wisconsin, the State, and the nation. Several high profile surveys of manufacturing leaders show a very strong expectation of revenue and profits growth this year. And beyond the numbers, other factors here, and nationwide, point to consistent growth. “While 2010 has been a year of recovery in manufacturing, our forecast sees improvements in both investment and employment in 2011,” said Robert Ore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Take a few minutes to read the full story here.


You’ve read the reports: Ford Motor Company is alive and well, despite not receiving government aid. And, while the automotive industry is still a ways from being back on solid ground, there are lessons to be learned from the dramatic transformation they’ve been striving to make from bloated bureaucracy to a leaner, meaner customer-focused enterprise. Two of the keys, says CEO Alan Mulally, included simplification and communication. Trimming brands and encouraging innovation at all levels simplified the formerly cumbersome process. And communication, at all levels, especially managerial, has helped Ford respond faster to short-term issues while maintaining focus on the future.

Read the complete article at