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Done-in-one meets structural fabrication

January 23, 2015

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New system introduces full automation to structural fabrication, including cutting, beam and plate handling, and welding.

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Proactive maintenance, predictable performance in metal fabrication

January 23, 2015

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At Midland Metal Products, all machines have asset tags on them. So do calipers and tape measures—and even brooms—and it’s all tracked in a computerized maintenance management system. Tracking asset downtime has made life on the shop floor much more predictable.

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Developing a national, international bending standard for tube and pipe

January 23, 2015

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An update from an article that ran in the September 2013 TPJ, this column describes a research project intended to help eliminate trial-and-error setups, conserve programmers’ time, and help get products to market faster by helping everyone involved in a bending project home in on the optimal bending process before getting started.

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Art in motion

January 22, 2015

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Welder and artist Ed Kidera uses his engineering background to create unusual works of art, many of which are dynamic rather than static.

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Metal fabricators spend big to build capacity

January 22, 2015

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Overall projected capital spending growth has slowed from the dramatic rebound seen postrecession, but the growth continues, especially in capacity-building equipment.

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Automated tooling setup for press brakes

January 22, 2015

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As metal fabricators look to increase throughput in their bending departments while also facing a dearth of seasoned press brake operators, they may find their answer in the form of automated tooling change technology now found on the latest generation of brakes.

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Stamper reduces reliance on appliance with 3-D die design software

January 22, 2015

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SolidWorks-based Logopress3™ software with blank prediction, flattening and unbending, round draw, dynamic interference detection and animation, and strip layout capabilities helped Universal Metal Products accelerate its die design and improve accuracy.

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Taking plasma cutting training to the next level

January 21, 2015

During their visits to welder-education facilities, Hypertherm associates observed a lack of consistent, comprehensive, accurate training in plasma cutting. Not all welding instructors had the knowledge or resources to teach the technology. The company decided to help.

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Using continuous plasma for cleaning, surface activation of tube, pipe

January 21, 2015

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When fabricators need to remove lubricants or corrosion inhibitors from tube or pipe, they have no shortage of choices, both mechanical and chemical. However, they have a third option: Thermal. The intense heat developed in a plasma cleaning processes makes greases, oils, and contaminants inert.

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Don’t buy it, bend it

January 21, 2015

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Bill Farris, owner of auto components supplier and repair shop Marden Tire & Auto, Rockford, Ill., focused on tires and repairs for many years, staying away from the inventory-heavy exhaust business. All that changed when King Cobra Muffler Centers Inc. approached him with a new way to handle exhaust systems: Stock straight pipe and bend systems when necessary.

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1+1+1+1 = Clarity

January 21, 2015

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Selecting a helmet involves more than just pulling one off of a shelf, putting it on, and getting to work. A number of considerations come into play during the selection process — personal safety, wearer comfort, and optical clarity. The latter has moved from something hard to determine without guesswork to something that has true quantifiable benchmarks with the advent of the European Standard EN 379 1/1/1/1.

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The capacity dilemma in custom metal fabrication

January 20, 2015

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During this long, slow economic recovery, there’s plenty of churn in the market. Customers are less hesitant to change suppliers to get what they want. In this environment, having insufficient capacity has become very risky.

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Consumables Corner: Causes of centerline cracking in FCAW root passes

January 20, 2015

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Q: We are a bridge and structural steel manufacturing shop that uses a mixture of common base materials such as A36, A572, and A992. Recently we’ve been experiencing sporadic centerline cracks in the root passes of fabricated I-beams that we weld with flux-cored arc welding (FCAW). Oddly enough,...

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Arc Welding 101: Put your finger on it

January 20, 2015

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Q: I'm a welding instructor at a steel mill in northwest Indiana. We attended the “Train the Trainer” class at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology 12 years ago to certify in all positions, limited and unlimited thickness plates with backing, using all shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)...

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Aluminum Workshop: Why it’s so hard to weld anodized aluminum

January 20, 2015

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Q: I bought some anodized 6061-T6 tubing to make a structural framework and I’m having trouble welding it. The welds are black and ugly. Can you help? A: I think I can help. First, it would be helpful to explain what anodizing is. Anodizing is a reverse plating operation of sorts in which the...

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