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thefabricator.com is the digital home of The FABRICATOR magazine, the metal fabricating industry’s foremost authority on manufacturing technology. Technical articles, case studies, and company profiles from The FABRICATOR and its sister publications, Practical Welding Today, The Tube & Pipe Journal, and STAMPING Journal can be found on this site. Additionally, thefabricator.com has a team of subject matter experts that write exclusively for the website, covering topics such as welding skills and metal forming basics.

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GMAW for beginners A check list for success

January 20, 2017 | By Adam Urbano, Rhonda Zatezalo

Even though GMAW is relatively simple process to execute in comparison to other welding processes, here are a lot of moving parts that will either make or break your weld. New welders have a lot to consider, including understanding the base metal, the type of weld necessary, how to set up the machine, and how the best to lay the bead. Knowing which is vest for the application is often part of the challenge.

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Reach for the skies!

January 20, 2017

The energy sector is the biggest global market for manufacturers of steel pipes, with the focus on two nonrenewable resources: oil and gas. However, tubular products are equally indispensable for renewable energy, especially wind power. A report from Germany details the progress in making wind towers in Germany's power industry.

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Software solves the biggest bending problems for tube fabricators

January 20, 2017 | By Tom Adams

CAD software allows engineers to work up perfect designs, and this is problematic for tube fabricators. If the engineer lacks experience with tube, they tend to develop parts that can't be made, or can't be made economically. Unison has introduced soft are to gel deal with this situation.

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Automated cutting machine turns notion of conventional work flow on its head

January 20, 2017 | By Eric Lundin

When mechanical contractor J.C. Cannistraro found that it was having trouble keeping up with the construction boom in the Boston area, it went looking for a better way to do things. Operations Manager of Plumbing Joe Mierzejewski thought that its cutting and collaring oration was a bottleneck and set his sights on improving the process.

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Technology Spotlight: Clearing out the blowback slag

January 18, 2017 | By Dan Davis

Working all over the world, Van Steel has seen a similar sight at fabrication facilities and construction sites: drums and buckets filled with oxyfuel and plasma cutting tips that have been thrown away because it was easier to do that than clean out the blowback slag. He has developed a tool to make that job easier.

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Achieving successful stamping of AHSS

January 16, 2017 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Forming products from advanced high-strength steels is a challenge. Understanding how these materials react during press feeding, straightening, blanking, and forming is necessary in designing production processes that run as efficiently as possible.

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R&D Update: Predicting springback when bending AHSS and aluminum alloys, Part II

January 12, 2017 | By Aanandita Katre, Ali Fallahiarezoodar, Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

Editor’s Note: This article is Part II of a two-part series. Part I, which appeared in the November/December 2016 issue, discussed the challenges of determining Young’s modulus, one of the most important parameters for springback prediction.

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Women in welding on the rise

January 11, 2017 | By Tom Danowski

Many skilled-labor jobs continue to go unfilled. To help alleviate the shortage, more programs are being designed to attract women to the trades. Cultivating a safe manufacturing environment that offers fair, equal wages also can help.

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Die Science: What makes a topnotch metal stamping plant?

January 11, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Some stamping plants and die-building facilities are far more productive and efficient than others. Each shop typically has its own niche, as well as its own strengths and weaknesses. So what are the key decisions managers make that result in a successful stamping or die-building shop? Staffing...

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Ask the Expert: How do we fix our slug pulling problem?

January 11, 2017 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: We are developing what we thought would be a fairly straightforward stamping. We are blanking a rectangular shape, 2.15 by 2.35 inches and 0.004 in. thick, from 301 stainless steel. A simple, single punch blanks the part through the die chase in one shot. But as we brought up the stamping speed...

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A check list for a plasma cutting table retrofit

January 10, 2017 | By Chris Kuzma

When considering a retrofit to an older plasma cutting table, a fabricator needs to consider equipment location, state of table components, the types of shielding gases and consumables that might be needed with a technology upgrade, and any possible training that may be needed.

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The peculiar world of metal sculpture

January 9, 2017 | By Amanda Carlson

A Missouri man’s fairly recent immersion in metal sculpture has yielded confidence and surprising results, at least to him.

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Press brake bending basics: Breaking the time barrier

January 9, 2017 | By Steve Benson

Making accurate time estimates requires both complete information about the job at hand as well as technical talent, both in engineering and in press brake operation.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Product development

January 9, 2017 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis shows a work flow for creating two versions of the same product.

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What makes estimating effective in metal fabrication?

January 9, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Good estimating involves more than just numbers crunching. A good estimator needs to communicate and collaborate with various people, from the owner to the machine operator. That person also needs the right organizational structure and technology in place to be effective.

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