Articles 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, 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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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Modeling a cable harness

October 17, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis considers techniques for adding parametric harness connections to models.

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Learning to take cybersecurity seriously

October 14, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Cybersecurity expert Steve Douglas shares his thoughts on why metal fabricators need to pay attention to just how they are protecting their internal information and files. Shops may not think they are targets, and that's when they are at their most vulnerable.

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6 steps to delegation success

October 14, 2016 | By Mark Ernst

Managers need to delegate. Delegation helps employees learn new skills and allows a business to grow. But delegation isn’t easy, and these six steps should help managers overcome the challenges.

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Closing the skills gaps through apprenticeships

October 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis

As manufacturers look for the manufacturing engineers and machine operators to replace retiring baby boomers, they are finding that traditional recruitment efforts are lacking. Many find that it’s easier to groom their own workers rather than hoping that they turn up on the doorstep.

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Metal fabrication investment strategy: Keep buggering on

October 13, 2016 | By Tim Heston

This year’s “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from the FMA shows an industry that’s facing tight competition, but also one that is pushing on, investing, and making efficient use of resources.

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Customer communication and the metal fabricator

October 13, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

Poor communication can lead to serious waste and missed opportunities. That’s why the communications process really should be seen as an extension of continuous improvement.

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The big implications tied to new manganese recommendations

October 11, 2016 | By Frank Cea

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists recently recommended a tenfold decrease in exposure limits for manganese, which are present in welding fumes. This is big news because OSHA typically uses these recommendations as the basis for future regulation updates. Big changes could be coming for metal fabricators

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Could you do more with your plasma cutting system?

October 11, 2016 | By Harry Mellott, Shreyansh Patel

Modern plasma systems can do more than just cut. They can gouge, mark, remove welds, and more. And this applies whether plasma processing occurs using a hand-held torch or a machine torch mounted on a CNC table, robotic arm, or automated track.

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Operator talent: The heart of the plate and angle rolling business

October 11, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Plate and angle rolling remains extremely dependent on operator skill. According to a U.S. roll shop roundtable discussion held at a Davi angle rolling event in Italy, that skill really is what sets a custom rolling operation apart.

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The smart factory of the future

October 10, 2016 | By Will Healy III

Metal fabricators hoping to survive a global economy and shrinking workforce can look at the trends and “what-ifs” in the next industrial age of connected machines.

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Poor inventory management: The hidden profitability killer in manufacturing

October 10, 2016

Perfectly accurate inventory records will help you improve turns, which frees up cash; improve customer service, because you know what you have when a customer calls; increase shop productivity, because material will be available when needed; and increase profitability, because you won’t be writing off inventory that isn’t there.

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Flow and the metal fabricator: Making it visual

October 10, 2016 | By Chad Vincent

When communication is visual, we see together, know together, and therefore act together.

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R&D Update: Evaluating lubricant using the cup drawing test

October 10, 2016

Lubrication plays an important role in sheet metal forming by affecting metal flow and reducing the possibility of fracture during forming. A number of tests are used to evaluate lubricant performance, including the strip draw test, the twist compression test, and the cup drawing test.The cup...

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Die Science: The basics of troubleshooting die problems

October 10, 2016 | By Art Hedrick

In my career as a consultant, I have experienced numerous die-related problems. Some were complex, and some were easy to solve. But most were solved by following basic die design and troubleshooting guidelines. For a stamping die to function properly, you have to follow three basic die design...

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Marketing for metal fabricators: Don’t pitch, educate

October 10, 2016 | By Bruce McDuffee

A fabricator’s marketing function shouldn’t be about tradeshow booths, brochures, and websites. It’s not there simply to serve the sales function. Instead, marketing reinforces a fabricator’s value proposition and, ultimately, helps drive the direction of the business.

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