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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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Preheating can be critical to welding success

December 7, 2016 | By Caleb Haven

When do you need to preheat before welding? Which preheating method is correct for your application? What do you need to consider to make the right choice? Read on.

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Perforated metal inspires creative play

December 7, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Balfour Brickner Early Childhood Center at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan wanted a playground system suitable for the rooftop of the building that houses the center. The end result has the right look, plus durability and strength.

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Reimagining the C-clamp

December 7, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The C-clamp is easy to take for granted. It’s an unchanging, almost timeless part of the typical workbench. It works well enough—but for one structural analyst, it didn’t.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Sheet metal modeling

December 7, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis shows seven different ways to deliver the same 3-D model.

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The need for estate planning: A sign ‘o the times

December 6, 2016 | By Jonathan W. Michael, JD

When Prince died, dealing with his estate wasn’t simple. Believe it or not, owners of metal fabrication and manufacturing businesses could learn a lot about how to preserve the value of their companies and other assets by studying the rock icon’s death.

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Press brake bending basics: Proper measurement of formed parts

December 6, 2016 | By Steve Benson

Measuring hems, acute angles, and unparallel flanges isn’t difficult—if you have the right tools and dimensional information, and you know how to use both properly.

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Metal fabrication in a small shop: The hidden blessing of having no space

December 5, 2016 | By Tim Heston

As shop metrics go, sales per square foot is elegantly simple. One New England fab shop has a sales-per-sq.-ft. metric that’s twice the industry average. Its success shows how having so little space can be a blessing in disguise.

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Metal fabrication improvement: Manage the gray area between operations

December 5, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

If you analyze the entire quote-to-cash cycle for an order, you’ll find that it spends most of its time in a gray area, sitting between operations—both on the shop floor and in the front office. So if a shop really wants to improve, it should tackle this gray area.

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A foundation for company expansion

December 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Anchor Investments has manufacturing companies located in two states, with the original being Anchor Fabrication in Fort Worth, Texas. It has had success bringing these acquisitions into the family because it has an ERP system that is flexible enough to match the operational style of the individual divisions, while also being able to deliver the necessary information for company management to make the correct strategic corporate decisions.

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R&D Update: Predicting springback when bending AHSS and aluminum alloys, Part 1

December 5, 2016 | By Aanandita Katre, Ali Fallahiarezoodar, Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

Editor’s Note: Part II of this article, which will appear in the January/February 2017 issue, will discuss the results and case studies of the newly introduced inverse analysis method for improving springback prediction. In the automotive industry, the use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS)...

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Die Science: Estimating die cost

December 2, 2016 | By Art Hedrick

Before receiving a contract to design and build a die, the building shop must quote a price to the customer. Because every die usually is a one-of-a-kind tool, the process of quoting tooling cost is not always easy. The person estimating this cost must have a good understanding of sheet metal...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: The continuous improvement approach to die design

December 2, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

The “10 Die Design Laws,” which appeared in the September/October 2016 issue, are most effective when used along with a continuous improvement approach. At the end of every tool build and final development cycle, the die design team should review what went well and build on those strengths, but...

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Aluminum Workshop: 6061-T6 cracking

November 30, 2016 | By Frank Armao

Q: My company recently purchased a piece of equipment fabricated from 6061-T6 structural shapes. The welds do not seem to be very good and we have found several cracked welds. However, it is the weld shown in the photo that is puzzling. This weld shows a crack in the 6061 base metal about 2 in....

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Arc Welding 101: Explaining essential and nonessential variables for a WPS

November 30, 2016 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I am unclear on the American Petroleum Institute’s Standard 1104 regarding a weld procedure specification (WPS). Section 5.3.2.3 says: The ranges of specified outside diameters (ODs) and specified wall thicknesses over which the procedure is applicable shall be identified. Groupings are shown...

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Consumables Corner: Cost or classification

November 30, 2016 | By Nino Mascalco, Rob Koltz, Steve Sigler

What is more important, price or classification? The Consumables Corner guys have the answer.

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