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.
March 23, 2017 | By Frank Armao
Q: A group of friends and I were talking the other day. Some people said that all aluminum castings are weldable. Others took the extreme opposite position and said that aluminum castings usually aren’t weldable. What’s the truth?A: The short answer is that, yes, most aluminum castings are...
March 21, 2017 | By Kayvan Mott
The primary difference between your father’s way of marketing his shop and the modern way to market your shop lies in your approach. Content marketing is based on the idea of creating valuable information that customers can access when they want to make a purchase decision.
March 21, 2017 | By Shahrukh Irani, Ph.D.
Dr. Shahrukh Irani offers an alternative to the value stream map in lean manufacturing. He calls it the value network map, and it’s tailored for the high-product-mix, low-volume world of the job shop.
March 16, 2017 | By Art Hedrick
I recently had an opportunity to train some young product designers. During this training session, one of the product designers brought me a print of a project he was working on. It was a contoured, deep-drawn part with many intricate features, and he had a lot of questions about the...
In deep drawing, with or without draw beads, the sheet metal blank is restrained at the periphery of the die by the blank holder force (BHF). The relative motion between the punch and the die forces the metal to flow into the die cavity (see Figure 1). The quality of the formed part is determined...
March 14, 2017 | By Thomas Vacca
Q: Many people believe that the feed height = passline height. But the way I learned it, feed height + lift height = passline height. If feed height + lift height = passline height and you feed the material, when the die closes, with the stock check open, the material will be pushed down by the...
March 13, 2017 | By Art Hedrick
As a professional consultant, I find it both amusing and frustrating how many times dies are accused of being “bad.” Certainly, poor-quality dies exist. In my career I’ve seen dies that are well-engineered, precision tools, and I’ve seen dies that might as well have been made from sawdust...
March 10, 2017 | By Art Hedrick
All too often designers employ open wall angles simply because they’ve been told that they are easier to form than vertical walls. Although this statement may be true for many part geometries, it is certainly not true for all. Sometimes a draft angle can be desirable; other times it can be...
March 9, 2017 | By Art Hedrick
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is “What is the best tool steel?”To me, that’s like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”There is no “best” tool steel. To choose the appropriate tool steel for a given application, you need to consider all of the situations and...
New roller furnaces for hot stamping have been designed using finite element method (FEM) analysis for numerical simulations of heating processes and heating power distribution. The advanced designs focus on optimal heating, modern roller drives, a new approach to the furnace’s input and output without movable parts, and other items with respect to the optimal technological and technical aspects to enhance the ability to perform nonuniform (Taylor) tempering and hardening.
March 9, 2017 | By Art Hedrick
Production stampers and die builders understand that the process of designing, building, troubleshooting, and maintaining a drawing die can be very difficult. Unlike metal cutting tools, drawing dies can take a great deal of time to develop, especially if the final part will be very deep and...
March 9, 2017 | By John "J.J." Johnson
While a common practice among manufacturers, perforating sheet metal can deliver many production challenges and unnecessary costs. Here are some tips for minimizing these challenges and keeping costs in line.
March 8, 2017 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith
To pass the certified welding inspector exam, you must have a good understanding of codes and standards. These exist in several iterations, all of which have some similarities. This article discusses the elements of each and offers insight into how to prepare for the exam.
March 8, 2017 | By Samantha Noland
More than 80 percent of the cost for a manual weld lies in the labor required to perform it. By choosing the right welding transfer mode and wire for gas metal arc welding (GMAW), you can reduce your overall cost and improve productivity and efficiency.
March 8, 2017
6XXX series is a common base material used in aluminum applications and, generally speaking, its best filler metal match is either the 4XXX or 5XXX series. The filler metal you choose depends on how the finished weld will be used. Will it be exposed to sustained elevated temperatures? Are strength, ductility, and toughness key requirements? Determine which properties are most important for the completed weld and select the filler metal according to those priorities.