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Want to take up powder coating?

September 15, 2014

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As more metal fabricators look to increase value-added activities, they are considering adding a powder coating line. Before they do that, however, they need to know what's involved. They need to select a system that fits a specific footprint, can deliver the customers’ surface appearance and corrosion protection requirements, and meets budget constraints. In other words, they really need to do their homework.

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Weld Cleanup Poses Challenges for Oilfield Workers

September 15, 2014

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Attention to proper weld cleaning is especially critical in field applications.

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Metal-cored wires: Your questions answered

September 8, 2014

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When does switching to metal-cored wires make sense? Answers to the most commonly asked questions about this consumable can help you decide if it’s right for your operation.

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Aerospace parts manufacturer upgrades bending capability

September 8, 2014

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Bending tubular parts for the aerospace industry isn’t easy. OEMs continue to push the envelope, designing increasingly complex parts made from pricey materials. Fabricators are under continuous pressure to improve their capabilities, turn orders around faster, and minimize scrap. To that end, SL Engineering recently invested in a second all-electric bender from Unison.

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Selecting the right waterjet abrasive

September 8, 2014

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Almost every natural and synthetic material has been tried as a waterjet cutting abrasive. The best material appears to be almandine garnet. However, it's the right combination of hardness, density, toughness, and particle shape in the garnet that maximizes a waterjet's cutting capabilities.

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Success on two wheels

September 4, 2014

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Firefly Bicycles, a 2011 start-up in the custom bicycle business, is thriving despite the sluggish economy and a competitive marketplace. The company’s three founders are using their previous work experience in bicycle fabrication and their enthusiasm for cycling to stay ahead of the competition.

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A new dimension in CAD models

September 4, 2014

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AGCO engineers don’t have to rely solely on the traditional product development process any longer. They have implemented a new virtual reality system that enables engineers to correct design flaws without having to build multiple prototypes. Now the tool is being used to build the company’s first generation of global agricultural equipment.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Creating animations to explain the invention

September 3, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis walks the reader through the steps needed to create a 3-D CAD movie that can be used to bring an assembly or product idea to life.

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Two-coat powder process fights corrosion

September 3, 2014

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A powder-on-powder process developed by Hartford Finishing in Wisconsin is providing customers with corrosion protection that they weren't getting with e-coat or other powder finishes.

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TPJ celebrates 25 years

September 3, 2014

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Editor Eric Lundin recounts some of the more interesting articles published in TPJ since it was founded in 1990, discusses some of the trends, and provides some input from early members of TPA’s board of directors.

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The miraculous effect of spare capacity

August 29, 2014

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The traditional cost-based approach to manufacturing promotes using your resources—people and machines—to the fullest extent, but this can wreak havoc in high-product-mix manufacturing, especially in contract operations with varying and unpredictable levels of demand. This is where the value of spare capacity comes into play.

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Consumables Corner: Advancements in SAW

August 29, 2014

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Q: What role does flux and wire play in submerged arc welding? A: It is important to choose the right flux and wire combination for submerged arc welding (SAW) processes. This will allow you to gain efficiency while meeting your performance requirements. Basic submerged arc welding uses a single...

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Stand apart in a crowded marketplace

August 29, 2014

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As a custom fabricator, you need to establish contrast—that is, why a customer should choose your company over others. You establish contrast not with generic platitudes, but by specifically addressing customer pain points and describing how you can eliminate them.

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Arc Welding 101: Achieving a good work lead connection

August 29, 2014

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Q: What makes a good ground connection, and why is it important? A: In a welding circuit, current needs to pass through as few connections as possible, and the circuit itself needs to be as short as is practical. On the positive (+) side for gas metal arc welding (GMAW), direct-current electrode...

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Why similar fabricators can have very different financial results

August 28, 2014

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Contract metal fabricators may have similar assets and offer similar services, but have very different financial results. The differences may come from differing customer mixes, but it also comes from the fact that many shops have highly concentrated sources of revenue. Lose one big account, and financial results seriously suffer.

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