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Colors in welds and what they mean

July 24, 2014

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The variety of colors that can occur in welds might surprise you. Sometimes they are desirable and sometimes not. It all depends on the material, the industry, and the application.

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The complex reality of business spending

July 22, 2014

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Business spending is a complex animal, and it's difficult to sum it up in a few charts.

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From the Web: Blacksmithing, 3D printing, and an immigration nightmare stymies a shop’s growth

July 22, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— Immigration nightmare stymies company’s growth/job creation; imagination an important tool in blacksmith’s arsenal; ultimate use of 3D printing; fabricator gives in many ways; and veterans trade combat helmets for welding helmets.

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Figure it’s about time to get into the action of 3-D printing

July 18, 2014

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3-D printing isn't a must-have tool for metal fabricators—at least not yet. But the technology is advancing at great speeds. It's time to start paying attention.

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Working with dad

July 17, 2014

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Working in the family business can be difficult and isn’t right for everyone. But sometimes, it can lead to a rewarding career.

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Training your off hand for TIG welding

July 10, 2014

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"The world has enough one-handed welders."

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The importance of process innovation

July 9, 2014

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Manufacturing is getting a lot of attention in Washington. Proposals abound about pushing new products and technologies from R&D to the market. But when it comes to a purely employment perspective, process innovation—including continuous improvement—may be even more important.

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Spreading the word about metal fabricating

July 2, 2014

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Metal fabricators fear that a negative image is preventing the next generation from considering manufacturing as a career choice. What's the best way to combat that? Let metal fabricators share their stories. They love their profession, and as a result, they can help others to love fabricating as well.

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How do you get those weaved welds?

June 26, 2014

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Here’s a topic that I get asked about more than any other: “How do you get those weaved welds?” These days I rarely (occasionally, but not often) encounter the need to weave, but it’s fun, it looks rad, and it’s nice to stay sharp. DISCLAIMER: I'm not a boilermaker, and I'm not a...

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From the Web: Welding instead of French; a heavy-metal tour; cutting energy costs

June 24, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— Welding to satisfy math and language requirements; heavy-metal tour attracts future workforce; companies join to lower energy costs; stampers expect slight downturn; and metal sculpture transcends art.

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Lean manufacturing, line of sight, and old buildings

June 23, 2014

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Where are parts coming from, and where are they going? Line-of-sight issues plague older plants, full of walls to separate departments. But some companies have overcome this problem and adapted lean to fit very old work spaces.

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Knowledge is job security?

June 16, 2014

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In modern business, knowledge matters, but communicating that knowledge may matter even more.

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Old-school welding techniques with new-school machines

June 12, 2014

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TIG welding thin material presents some challenges that can be addressed by tried-and-true techniques and newer welding technology.

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Working overtime to fix the overtime problem

June 12, 2014

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Metal fabricators that continue to lean on a select few interested in working excessive amounts of overtime are running the increased risk of employee burnout or production mistakes on the shop floor. They need to take steps to prepare the entire workforce to absorb additional manufacturing tasks, not just the few and proud to be working OT.

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From the Web: Fabricators in the limelight; high cost of a tiny, missing part; automakers and art

June 11, 2014

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Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— Fabricators make an important list; a missing, nickel-size part leads to big settlement for ship builder; automakers contribute millions to save Detroit’s art; men continue to be on the short end of the jobs recovery stick; and more women become manufacturing entrepreneurs.

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