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Arc Welding 101: Measuring preheat and interpass temperatures

March 24, 2017 | By Paul Cameron

Q: What is your preference when it comes to measuring weld preheat and interpass temperatures? Right now I am using seven different temperature-indicating crayons with various ratings. Is that enough to get the job done?The infrared pyrometer that I have is unreliable at best. If anything, I'm...

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Robots for hire

March 24, 2017 | By Tim Heston

A company has introduced a new way for a fabricator to use automation: not by investing in a permanent system, but by hiring them and paying for their use by the hour. The technology behind collaborative robotics is making this possible.

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Aluminum Workshop: The truth about welding aluminum castings

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...

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It’s not your father’s shop

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.

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Developing the value network map

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.

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Die Science: 7 ways that part material affects die design and the forming process

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...

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R&D Update: Practical use of servo hydraulic cushions in stamping operations

March 15, 2017 | By Ali Fallahiarezoodar, Darrell Quander Jr., Pratik Mehta, Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

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...

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Ask the Expert: Which equation adds up to smooth strip feeding in progressive dies?

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...

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Die Science: Finding the true cause of poor-quality parts

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...

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Die Science: Open wall angles versus vertical walls

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...

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Die Science: Maximizing tool steel life

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...

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Advancements in furnace design improve hot stamping

March 9, 2017 | By Borek Dvorak, Jad Tawk

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.

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Die Science: Fitting the drawing pad for optimal metal flow

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...

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Tips for creating a whole lot of holes

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.

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So, you want to be a CWI—Part V

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.

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