Articles 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, 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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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 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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What is the right laser for microwelding?

November 30, 2016 | By Geoff Shannon

Learning about the characteristics of microwelding lasers, such as ND:YAG and the different types of fiber lasers, can help fabricators determine which is the best option for a particular application.

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Airborne hazards in welding

November 30, 2016 | By Derek Baker

Selecting a respirator for welding is serious business. Choosing the wrong respirator for a job, or using it incorrectly, may cause serious health issues.

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2017 metal fabrication forecast: Voyage into the unknown

November 29, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Before the election, industry watchers predicted more of the same slow growth the economy has seen for years. After the election, stock markets unexpectedly soared on the backs of companies that may benefit from a Trump presidency. One thing is for sure: The American political sphere heads into the unknown.

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Industry innovations at EuroBLECH 2016 reflect the need for speed

November 29, 2016 | By Robert Colman

At EuroBLECH 2016 the world’s machine tool makers and software developers showcased innovations aimed at reducing the time between part conceptualization and final delivery to the customer.

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The 3 challenges of managing welding fumes

November 29, 2016 | By Rebecca Wescott

Welding fumes should be a real concern for fabricating shop owners. By understanding what types of materials they are dealing with, the explosive nature of metal dust, and the proper ventilation system needed to control the fumes, shop owners can keep their employees safe and focused on the job.

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Pressure matters in abrasive waterjet cutting

November 29, 2016 | By Pradeep Nambiath, PhD

Abrasive waterjet pump technology continues to evolve toward higher pressures. Within the pump’s design limits, the higher the pressure, the faster the abrasive moves, and the faster you can cut.

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Aligning with OSHA

November 28, 2016 | By Dave Knoll

Safety improvement for Anderson Dahlen was not an overnight event. It took a couple of shocking incidents and the willingness to work with, not against, the state’s safety regulatory agency before a significant change in the company’s safety culture took place.

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Structural fabrication, the next generation

November 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Structural fabrication is on the cusp of some big changes, and the entry-level employee of today will grow in a field that’s becoming increasingly digitized.

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Job shop estimating: A historical perspective Step 2

November 28, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis continues a series of columns that address one of the most important activities related to shop profitability: job estimating. In this second installment, he describes how an estimator can use the shop’s manufacturing history to refine the predictions of future expense.

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Filter bag, housing manufacturer finds faster cutting process for aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel

November 22, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

When industrial filter and filter housing manufacturer Filter Technology Inc. had one too many late and substandard shipments of steel components, it took matters into its own hands and started cutting pipe and making plate components using a band saw and machining centers. Then its staff went to FABTECH and saw a Soitaab plasma machine with a bed for flat parts and chucks for pipe.

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