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Technology Spotlight: Clearing out the blowback slag

January 18, 2017 | By Dan Davis

Working all over the world, Van Steel has seen a similar sight at fabrication facilities and construction sites: drums and buckets filled with oxyfuel and plasma cutting tips that have been thrown away because it was easier to do that than clean out the blowback slag. He has developed a tool to make that job easier.

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Achieving successful stamping of AHSS

January 16, 2017 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Forming products from advanced high-strength steels is a challenge. Understanding how these materials react during press feeding, straightening, blanking, and forming is necessary in designing production processes that run as efficiently as possible.

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R&D Update: Predicting springback when bending AHSS and aluminum alloys, Part II

January 12, 2017 | By Aanandita Katre, Ali Fallahiarezoodar, Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

Editor’s Note: This article is Part II of a two-part series. Part I, which appeared in the November/December 2016 issue, discussed the challenges of determining Young’s modulus, one of the most important parameters for springback prediction.

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Women in welding on the rise

January 11, 2017 | By Tom Danowski

Many skilled-labor jobs continue to go unfilled. To help alleviate the shortage, more programs are being designed to attract women to the trades. Cultivating a safe manufacturing environment that offers fair, equal wages also can help.

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Die Science: What makes a topnotch metal stamping plant?

January 11, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

Some stamping plants and die-building facilities are far more productive and efficient than others. Each shop typically has its own niche, as well as its own strengths and weaknesses. So what are the key decisions managers make that result in a successful stamping or die-building shop? Staffing...

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Ask the Expert: How do we fix our slug pulling problem?

January 11, 2017 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: We are developing what we thought would be a fairly straightforward stamping. We are blanking a rectangular shape, 2.15 by 2.35 inches and 0.004 in. thick, from 301 stainless steel. A simple, single punch blanks the part through the die chase in one shot. But as we brought up the stamping speed...

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A check list for a plasma cutting table retrofit

January 10, 2017 | By Chris Kuzma

When considering a retrofit to an older plasma cutting table, a fabricator needs to consider equipment location, state of table components, the types of shielding gases and consumables that might be needed with a technology upgrade, and any possible training that may be needed.

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The peculiar world of metal sculpture

January 9, 2017 | By Amanda Carlson

A Missouri man’s fairly recent immersion in metal sculpture has yielded confidence and surprising results, at least to him.

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Press brake bending basics: Breaking the time barrier

January 9, 2017 | By Steve Benson

Making accurate time estimates requires both complete information about the job at hand as well as technical talent, both in engineering and in press brake operation.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Product development

January 9, 2017 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis shows a work flow for creating two versions of the same product.

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What makes estimating effective in metal fabrication?

January 9, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Good estimating involves more than just numbers crunching. A good estimator needs to communicate and collaborate with various people, from the owner to the machine operator. That person also needs the right organizational structure and technology in place to be effective.

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The future of work in metal fabrication

January 9, 2017 | By Tim Heston

The future of work in metal fabrication may be less about a specific task and more about uncovering better ways to satisfy customer demand and get the job done.

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What does continuous improvement mean to you?

January 6, 2017 | By Jeff Sipes

How do you define “continuous improvement”? Turns out, it depends on your organization and your role within it. Altogether, the mix of continuous improvement perspectives within a company should strike a balance between two concepts: efficiency and effectiveness.

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3 things you should know about air-assisted laser cutting

January 6, 2017 | By Robert Farrell

Laser cutting with nitrogen as an assist gas is still the No. 1 choice for applications in which edge quality is critical. Air as an assist gas, however, might work in some not-so-critical applications, and its use will generate sustainable cost and time savings while boosting productivity.

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4 ways to save on aluminum extrusion processing costs

January 6, 2017 | By Spencer Dick

Fabricators that cut a lot of aluminum extrusions probably end up with plenty of scrap. Traditional thinking suggests that’s not so bad because recyclers pay them for the aluminum scrap. Over the long term, however, that thinking is costing them money. If fabricators can minimize scrap, they can maximize revenue because that raw material, once destined for the scrap bin, will be transformed into something of high value. Optimization software and cutting automation can help fabricators keep their material out of that scrap bin.

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