Tube and Pipe Fabrication Articles


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Using heat to form complex metal parts

March 6, 2017 | By Eric Lundin

Just as hydroforming was “discovered” in the late 1980s or early 1990s, as it transitioned from just a few specialized industries into more mainstream manufacturing segments, another, related process is forging a similar path: Hot metal gas forming. Similar to hydroforming, but performed at elevated temperatures, it does many of the things hydroforming once did – forms difficult shapes and complex shapes, reduces part weight, exhibits less wall thinning than some competing processes – but takes them further because it works with more pliable material.

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Automated cutting machine turns notion of conventional work flow on its head

January 20, 2017 | By Eric Lundin

When mechanical contractor J.C. Cannistraro found that it was having trouble keeping up with the construction boom in the Boston area, it went looking for a better way to do things. Operations Manager of Plumbing Joe Mierzejewski thought that its cutting and collaring operation was a bottleneck and set his sights on improving the process.

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Construction project showcases best of metal fabrication

January 4, 2017 | By Eric Lundin

Editor Eric Lundin interviewed several of the people who were instrumental in the design, fabrication, and installation of the decorative façade that adorns FMA’s new office in Elgin, Ill

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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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Shopping cart manufacturer rings up productivity gains with automated bending cell

November 21, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Shopping cart manufacturer Technibilt has been incorporating automation little by little over the last few decades, but recently took a big step when it solicited bids for a transfer system that would bend and punch tube to make shopping cart frames.

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Civil War re-enactors take aim at metal fabrication

August 31, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

The members of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery had two cannons, an old school bus, and many miles to cover to stage mock battles. A team of Civil War re-enactors, they had discarded their previous bus and needed to transform their new bus. They enlisted the help of the staff and students at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), Janesville, Wis.

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Where metal fabrication and history intersect

August 29, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

The members of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery had two cannons, an old school bus, and a lot of miles to cover to stage mock battles. A team of Civil War reenactors, they had discarded their previous bus and needed to transform their new bus. They enlisted the help of the staff and students at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), Janesville, Wis.

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Forming a Marman bead

August 25, 2016

The Marman clamp, devised to secure two cylindrical surfaces end-to-end, has earned a unique place in tube fabrication. Although it’s not always easy to form, the Marman bead is a robust, airtight seal suitable for many applications, and is often used for diesel engine exhaust systems.

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A novel approach to pipe welding automation

July 29, 2016 | By Soroush Karimzadeh

Pipe welding often requires frequent adjustments to changing conditions. Some changes are significant enough to make automation impractical. Today, though, collaborative robotics is helping to make pipe welding automation more flexible.

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Fabricating long coils rather than short straights

July 11, 2016 | By Wynn H. Kearns

Most fabricators work with standard lengths of straight tube, but this isn’t the only possibility. Many alloys are available in coiled form, can lead to faster processing, better use of floor space, and increased material yields.

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Tube fabrication equipment manufacturer takes a holistic view of sustainability

July 7, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Sustainability and green technology are no longer buzzwords, but comprise a host of enduring manufacturing practices. Equipment manufacturer Schwarze-Robitec has rolled out numerous developments to conserve energy, consumables, material, and other resources.

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Great gates!

July 5, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

After learning to weld on the family farm and honing his skill during his college years, Josh Foster decided to augment his steady, part-time job with a fabrication business. Big Creek Metal Works makes all sort of items, from large ranch gates to small art items, specializing in custom work.

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A big leap into big tube cutting

June 2, 2016 | By Tim Heston

If Richards Sheet Metal Works had taken the conventional path, it would have invested in a new flat-sheet cutting laser, especially considering its 5-kW workhorse was more than a decade old. But Richards isn’t a conventional metal fabricator. Today it has one of the largest tube cutting lasers in the country.

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What’s new in the tube and pipe industry?

May 26, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Eric Lundin provides an overview of many of the technologies displayed at the 2016 Tube Düsseldorf expo.

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Advanced GMAW processes help in welding P91

May 26, 2016 | By Dan Hernandez, David Benson

Alloy P91 has excellent high-temperature strength and creep resistance, making it a favored alloy for piping systems for power boilers and other applications that work at elevated temperatures and pressures. The conventional welding processes, gas tungsten arc welding and shielded metal arc welding, do a good job on P91, but modified gas metal arc welding (GMAW) processes and flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) have deposition rates three to four times faster.

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