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thefabricator.com 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, thefabricator.com 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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Arc Welding 101: All’s not fair in welding between U.S. and Canada

July 22, 2016 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I know what you're thinking—another early Saturday morning question.... I've been looking at the requirements for obtaining a Canadian Welding Bureau CWB) inspector certification. Am I seeing this correctly? A CWB inspector can apply for an AWS certified welding inspector (CWI) by reciprocity...

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Aluminum Workshop: What are the advantages of AC in aluminum GMAW?

July 22, 2016 | By Frank Armao

Q: Lately I have seen a few welding equipment manufacturers offering gas metal arc welding (GMAW) power sources that use alternating current (AC) instead of the direct-current electrode-positive (DCEP) current. Can you tell me what, if any, advantages there are to using AC instead of the more...

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Robotic welding fume capture 101

July 21, 2016 | By Josh Delson

The Robotic Industries Association reports that an estimated 260,000 robots are operating in North American factories. If you are joining in on the trend, it may be time to reassess the fume collection requirements for your facility. It’s best to make this part of the planning process before you install robots. If you wait until weld cells are already in place, installing the collector can be problematic. It is always better to engineer the fume removal equipment in advance for the space and the application.

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There’s something about Marty

July 20, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Marty Rice’s time as Arc Welding 101 columnist was relatively short, but his breadth of work online and in print has educated, inspired, and entertained readers for more than 10 years.

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Inside Frank’s Aluminum Workshop

July 20, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Practical Welding Today’s Aluminum Workshop columnist Frank Armao is the magazine’s longest-tenured contributor. Read how he landed the gig and what he’s learned during his 14-year journey.

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Still asking Elmer

July 20, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

The Ask Elmer column, written by Hobart Institute of Welding Technology instructor Elmer Swank, appeared in Practical Welding Today for four years. Even though the column no longer exists, Swank is still in the business of answering questions and developing good welders.

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Welding trends, technology advancements, and tales

July 19, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

A collection of PWT Editorial Advisory Committee members discuss what they believe to be the most important advances in welding technology, trends, and education.

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Long live the “Welding Queen”

July 14, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Her energy was genuine and her love of welding and welders was as real as the smile on her face. Ten years after leaving Practical Welding Today®, former editor Stephanie Vaughan shares her fondest memories of an industry she still loves.

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Shelving bad habits with your GMAW gun

July 14, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

A welder tired of accidental triggering or incidental damage to his gun developed a holster that can be mounted to a worktable, welding cart or in any way necessary.

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How to gild your safety record

July 13, 2016

Talan Products has consistently reduced its safety incident rate since 2006. That it has manufactured for 1,600 days without a lost-time accident is no accident. It is the result of a deliberate development of an omnipresent safety culture. Other manufacturers often ask, “How do you do it?” The manufacturer shares its safety secrets, including establishing a safety culture, learning from near-misses, using sensors, and tracking safety metrics.

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High-speed stamping quenches thirst for beverage cans

July 13, 2016 | By Greg Stueve

All of the components of a beverage can are stamped in a high-speed press. The process of producing two-piece beverage cans starts with the blanking and forming of a cup from a large aluminum coil. Today’s most advanced cupping presses can run a 14-out die up to 350 strokes per minute (SPM), producing up to 4,900 cans per minute. Would soda beverages be as popular if they could not be packaged in a portable, singular, recyclable can made inexpensively by a high-speed stamping process? Some unique challenges and critical factors for press work in high-speed can stamping include high operating speeds, dynamic balancing, and off-center loading. Here are some ways to handle stamping at (almost) the speed of light--and takeaways for slower operations.

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Small-scale cutting: The next frontier

July 12, 2016 | By Shane Strowski

Many of today’s cutting applications require surgical-like precision to produce small, intricate parts. Technological advancements in waterjet and laser cutting are making these processes even more attractive to fabricators in a variety of industries.

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Stamper powers up to do the heavy lifting

July 12, 2016 | By Kate Bachman

Stamping manufacturer StampSource brought in more than $3 million worth of work—a 25 percent revenue increase—with a capital investment of two heavy-duty feeders and three high-tonnage presses. It was the largest expansion in the company’s 66-year history.

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Applying sheet metal forming principles to plastic

July 12, 2016 | By Steve Benson

Anytime the inside radius or material thickness varies, there will be a change in the bend deduction. This is just as true when bending plastic as it is when bending sheet metal.

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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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