Articles

Filter Content

Rethinking the production meeting

January 12, 2015

By:

Metal fabricators are better at manufacturing than holding meetings, but some sort of regularly occurring production meeting is needed to get everyone on the same page. Several fabricators offer their opinions as to what works best for them in their production powwow.

Continue Reading

Improving quality through good change: Metcam tackles kaizen

January 9, 2015

By:

All manufacturers seek to improve processes and ROI. Alpharetta, Ga.-based Metcam, a fabricator of sheet metal components and assemblies, has seen significant improvement since beginning its kaizen initiative in late 2013. What follows is the company’s blueprint for kaizen success.

Continue Reading

Pushing the solid-state laser speed limit

January 9, 2015

Solid-state lasers theoretically could cut through thin sheet at up to 1,000 meters per minute, though no machine in the world can drive a laser at that speed. But new approaches to laser cutting are bringing laser cutting speeds closer to the theoretical maximum.

Continue Reading

Safety and regulatory overview for powder coating

January 8, 2015

By:

Like any manufacturing process, powder coating has the potential to be dangerous if the right safety precautions haven’t been taken. By referencing a few key standards, a manufacturer can keep the powder coating line going and the operators safe.

Continue Reading

Flying high at FABTECH

January 8, 2015

By:

More than 30,000 visited the FABTECH 2014, a show that had several dominant themes: skilled labor, intuitive manufacturing technology, and supply chain collaboration.

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Welding 6061-T6 without filler metal; choosing shielding gas for GMAW

January 6, 2015

By:

Q: I’m trying to use gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) without filler metal to join 6061-T6, and almost every weld I make cracks. What’s going on? A: A common aluminum alloy, 6061-T6 is welded every day, so we assume it must be easy to weld. Unfortunately, it isn’t. In fact, 6061 and the other...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Welding anodized 6061-T6 extruded tubing, 7075 series aluminum

January 6, 2015

By:

Q: I bought anodized 6061-T6 extruded tubing and have been trying to gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) if, but the results so far haven’t been satisfactory. The welds look black and porous. I’m an experienced welder, and I’ve welded aluminum before, but I’ve never run into this. Is there...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Choosing an aluminum alloy

January 5, 2015

By:

Q: I have a project I want to build from aluminum sheet and extrusions. Some of my friends tell me to make it entirely from 6061-T6. Other tell me to use other alloys, mostly 5000 series. The project entails a lot of welding. Which alloy should I use? A: Without knowing more details about your...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Defining cast and helix

January 5, 2015

By:

Q: What are cast and helix? I keep hearing about them, but no one seems to really know what they are. A: First of all, cast and helix are two separate attributes of spooled wires intended for gas metal arc welding (GMAW). The terms have no meaning for straight cut lengths of wire meant for gas...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Understanding AC and HAZ ‘cracks’

January 2, 2015

By:

Q: I know that when aluminum alloys are gas tungsten arc-welded (GTAW), usually we use alternating current (AC) because it give some sort of cleaning action. Can you explain what it is and how it works? A: Sure, let’s try. But before I start, let me admit that this explanation is a bit of a...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Defining arc rectification

January 2, 2015

By:

Q: Sometimes when I’m AC gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) aluminum, the arc will start to flutter for a while. I can see it and hear it. Usually it goes away after a few seconds. What’s going on? A: First of all, the good news is that you’re not imagining it. This phenomenon is fairly common...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Using 4043 versus 4047 filler wire

December 30, 2014

By:

Q: I usually use 4043 filler wire for welding 6061-T6 and castings. My friend told me I should switch to 4047 because it’s stronger. Is that true? It’s more expensive than 4043. Is it worth it? A: As you know, 4043 and 5356 are the most common aluminum filler alloys. In fact, these two alloys...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Cleaning aluminum before welding

December 29, 2014

By:

Q: What’s the best way to clean aluminum before welding? How long can I wait to weld it before it needs to be cleaned again? A: Preweld cleaning requires two operations: oil and grease removal and oxide removal. Before you do anything else, remove any oil, grease, or water vapor from the...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Fabricating aluminum plant boxes

December 29, 2014

By:

Q: I am bidding on a job to fabricate aluminum plant boxes. They will sit inside 4-foot-tall walls in an office. These rectangular boxes, or troughs, will be 7.5 inches tall, 7.5 in. wide, and 48 in. long, placed end-to-end to form 16-ft. dividers. I plan to use 5052 aluminum. A 1.75-in. flange,...

Continue Reading

Aluminum Workshop: Passing tensile tests for 6061-T6

December 26, 2014

By:

Q: I am having problems passing the tensile tests for my procedure qualification of aluminum alloy 6061-T6 on 6-inch-diameter pipe, Schedule 120. I am using ER4043 filler metal for a gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)-gas metal arc welding (GMAW) combination process on the first joint and ER5363 on...

Continue Reading