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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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Grill or be grilled

May 23, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

A fabricator of one of the most renowned wood-fired grills available recently integrated a robotic welding cell to help cut lead times and keep up with overwhelming demand.

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Don't lose track of the latest design updates

May 23, 2016 | By Dan Davis

The goal of forward-thinking fabrication shops is to be closely involved in a customer's supply chain, where perhaps it participates in part designs and design for manufacturability activities. If a shop is to be an active supply chain partner, it needs to be able to stay on top of engineering change orders and part design discussion. Cloud-based product life cycle management software can help.

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Continuous improvement: Do you have a handle on flow

May 23, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

Manufacturing is all about flow, both of physical products and information. You can plan for good flow. But if you let it evolve on its own, you will be dealing with the waste and efficiency that evolution creates.

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Can this product be made?

May 23, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Waiting for a callback to discuss a major design change is one thing; but waiting hours just to see if a hole can be moved a little farther from the bend radius—that’s something else. One industry project, iFAB, aims to make design for manufacturability far more efficient.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Comparison of two animation tools for creating walk-through tours

May 23, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis reviews methods for creating walk-through animations. The use of a camera following a path is discussed.

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Still waters run deep

May 23, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Elaine Waters, the 2016 PWTeacher of the Year award winner, has taught, inspired, and intimidated the hell out of welding students for 30 years. This is her story.

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Applications: Electric press brakes set the pace for lighting products manufacturer

May 23, 2016

Situation: Kenall Mfg. is a manufacturer of energy-efficient lighting products for challenging environments. In late 2014 the company moved its production and office operations from Gurnee, Ill., to Kenosha, Wis., while also reducing its fabrication operation from three shifts to two....

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Consumables Corner: Breaking down CTOD and CVN testing

May 13, 2016 | By Nino Mascalco, Rob Koltz, Steve Sigler

Q: We're a job shop and much of our work is customized or unique. Because of this, we have to work with multiple welding codes and sometimes we have to verify welding procedures. We have been bidding on some new projects that have welding crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) requirements. How is...

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Arc Welding 101: Defining a fillet weld with D1.1

May 13, 2016 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I'm auditing a fab shop and have a question regarding the AWS D1.1 code. The shop is referring to the corner joints in the plates encompassing the columns as fillet welds, yet there is no faying surface. D1.1 says a fillet can have up to 3/16-in. misalignment (with certain stipulations), which...

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Aluminum Workshop: The perks of a push-pull gun for GMAW

May 12, 2016 | By Frank Armao

Q: I will be getting into aluminum welding much more than I have in the past. I want to buy a new set of equipment for gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and I’ve already picked out the power supply and feeder. Should I buy a push-pull gun or stick with the simpler and less expensive push-only gun? A:...

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Moving beyond the traditional coordinate measuring machine

May 12, 2016 | By Dr. Jan Antonis

Coordinate measuring using robust camera technology means that fabricators may no longer have to construct jigs or learn programming software to conduct quality checks of parts.

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When your GMAW gun's ablazin'

May 11, 2016 | By Jerome Parker

Overheating is a symptom of what could turn into catastrophic gun failure. Striking the right balance between gun size and capacity can increase the efficiency of a welding operation and decrease problems, like overheating, that could damage the equipment.

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5 steps to lean assembly in the job shop

May 9, 2016 | By Anthony Manos

Many think cellular assembly isn’t applicable to the job shop, but in fact, creating cells in custom manufacturing is nothing new. For shops that carefully identify product or process families, cellular assembly can help increase throughput dramatically.

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Which press brake is best?

May 9, 2016 | By Steve Benson

No press brake is best for every application, but you can find a press brake that’s best for you. To find that press brake, you need to match what’s available—hydraulic, hybrid, electric, mechanical, and other styles, along with the tooling—with what your operation needs.

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Metal fabrication on the move

May 9, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Koester Metals Inc. conquered its growing pains after the recession. It moved to a new facility to follow demand, improved and formalized training, and invested in new technology.

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