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Bending basics: Streamlining press brake setup

March 24, 2014

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Press brake setup is a critical part of doing any bending job correctly. By focusing on a few key areas—selection of tools and forming processes, easy-to-understand setup sheets, and ISO documentation—the press brake operator is in a much better position to succeed.

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Attacking welding fume at the source

March 24, 2014

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Fume extraction guns are a viable alternative for collecting harmful welding fumes and particulate right at the source. They can be used in tandem with another source-capture device or with a localized filtration system. Knowing how they work and how to use them will help yield the best results.

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An industrial facility’s journey to LEED certification

March 20, 2014

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More and more businesses are seeking LEED certification. Among them is Hypertherm, a provider of cutting systems for the metal fabricating industry. The company met challenges along the way and exceeded its expectations in achieving LEED Gold.

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Drip by Drip

March 20, 2014

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Ever wonder about the backstories behind the people with the funny screen names on welding message boards? This is the story of a tool and die welder who discovered a talent for drawing with a TIG torch.

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Oxyfuel brazing primer

March 19, 2014

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Oxyacetylene brazing is a simple yet effective metal joining method that produces sound, leakproof connections. The process is simple to perform, does not melt or distort the base metals, and allows for increased tolerance control. Make sure you are familiar with the common brazing alloys, how to prepare base metal and fittings, and navigate through pitfalls to ensure optimal results.

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Using virtual reality welding to evaluate and train welders

March 18, 2014

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Virtual reality welding technology is increasingly being used as a tool to streamline the hiring and evaluation process for welders. Manufacturers that have incorporated the technology are finding several benefits.

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80/20: What can possibly go wrong?

March 18, 2014

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The necessary conditions must be in place to implement the 80/20 method of management successfully.

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Technology considerations for laser welding tubes and pipes

March 17, 2014

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Using laser welding for making tube or pipe on a mill is a proven technology, but and advancements in tracking systems and controls have made lasers easier to use than when they were first introduced. However, this doesn’t mean that swapping gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or plasma welding for laser is simple. Thinking about changing over to laser requires an understanding of how the laser welding process differs from GTAW and plasma welding, and how the various lasers differ from each other.

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How a heavy fabricator reinvented itself

March 17, 2014

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BEPeterson, Avon, Mass., used to be a weld shop. Most of the work was seasonal, which isn’t really a solid foundation for growth. The fabricator changed that with a commitment to diversification. Today the company has three unique business units: power utility, medical, and pressure vessels.

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How to strengthen brand awareness and grow your business through advertising

March 17, 2014

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Should you advertise your fabricating business? The answer depends on whether or not you want your business to grow.

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Better brushes, better technique, better cleaning

March 14, 2014

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Most fabricators don’t think much about deburring or finishing a metal surface, but they should considering how much time is spent on the activity. The first step is to understand how a wire brush actually cleans and deburrs.

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Maximizing service, minimizing risk

March 14, 2014

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O’Neal Steel, founded in 1921 in Birmingham, Ala., originally was a fabrication shop, and the founder later added metal distribution to the company’s repertoire. Over the decades the business model changed, fabrication disappearing altogether at one point. Eventually the company resurrected its fabrication arm, but one thing has been a constant: The company’s small-town, close-knit, neighborly culture.

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Why the stigma attached to factory work?

March 14, 2014

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People should spend less time pushing every student toward college and spend more time realizing what people are actually doing on a shop floor of progressive fabricating shops. They aren’t “laborers,” but skilled machine operators and technicians—typically without a traditional four-year degree. Any stigma that exists about today’s factory worker is no longer relevant.

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Machine bends and cuts tube in one process

March 14, 2014

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A typical bending machine process is feed-bend-feed-bend, or maybe feed-bend-feed- rotate-bend, until the feedstock is used up. However, this isn’t the end of the fabrication process, which includes a subsequent cutting step. The cut often means waste, especially for short-length parts, and the problem is compounded when the volume is high or the material is expensive. Read about how one bender manufacturer changed the process to feed-bend-separate-feed-rotate-bend-separate.

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Sustainable growth in the sunny Southwest

March 13, 2014

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You might have noticed the employees of CAID Industries Inc., Tucson, Ariz., walking around FABTECH 2013 with bright yellow shirts indicating that the fabricator was hiring. The company is looking for the right talent to help turn the $40-million-a-year business into something much larger.

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