The tube and pipe fabrication technology area covers sawing (band, circular, and friction) and other cutting processes, such as abrasive, flame, laser, oxyfuel, plasma, and waterjet. It also discusses forming processes, including bending and end forming. Finally, it includes a handful of miscellaneous processes, such as trimming, beveling, finning, grooving, threading, and spinning.
June 12, 2007 | By Dan Davis
As customers look for ways to add to their bottom-line performance, Harco Metal Products, Tempe, Ariz., has stepped forward with services that make the tube fabricator more valuable to its customer--and harder to replace.
May 8, 2007 | By Terry Pickering
All-electric tube bending machines use electric, closed-loop servomotor axes to control the motion and speed of the bend tooling, providing programmable control over the range of each axis. Otherwise, all-electric tube bending machines are basically rotary draw benders—the design of which have not changed significantly for 50 years.
April 10, 2007 | By Kate Bachman
Leading Edge Hydraulics improves tube cutting efficiencies with a high-speed cutter, plus integrated end forming for its fluid power tube manufacturing.
April 10, 2007 | By Eric Lundin
Senior Editor Eric Lundin traces the history of a machine shop-turned-fabricator. Founded in 1984 as Target Boring, the company changed from a machining shop to a fabrication shop when, in 1994, it purchased its first sheet and plate laser cutting system. Now named Target Laser & Machining Inc., it boasts three lasers for sheet and plate (two 2-D machines and one multiaxis machine) and one for cutting tube.
March 13, 2007 | By Sabine Neff
Because any multiple-step manufacturing process is only as fast as the slowest machine, fabricators interested in purchasing an automated tube bender might suddenly find his production line saddled with bottlenecks. It's necessary to analyze the entire production line and learn about the equipment that is available before automating the bending process.
February 13, 2007 | By Steve Aamodt
Tube benders require safeguarding around the perimeter of the machine and area in front of the machine, where the tube is bent, and in the back where the tube is fed. Laser scanning devices offers several advantageous features. Because laser scanning is a noncontact method, it minimizes interference with the machine operation, and because the scanner mounts at the foot of the machine and out of the way of the tube bending action, it allows full access to the work area.
November 7, 2006
Production Cutting Services was founded in 1985 as a machine shop to supply parts to agricultural equipment manufacturers in and around East Moline, Ill. It used saws and CNC machining centers to provide tubular parts, but later realized it needed to add more value. It purchased two lasers from Mazak Optonics Corp. It hasn't abandoned CNC machining, though. It uses the lasers to complement its other processes.
October 10, 2006 | By Kate Bachman
Hapco Aluminum Pole Products, Abingdon, Va., fabricates aluminum light posts that must be beautiful while standing up to wind, and the forces of nature.
October 10, 2006 | By Peter Beck
Laser technology has a new, larger role in cutting tube and pipe. It's suitable not only for niche applications, but also for broader tube cutting applications such as cutoff.
CMI Enterprise is a 107-person fabricating shop located in the scenic region of Saint Sylvain D'Anjou, France, serving the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and chemical industries. CMI began experiencing growing pains. For the process equipment and heat exchanger projects, CMI selected orbital welding equipment from Polysoude [U.S. division is Astro Arc Polysoude Inc.]. to increase productivity rates. A welder can make more welds per day because the weld presents a regular geometry without overlay, and requires no secondary operations, such as grinding or cleaning.
October 10, 2006 | By Mike Pelham
Rust, wear, and dirt cost tube fabricators and producers millions of dollars annually, and they can be the bane of tube processes. Analyzing the criteria for selecting the lubricant, cleaner, and rust preventative can help provide maximum protection.
September 12, 2006 | By Rob Dean
Fabricators that need to do end forming have many choices. Even after narrowing the process down to using a ram or segmented tooling, choices abound-the tooling can form the ID, the OD, or both; and operation can be manual or CNC. Understanding the processes and their capabilities are the keys to choosing the best one for the application.
September 12, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan
A good design doesn't guarantee challenge-free fabrication in the bridge industry, as one fabricator found out. Despite material availability obstacles, stringent welding requirements, and massive pipe cutting needs, Stinger Welding and the design team it worked with pulled off a winning pipe bridge design in six months.
August 8, 2006 | By Terrence Egan
Medalist Laserfab Inc., Oshkosh, Wis., is building a custom motorcycle for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl.® (FMA) Foundation's charitable auction, which will help the Foundation encourage young people to pursue careers in manufacturing. This article explains how you can view the progress of the build, donate items for the auction, and participate in the bidding.
July 11, 2006 | By Eric Lundin
Interviews with several tube-bending equipment-makers reveal that tube bending is becoming more complex every day, for a number of reasons. Manufacturers try to decrease material usage and go to stronger, difficult-to-bend materials with thinner walls; many manufactured items are smaller than ever before; and bends have to be smoother, especially in exhaust systems. Meanwhile, fabricators are split into two camps: High-volume OEM that are increasingly dependent on advanced controls and flexible workcells, and job shops that still get by on less sophisticated, manually operated equipment.