Tube and Pipe Fabrication Articles

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.

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Tube bending

Constant radius or variable radius?

July 10, 2007 | By Sabine Neff

While rotary draw bending is the mainstay of the tube bending industry, variable-radius bending is making some headway. Variable-radius bending offers many advantages, primarily more sophisticated bends and faster cycle times. However, it has limitations, too. A main one is that an initial bend must be a minimum of approximately 15 degrees.

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Jay Hall President of Harco Metal Products Inc.

Tube fabricator bends with industry changes

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.

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Rotary cutting blades

4 Troubleshooting tips for rotary cutting made easy

June 12, 2007 | By Susan DeJesus

Following four specific guidelines for operating the rotary cutoff machine can help you avoid making simple mistakes in setup and operation that can cause downtime.

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Tube unloader

Tube fabricator, machine tool builder automates to accelerate

June 12, 2007 | By Dan Davis

Stealth Manufacturing Inc., Savage, Minn., is a tube fabricator, and machine tool builder that automated its tube punching, laser cutting, and material handling to improve the efficiency of manufacturing its gas heater tubes and other tubular products.

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Electric tube bender machine

All-electric tube benders in control

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.

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Image of tube cutting laser

Turning a machine shop into a fabrication shop

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.

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High speed cutting tools

High-speed cutting, end-finishing

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.

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Automated tube bender

Reducing tube bending cycle times

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.

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Tube bender diagram

Safeguarding tube benders with laser scanners

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.

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Laser cutting

Fabricator finds tubular niche

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.

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Flushing out four-letter words: rust, dirt, and wear - TheFabricator

Flushing out four-letter words: rust, dirt, and wear (Part I)

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.

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French tube fabricator meets volume increase with orbital welding

October 10, 2006 | By Dick Herzfeld, Richard Herzfeld

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.

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Lasers loom larger in tube, pipe cutting

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.

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Luminous aluminum makes light work

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.

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Bridging the challenges

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.

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