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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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Ask the Stamping Expert: Can I pierce material in a progressive die in the opposite direction?

March 31, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: Do you have much experience with piercing material in the opposite direction than usual in a progressive die? In other words, the slug goes through the punch shoe. A: Yes. This is very doable and not uncommon. I assume you need to do this because the piercing direction is a part-functional...

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What brings youth to the sheet metal business?

March 31, 2016 | By Tim Heston

How can a fab shop bring talented youth into the fold? Two members of FMA’s Young Professionals’ Council tell what sparked their interest--and it isn’t what you might expect.

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Welding for oil: This bust shall pass

March 30, 2016 | By Gerry Timms

Odessa, Texas, has changed. In 2014 traffic was a nightmare; now, not so much. At the heart of the Permian Basin, Odessa is feeling the brunt of the oil and gas bust.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How do I hold washers in the strip in a compound die?

March 30, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: Do you have suggestions for holding washers in the strip in a compound die? High-strength, low-alloy material properties change from heat to heat, periodically causing parts to drop out of the strip. For this reason, we blank up and use a knockout bar to eject the parts. A: Two significant...

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The next generation of portable beveling

March 30, 2016 | By Rohan B. Raut

Weld prep is an unheralded but necessary activity for those working with heavy plate. Portable beveling technology has emerged that may make life a little easier for the fabricator looking to deliver high-quality weld joints.

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Fabricating a mobile lounge

March 30, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Gorilla Fabrication in South Carolina has made a name for itself in fabricating food trucks. A request for a mobile bar, however, forced it to expand its building skills.

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The industry shifts gears

March 29, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

The recent drop in the crude oil price has taken much of the attention off of the energy industry, and automotive has pulled ahead. The article contains quite a bit of information on the latest research into alloys for the automotive industry, specifically from three Tube® Düsseldorf exhibitors.

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Consumables Corner: Understanding welding heat input and its effects on base materials

March 28, 2016 | By Nino Mascalco, Rob Koltz, Steve Sigler

What guidelines should a job shop follow in regards to heat input if there is no welding procedure to fall back on? The Consumables Corner team has the answer.

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Arc Welding 101: What does a “repair WPS” mean?

March 28, 2016 | By Paul Cameron

When a code requires a repair weld procedure specification (WPS), what exactly does that mean? PWC explains.

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Aluminum Workshop: What not to do when excessive contact tip burnback occurs

March 28, 2016 | By Frank Armao

Editor’s Note: Part I appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Practical Welding Today®.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Using animation tools in design review

March 28, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis shares some best practices when it comes to creating animations and movies for design review purposes.

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What’s sizzling in hot stamping?

March 28, 2016 | By Kate Bachman

This multisource article touches hot stamping's growth and new technologies and approaches to its further development, including pressure controlled hardening, hot forming of aluminum and magnesium, the option of using a servo-mechanical press that has been modified for hot forming as well as a hydraulic press, and secondary processing performed in-die to avoid having to use a laser cutting machine for trimming.

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Press brake bending and the notch: A deeper dive

March 28, 2016 | By Steve Benson

Bending guru Steve Benson continues his discussion of notching, which has a symbiotic relationship with bending. Nowadays CAD systems take care of the layout calculations. Nonetheless, manual notch layout is still used for one-off products or in prototype shops.

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New ideas spur success at Minnesota metal fabricator

March 21, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Bermo, a stamper and fabricator in Minnesota, takes idea generation seriously. Some of the company’s latest initiatives, including rapid prototyping and automated quoting, have come from employees starting a sentence with, “Wouldn’t it be great if …”

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Recruiting, retaining welders with dollars and sense

March 21, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

While the Great Recession was a calamity for many businesses, some also had a bit of trouble recovering from the downturn. Trailer builder Featherlite had trouble retaining workers, but realized that it could compete against higher wages offered elsewhere by improving the way it went about recruiting, hiring, and training newly hired workers.

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