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Ready, set, interview

March 17, 2016

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Yuba College welding instructor and Practical Welding Today Editorial Advisory Committee member Dan Turner has been on both sides of the interview process. In this first installment of Viewpoint, Turner shares advice for job-searching welders on the art of the job interview.

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Financial benchmarking in metal fabrication

March 16, 2016

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The world is full of surveys these days, and some really don’t have much purpose. Others, however, can be extremely valuable. Industry benchmarking surveys, for instance, can be a vital tool for any company looking to improve. This includes the “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from FMA.

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What’s inside your GTAW torch?

March 16, 2016

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Welders are judged by the appearance of their beads, the strength of their welds, and their ability to pass visual and technical inspection. So why shouldn’t you scrutinize your GTAW torch components in the same way that you or someone else would scrutinize your welds? If your GTAW torch doesn’t pass inspection, there’s a good chance that your welds won’t either.

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Two bending processes, two directions, four tooling sets, one machine

March 16, 2016

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As design software becomes more complex, and as engineers strive to differentiate their products from those of their competitors by developing increasingly complex, unique, and aesthetically pleasing products, manufacturers have to keep up. Superior Tube Products Inc., Davenport, Iowa, found that its conventional tube benders weren’t always up to the task, and invested in a twin-head servo-driven machine.

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Getting standard work instructions right for fabricating

March 16, 2016

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The goal of any fabricating operation is to discover the safest and most efficient method to produce quality parts. That goal can be achieved only with clear work directions for shop floor employees. Fabricators that follow some basic guidelines, or implement the right software, can make sure they are putting together work instructions that anyone can follow.

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Product development drives growth at Illinois metal fabricator

March 16, 2016

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The Great Recession nearly killed J-tec Industries, a cart manufacturer in East Peoria, Ill. But the company pulled through and, thanks to its product development efforts, is now experiencing record growth. During the past two years, its workforce has doubled in size.

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In custom metal fabrication, nothing is typical

March 16, 2016

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Average on-time delivery rates in custom fabrication have remained stubbornly low. Clear, constant communication and transparency can change this. And here software can help, even at the smallest shops.

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Swaging a war on piping system leaks

March 16, 2016

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While welding and threading have their place in pipeline systems, mechanical connectors can be a good alternative, especially in applications subject to shock loading, constant vibration, and thermal cycling. Bolt-on flanges are one example; for small diameters, radially swaged connectors can be even better.

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6 tips for better GTAW results

March 16, 2016

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Keep these tips in mind for GTAW applications to help you save time and money in rework and to help ensure a quality finished weld. Taking some extra steps in preparation and setup can help you complete the job on schedule and avoid the cost and hassle of troubleshooting or rework later in the welding process.

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Optimizing your welding process with ventilation, tables

March 14, 2016

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Is there room for improvement in your welding operation? Choosing the right ventilation system along with flexible worktables can go a long way toward optimizing your welding process.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: What do the various press styles have to offer?

March 11, 2016

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Q: I am having a problem stamping a shallow drawn cup about 0.75 in. deep from 0.045-in. 304 half-hard stainless steel. I’m using a mechanical press. What do other press technologies have to offer? A: Years ago I wrote a brief on the major differences between mechanical and hydraulic presses....

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Ask the Stamping Expert: The 10 Tooling Laws explained

March 11, 2016

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Q: In your last column you listed the 10 Tooling Laws. I had never seen these before. Can you please explain each law in more detail? A: I drafted these laws years ago out of necessity. After more than 35 years of experience in the stamping field - - many as a master toolmaker, then as a...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: When is a WEDM purchase justifiable?

March 11, 2016

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A stamper is getting pressure from customers to add WEDM to reduce costs. Thomas Vacca advises him on how to justify the purchase.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can we maximize our tooling’s hits per service?

March 10, 2016

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Q: We are running high-strength, low-alloy (HSLA) brackets for a large aerospace firm. We cannot get the hits per service we need from our tooling and are struggling to meet production requirements. Any advice? A: Regardless of how many hits per service you get off a tool, you always want to...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Why does tooling fail during coining and forming operations?

March 10, 2016

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Q: In our stamping division, we do a lot of coining and forming of 300 and 400 series stainless steels from 0.030 to 0.090 in. thick. We coin up to a 30 percent reduction in thickness and form multiple bends with very tight radii. Our punches and form die inserts fail. They break, crack, chip, or...

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