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5 ways to get the most out of your servo press

March 13, 2015

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To make the best use of servo technology, you must have the best practices, best people in place with ongoing training and support. The first step in getting more out of the servo press is understanding your current processes and their pain points; know your press's capabilities; and understand the critical tolerances for the part--and how servo presses can help overcome limitations.

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Electric bender cuts lead times, scrap rate

March 12, 2015

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Former toolmaker Toolspec Manufacturing Co. has transitioned over the years to become a fabricator, and over the years acquired 14 hydraulic benders. The machines are capable but require lengthy tool changeovers, hours of programming time, and substantial expertise to maintain bend consistency. It recently invested in two all-electric machines, benders that don’t have these issues.

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An overview of structural tube sawing options

March 12, 2015

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Cutting ASTM A500 structural steel tube can be done more efficiently and cost-effectively by finding the saw that fits your shop floor production realities. It all starts with choosing either a band saw or a circular cold saw.

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5 things to know about robotic GMAW guns

March 11, 2015

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When choosing the best robotic welding system for your operation, make sure to pay special attention to the gun and consumables. One size does not fit all.

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The power of why

March 10, 2015

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A great company has a “why” culture, one that encourages employee engagement and people don’t hesitate to ask “Why?” to find the true answer, based not on guesses or rumor, but on factual evidence.

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How do you define good company culture anyway?

March 10, 2015

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How does a fabricator build a culture that adopts, embraces, and sustains lean manufacturing? An environment that encourages idea generation may be a good start.

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R&D Update: Heat generation in forming of AHSS

March 10, 2015

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Advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) materials are multiphase steels that contain martensite, bainite, and/or retained austenite. The use of AHSS materials in the automotive industry is increasing every day, because these steels provide strength and satisfy functional requirements at reduced weight....

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Metallurgy Matters: The tricky subject of weldability

March 9, 2015

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Welding metallurgy is a science, but it’s far from perfect. I mention this here because my January/February column elicited a number of critical, if not scathing, e-mails concerning everything from a typo in Figure 3 to my generalizing the precise and exacting science of metallurgy. The...

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Metallurgy Matters: Welding’s effect on strengthened steel

March 9, 2015

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As I mentioned in the September/October issue, welding can severely influence strengthened or hardened metals, depending on the hardening technique used. Hardening Techniques and Welding Effects Work- or strain-hardened metals exposed to the intense localized head of welding tend to recrystallize...

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Metallurgy Matters: The science of welding metallurgy

March 9, 2015

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It’s time to narrow our focus and look at the science of welding metallurgy, a branch of metallurgy that addresses the behavior of a metal during welding and, just as important, the effects of welding on a metal’s properties. Think about what happens when you weld together two pieces of...

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Die Science: Step-by-step troubleshooting of stamping dies, Part I

March 6, 2015

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Opinions on how to troubleshoot a stamping operation are not in short supply at any production stamping or die-building shop. I’m not trying to stereotype diemakers, designers, or technicians, but their decisions often are made based on insufficient data. Statistically speaking, if I...

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Die Science: Step-by-step troubleshooting of stamping dies, Part II

March 6, 2015

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In Part I of this article, which appeared in the January/February 2015 issue, I discussed the first two basic steps in troubleshooting: Identify problems with the part and verify the die and press setup parameters. Following are the remaining seven steps in the process. Step 3—Reassess and...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Stamping thin, hard stainless steel

March 6, 2015

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Q: We recently received an order for domed spring washers stamped from 0.0010-inch-thick 301 1/2 hard stainless steel. The parts are about 0.250 in. OD and have two 0.006-in.-diameter pierced holes on a 0.150-in.-dia. circle centered on the part. We usually do not stamp anything less than 0.010 in....

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3-D waterjet software ingredients are the right mix for easy operation

March 5, 2015

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Companies have been programming 5-axis waterjet heads for 2-D and 3-D tables for decades. The process has moved from being a time-consuming chore to a couple of clicks, and from requiring extensive process and software knowledge to being operator-friendly.

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Handling structural steel, one truckload at a time

March 5, 2015

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For structural fabrication-and-construction companies, efficiency in logistics is vital. A typical column, beam, truss or joist is handled three times—first to a storage yard, then to a staging area, and finally to the semitrailer. However, this isn’t the only way to do it. Reinicke Athens Inc. recently invested in a straddle carrier from Combilift Ltd. Instead of moving one part at a time, the truck lifts and moves an entire load a time, cutting its trailer-loading time from up to 8 man-hours to as little as 30 minutes.

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