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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Modeling a ribbon cable

November 8, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis considers techniques for adding ribbon cable connections to 3-D models

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Making sense of manufacturing acronyms

November 8, 2016 | By Stu Johnson

The enterprise software space has hundreds of three-letter acronyms—from MRP and ERP to MOM and MES—that represent technologies that help make managing business processes easier.

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Job security in manufacturing: Why all the negativity?

November 7, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The labor market is tight. Wages are going up. In metal fabrication, small companies are paying just as well if not better than bigger firms, according to a recent survey from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International®. Considering all this, why all the negativity? High uncertainty about the future may have something to do with it.

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Share the lean manufacturing knowledge

November 7, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

As you pursue your lean journey, you create knowledge. What you do with that knowledge can predict how successful your lean efforts will be. If you tell the workforce only the bare minimum, then you are probably leaving lots of improvement potential on the table.

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Artist keeps ’em guessing

November 3, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Metal artist Chris O’Rourke goes a little further than most artists do, focusing on attention to detail. Many fabricators are more than a little mystified as to just how he did what he did, and most are equally perplexed when they realize how much time and effort he puts into his work.

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Structural fabricator has trial-by-fire leadership succession

November 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Bass Mechanical, a mechanical contractor and structural fabricator in southeast Pennsylvania, has transformed during the past two years. The company founder died unexpectedly, and his 27-year-old son, who at one point did not plan to enter the family business, is setting the stage for long-term growth.

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What is metal fabrication and where is the industry headed?

November 3, 2016 | By Aaron Continelli

Today’s metal fabrication shops are far different from those operating in the booming post-World War II economy. A fluctuating market, cyclical industries, and the need for sophisticated equipment and quick turnaround times in both production and output have shops scrambling to maintain profitability.

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7 reasons cast-iron platen tables make sense for welding

October 31, 2016 | By Paul Cunningham

Cast-iron platen tables have been around for decades, but many metal fabricators don't know about the usefulness or flexibility of these durable work surfaces.

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Flexible metal fabrication, however you slice it

October 31, 2016 | By Tim Heston

MF&B Restaurant Systems Inc., a pizza oven manufacturer in Dunbar, Pa., increases its fabrication flexibility by shortening punch tool changeovers, making good use of form tools, and making product design choices.

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Tube finishing machine handles straights, curves

October 28, 2016

Situation Ferrita Sweden AB, Köping, Sweden, specializes in stainless steel exhaust systems, mainly for passenger cars. The company has an international reach, making systems for brands from all over the world. It also makes systems for niche models—the Chrysler Viper, Maserati GranTurismo,...

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Safety and ergonomics strategy at Heatcraft: Do it safely, or not at all

October 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration, a division of Lennox International, has a culture in which safety is baked into the organization’s technology, processes, and mindset. If a project can’t be done safely, it isn’t worth doing at all.

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Hourly or Salaried? Exempt versus nonexempt employees in metal fabrication

October 27, 2016 | By Dannah Rodriguez, Jonathan Martin

The Labor Department estimates that several hundred thousand workers in over 60,000 primary metals and fabricated metal products establishments will be affected by new regulations that change who qualifies for overtime.

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3 ways that welding vision systems boost production efficiency

October 27, 2016 | By Catherine Cline

Consistent torch alignment, in-process quality checks, and postprocess reviews are three examples of how weld camera technology is helping to take these activities to the next level.

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How adjustable V dies streamline plate bending

October 27, 2016 | By David Bishop

The latest advances in adjustable V dies have finally brought the kind of flexibility to plate bending that those in the precision sheet metal arena have enjoyed for years.

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Manufacturing’s new road map

October 27, 2016 | By Pierre Slabber

Today’s intelligent CAD models contain a wealth of information. As a fabricator, if you are not leveraging that data to accelerate quoting and drive production, you are wasting precious time—and money.

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