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TUBE expo exhibitors agree that signs bode well for the coming year

March 3, 2014

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It’s no secret that Düsseldorf’s biennial tube and pipe expo, TUBE®, is a good way to gauge the industry’s health. The expo is 3 percent larger in 2014 than it was in 2012, and the exhibitors interviewed for this article expect good things from the industry in the coming year. These in-depth perspectives also revealed that upheaval in the U.S. energy industry is leading to changes that will have repercussions for decades.

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Better organization of assembly templates

March 3, 2014

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KSM Industries Inc., Germantown, Wis., found success building rack mounts for power equipment, but as the business grew, the number of templates did as well. The company needed a better organization plan other than putting the templates on pallets, hoping to find them when they were needed again.

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Waterjet small gear patterns

Big opportunities in waterjet cutting microsize parts

March 3, 2014

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Waterjet nozzle technology has progressed to the point where the cutting of parts and part features smaller than 0.012 in. is now possible.

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Optimal tooling approaches for punching AHSS

March 3, 2014

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The tried-and-true approaches that worked well to stamp first-generation steels are not as effective for stamping advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). Tests were conducted to determine optimal punch-to-die clearances, shear angles, and punch angles. Test results indicated that 12 to 15 percent punch-to-die clearances and -15- to +15-degree shear angles provided the longest punch and die life, and a 7-degree conical shear angle created the smallest burr growth.

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An 80/20 primer

February 28, 2014

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The 80/20 management method seeks to maximize results—such as sales or profits—by systematically deploying available resources only to the drivers that have the most impact. It sounds straightforward, but columnist Dick Kallage explains why this management approach is sometimes hard to execute.

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Automation relieves punching bottleneck

February 28, 2014

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Experience plus planning get more out of automation at Overlanders Manufacturing

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What does CAD/CAM and job shop management software integration mean?

February 28, 2014

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So much of metal fabricating activity today is focused on the elimination of waste, and one of the bigger steps a company can take is integrating its CAD/CAM software with its job shop management software.

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millennials

How millennials will make a difference

February 28, 2014

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Millenials have gotten a bad reputation. But the best of them may find a metal fabrication career extremely rewarding.

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Barnes Metalcrafters

The Fabricator Spotlight update-Part I

February 24, 2014

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From 2010 through early 2013, thefabricator.com profiled various metal fabricating shops in “The Fabricator Spotlight.” How have these businesses fared since their profiles were published? Here’s a look at two profiled at the beginning of 2010: Barnes Metalcrafters and Brown Dog Welding.

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Lean manufacturing

Where lean manufacturing meets quality control

February 24, 2014

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Lean manufacturing may have once been little more than a buzzword, but it is way of life for many in the metal fabrication industry. Meanwhile, the pursuit of quality is as critical as ever. Conference facilitators and participants discussed how these can go hand-in-hand at the 2013 EDTR roundtable event, Lean Manufacturing and the Quality Imperative, Sept. 15-17, Silverton, Ore. The outcome was a series of stories and tips that any fabricator could use to run leaner and maintain a quality product.

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tube bending

Tube and pipe basics: How to achieve the perfect bend

February 24, 2014

Although tube bending technology has evolved significnatly over the years, the process still boils down to four factors: the material, machine, tooling, and lubrication.

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Hobart Welding Certificate

Welding education - the good, bad, and ugly

February 17, 2014

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Welding education has come a long way from cast-iron repair and forge welding taught by blacksmiths. Today’s welding students have training options that can lead to different career paths.

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mission-critical

Mission-critical metal fabrication

February 17, 2014

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No matter how eye-popping the technology, the means of getting a job done is secondary; the result is primary. This is where General Tool Co.'s "team of experts" appraoch comes into play.

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Inclusions caught with PAUT

February 17, 2014

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Tube and pipe producers are familiar with ultrasonic testing (UT) which, as the name implies, uses high-frequency sound waves to find discontinuities in tube and pipe. While conventional UT is effective for testing raw materials with simple shapes—round tubing, rectangular billet, and rectangular plate—complex shapes such as castings and assemblies need something more. Phased-array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) gets the job done.

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The emergence of Saudi America

February 10, 2014

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Although oil extraction around the world has grown by 50 percent in the last 30 years, it was basically flat in North America until 2008. Higher oil prices have made tar sands oil economically viable, and new extraction techniques have been a boon to U.S. producers. Interviews with a variety of vendors in the forming and fabricating industry reveal the many trends that are driving changes in the equipment and supplies used in the petroleum business.

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