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How to boost first-pass transfer efficiency in powder coating

January 4, 2016

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Boosting first-pass transfer efficiency should be the goal of any fabricating shop that runs a powder coating line. It prevents material waste and improves final coating quality. The fabricator just needs to stay on top of a few key variables in the powder coating operation to achieve better coating application.

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The impact of lean manufacturing on structural steel fabricating

January 4, 2016

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As fabricators strive to eliminate waste in the modern structural steel facility, the fab shops have taken on a new look. This definitely is not your grandfather's structural steel fabricating.

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Lean manufacturing in metal fabrication: How to jumpstart a stalled improvement effort

January 4, 2016

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Continuous improvement initiatives often lack organizational structure and defined responsibilities. Consultant Dick Kallage describes three components needed to correct these problems and prevent continuous improvement from stalling.

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One metal fabrication shop takes on B2C

January 4, 2016

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Launched in 2015, Florida-based MetalsCut4U offers low-volume metal cutting and bending to the consumer market. To make it happen, the company simplifies ordering and automates quoting.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Using images and live demos to explain a product’s function

January 4, 2016

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Columnist Gerald Davis explores the use of “mates” as he reveals how to make a hand drill operate the same way in the 3-D model as it does in the real world.

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Full remote control at the weld joint can improve productivity, safety

December 21, 2015

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Advancements in remote control technology make it more beneficial to employ the technology in welding operations, particularly those that involve extended distances between the power source and the welder.

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Not just for analyzing metals anymore

December 17, 2015

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Used for many years to analyze metals, XRF analyzers have been improving over the years. The latest models can detect elements at less than 10 parts per million and are equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, and built-in digital cameras, providing many additional capabilities compared to the analyzers of years ago.

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Grand unifying theory of press brake bending: Part IV

December 15, 2015

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This month Steve Benson summarizes his grand unifying theory of radius, bend deduction, and die selection with a review and complete rundown of the bend calculations, from estimating springback to working the bend functions.

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Do safety incentives work?

December 15, 2015

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Incentives can be a good tool to draw awareness to a particular effort in a safety program, but they need to be implemented only after careful thought. Sometimes negative results can emerge from incentives created with the best intentions.

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Workforce challenges: Can’t we all just get along?

December 15, 2015

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Talk to managers in metal fabrication and they’ll probably tell you they have trouble finding “good” people. In fact, they usually don’t say “skilled” people. So what’s the difference?

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ISO certification in metal fabrication: Yes or no?

December 15, 2015

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Is ISO 9001 certification worth it? It really depends. If key customers or prospects require it, then yes, it’s certainly worth the effort. But if a fabricator does pursue ISO certification, it shouldn’t be a one-time effort but instead a continual improvement. It isn’t just window dressing.

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Making your welding operation safer with source-extraction systems

December 10, 2015

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Ventilation systems help make the air safer in welding operations. Source extraction offers optimal benefits for welders.

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The solid state of metal powders in metal fabrication

December 3, 2015

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Metal powders are used in various areas of manufacturing including powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing. But in the welding and metal fabrication arena, weld overlays and thermal spray are by far the most popular applications for metal powders.

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A job shop reborn

December 3, 2015

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Co-Lin Metals Fabricating, Rockford, Ill., was an old-school shop. Estimates were done by hand, and important documents were transferred by fax. Stephen Hedlund, who had once worked summers at the shop where his dad, Michael, worked, wants to change all of that. He and his dad are the new owners, and they want to take the shop into the 21st century.

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How a plate rolling rookie becomes a guru

December 3, 2015

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How does a plate rolling rookie become a guru? According to Ken Pecho, project engineer at Chicago Metal Rolled Products, it requires good communication. So how do you really define good communication? For plate rolling (and many other shop skills), you can break it down into three critical components: collaboration, observation, and patience.

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