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thefabricator.com is the digital home of The FABRICATOR magazine, the metal fabricating industry’s foremost authority on manufacturing technology. Technical articles, case studies, and company profiles from The FABRICATOR and its sister publications, Practical Welding Today, The Tube & Pipe Journal, and STAMPING Journal can be found on this site. Additionally, thefabricator.com has a team of subject matter experts that write exclusively for the website, covering topics such as welding skills and metal forming basics.

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Optimizing your welding process with ventilation, tables

March 14, 2016 | By Benjamin Howell

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 | By Thomas Vacca

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 | By Thomas Vacca

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 | By Thomas Vacca

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 | By Thomas Vacca

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 | By Thomas Vacca

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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Ask the Stamping Expert: How do I calculate shear pressure when figuring stamping die tonnage?

March 9, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: I read the article “How can I reduce snap-through condition effects?” in the September/October 2012 STAMPING Journal®. If I understand the article correctly, you do not want to stagger the punches too much to prevent the stored energy from releasing before the next set of punches hit. If...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Why does my tooling yield such big variation?

March 9, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: My company stamps right-side and left-side links for conveyor belts. The peanut-shaped parts, made in a changeover tool, are about 0.1 in. thick, 1.5 in. wide, and 3 in. long. Half of the part (lengthwise) is coined offset, one material thickness in depth. This is in addition to a number of...

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Troubleshooting sheet metal defects: Part II

March 8, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Part II of this series about sheet metal defects focuses on the common problems that can be caused during various stages of the material's production.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: What's the best-in-class process for developing a progressive-stamping die?

March 8, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: What is the best-in-class process for developing a new progressive-stamping die? A: Many tool builders think the process of progressive-die development is undefined and difficult to predict, and therefore takes way too long. Development is costly. It ties up engineering, design, toolroom...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: What type of hydraulic clamps are best for quick-change setups?

March 8, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: What type of hydraulic clamps do you use in your stamping presses for quick-change setups? A: The type of clamp is insignificant; there are many suitable brands. How you use the clamp is the important thing. Before you get into a true lean die-change system, you need to do some homework....

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How do we solve problems with die springs in hinge stamping?

March 7, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca

Q: We stamp low-carbon steel hinges, anywhere from 0.045 in. thick low-carbon steel about 0.5 in. square with a 1/16-in.-dia. roll form on the end, up to 1/8-in. thick and 5 in. square with a 3/4 roll form on the end for the assembly pin. Our stampings have a lot of dimensional problems, which we...

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Die Science: Understanding deep-drawing and stretching variables for best results

March 4, 2016 | By Art Hedrick

Numerous variables affect the success of a deep-drawing or stretching process. Some are major and some minor, but you’ll need to take all into consideration when designing, building, and troubleshooting a drawing or stretching operation. Sheet and Coil Material Material is a major...

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Sheet metal fabrication basics: 7 strategies for punching success

March 2, 2016 | By Glen Shuldes

One of the most mature technologies in metal fabrication, punching is also one of the most misunderstood, perhaps because the process can ccomplish so much—punch myriad shapes, form, even bend flanges. Regardless, if a shop follows some basic strategies, it will be well on its way to better parts and greater throughput.

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