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The next level of air bending

April 3, 2014

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In this excerpt from Sheet Metalworking: State of the Art, the concept of adaptive forming, a special form of air bending, is introduced and explained.

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The wiper die’s role and rake

April 3, 2014

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Properly setting up the tooling on a tube or pipe bender can be a straightforward process, but misunderstandings and shortcuts can lead to poor setups. The wiper die’s rake angle is one such setting. Operators should beware that setting the tool to a specific gap at its trailing edge can lead to inconsistent setups.

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Apprenticeship, North Carolina-style

March 31, 2014

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Max Daetwyler Corp., a Huntersville, N.C.-based contract manufacturer, has evolved significantly to serve the changing business needs in the custom machinery arena. Its approach to employee skill development has evolved as well, with a growing regional partnership founded on the concepts behind European-style apprenticeships.

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Roll former cuts prototyping time

March 31, 2014

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Prototyping a roll formed profile doesn’t have to be done in the conventional way, with hardened tooling and short runs made from long strips of material (or coil). American Roll Form uses butt-welded strips of steel, fed into a roll former outfitted with soft tooling, to prototype roll-formed sections. It uses a few other strategies that substantially reduce prototyping cost and lead-time.

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A new business model, a new structure—a new business

March 26, 2014

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It’s easy for metal fab shop owners and managers to fall into the habit of complaining about the lack of skilled talent in the marketplace. Executives at of General Sheet Metal Works, South Bend, Ind., recognized that their employees had plenty of knowledge and skill. The fabricator just didn’t have a strong structure to channel that knowledge and build a better company.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Techniques for modeling bent and welded tubing

March 24, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis shows that when you are 3-D modeling a tubular structure, it helps to be comfortable with 3-D sketching.

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Bending basics: Streamlining press brake setup

March 24, 2014

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Press brake setup is a critical part of doing any bending job correctly. By focusing on a few key areas—selection of tools and forming processes, easy-to-understand setup sheets, and ISO documentation—the press brake operator is in a much better position to succeed.

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Attacking welding fume at the source

March 24, 2014

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Fume extraction guns are a viable alternative for collecting harmful welding fumes and particulate right at the source. They can be used in tandem with another source-capture device or with a localized filtration system. Knowing how they work and how to use them will help yield the best results.

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An industrial facility’s journey to LEED certification

March 20, 2014

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More and more businesses are seeking LEED certification. Among them is Hypertherm, a provider of cutting systems for the metal fabricating industry. The company met challenges along the way and exceeded its expectations in achieving LEED Gold.

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Drip by Drip

March 20, 2014

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Ever wonder about the backstories behind the people with the funny screen names on welding message boards? This is the story of a tool and die welder who discovered a talent for drawing with a TIG torch.

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Oxyfuel brazing primer

March 19, 2014

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Oxyacetylene brazing is a simple yet effective metal joining method that produces sound, leakproof connections. The process is simple to perform, does not melt or distort the base metals, and allows for increased tolerance control. Make sure you are familiar with the common brazing alloys, how to prepare base metal and fittings, and navigate through pitfalls to ensure optimal results.

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Using virtual reality welding to evaluate and train welders

March 18, 2014

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Virtual reality welding technology is increasingly being used as a tool to streamline the hiring and evaluation process for welders. Manufacturers that have incorporated the technology are finding several benefits.

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80/20: What can possibly go wrong?

March 18, 2014

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The necessary conditions must be in place to implement the 80/20 method of management successfully.

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Technology considerations for laser welding tubes and pipes

March 17, 2014

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Using laser welding for making tube or pipe on a mill is a proven technology, but and advancements in tracking systems and controls have made lasers easier to use than when they were first introduced. However, this doesn’t mean that swapping gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or plasma welding for laser is simple. Thinking about changing over to laser requires an understanding of how the laser welding process differs from GTAW and plasma welding, and how the various lasers differ from each other.

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How a heavy fabricator reinvented itself

March 17, 2014

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BEPeterson, Avon, Mass., used to be a weld shop. Most of the work was seasonal, which isn’t really a solid foundation for growth. The fabricator changed that with a commitment to diversification. Today the company has three unique business units: power utility, medical, and pressure vessels.

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