Articles 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, 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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Introducing cold pilger mill technology

July 11, 2006 | By Oliver Strehlau

The cold mill pilgering process uses ring dies and a tapered mandrel to reduce tube cross sections by up to 90 percent. Because the process relies on large number of small forming steps, the result is tube or pipe that has nearly homogenous material characteristics. It is suitable for every metal.

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Laser cutting 3-D preformed parts

July 11, 2006 | By Tim O'Donnell

This article describes how a fabricator can use the advances in modern CAD/CAM software to cut preformed parts quickly on a sophisticated, multiaxis rotary laser. It specifically examines surface data cleanup, conversion, work envelope check, cutting simulation, fixture design and code generation, and fixture cutting and positioning options of newer programs.

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Sheetmetal software: Nothing soft about it

July 11, 2006 | By Kevin Cole

Software continues to evolve to better serve its users, and during recent times, sheet metal fabricators have been trying to get the most out of their systems. Such things as nesting, ERP, communications networks, and CAD/CAM are all making bounds to do more and take better advantage of technology advancements.

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Control risk with lockout/tagout

July 11, 2006 | By Shari Falkenburg

Lock-out/tag-out procedures are critical when you're dealing with equipment or machines powered by electricity, steam, hydraulics, gas, compressed air, or a combination of sources.

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Innovation rides the waves

July 11, 2006 | By Bob Hollingsworth

As aluminum becomes more and more readily available for various manufacturing applications, the boat-building industry is taking notice. To build its patented vessel design, Aluminum Chambered Boats has found that arc welding - both GMAW and GTAW - is a critical technology.

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Electromagnetic test methods for welded carbon steel tubing

July 11, 2006 | By A.C. Richardson

Although eddy-current testing is king in the tube production industry, flux leakage is worth a look. Using a small test sample, equipment-maker InspecTech found that for 3.50-in. to 4.00-in. carbon steel tubing with wall thickness from 0.056 in. to 0.100 in., the flux leakage method found more defects and turned out fewer false alarms than the eddy-current method did.

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Die Science: The process of fineblanking

July 11, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Fineblanking can achieve flatness and cut edge characteristics that are unobtainable by conventional stamping and punching methods. Fineblanking is described in relation to conventional methods to encourage a better understanding of its benefits and limitations.

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Dam the purge gas and full speed ahead

July 11, 2006 | By Jennifer Simpson

Shielding gas is an often overlooked area of savings in tube and pipe welding. Creating a purge dam in one of several different ways can help you isolate the weld area and minimize the amount of gas and time needed to purge the weld zone properly.

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Culture matters: Employee-driven problem-solving

July 11, 2006

Editor's Note: This column was prepared by the staff of Winning Workplaces, a not-for-profit organization that helps small and midsized businesses create better work environments.Ford Motor Co.'s and General Motors' supply chains have had an extremely difficult past couple of years. As a result,...

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The Midwest automotive exodus—fact or myth?

July 11, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki

While the Midwest has not lagged as far behind in international investment as many believe, the financial struggles of the Big Three have been a substantial economic burden for the region over the last three decades.

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Cracking the case

July 11, 2006 | By Keith Packard

Before welding abrasion-resistant plate, it's important to take certain precautions and choose the most appropriate filler metal for your application and weld metal.

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The modern mechanical press

July 11, 2006 | By Dennis Boerger

End-user demands for new product configurations, materials, and press capabilities continue to have an impact on the metal forming arena. Mechanical press design improvements and flexibility are keeping up with stampers' changing applications.

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West coast wrapper

July 11, 2006

Maching tool builder Haas Automation Inc. needed a new approach to minimize labor costs in its internal packaging and shipping operation. The company found its answer with the Yellow Jacket orbital stretch wrap technology.

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Euros zoned in on competing

July 11, 2006 | By Dan Davis

European metal fabricators, among them a stainless steel cabinet-maker, an electronics contract manufacturer, and a commercial refrigerator appliance manufacturer, are staying competitive in the global marketplace with automated material handling systems that feed modern punching, laser cutting, shearing, and bending devices.

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Mission: Spectacular scrap handling operations

July 11, 2006 | By Kate Bachman

Stampers, precariously squeezed by tight margins, high material costs, and increasing pressure to be leaner, have issued a request: we want our scrap handling operations to be faster, trouble-free, and more productive. Fortunately, the latest generation of scrap handling equipment makes that mission possible. New machinery, trending toward a greater use of invisible forces and high-tech gadgetry befitting a spy thriller, is equipped with sensors, edge-guide systems, automation, and magnetic forces, equipment manufacturers say. In addition, significant improvements have been made to the scrap handling equipment itself to save space, minimize jams, and to keep it moving.

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