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Rotary bevel head

Up with energy prices and wind towers

March 13, 2007 | By Sue DiBianca

With the recent increases in gasoline and natural gas prices, more attention than ever is focused on alternative energy sources. One fabricator, Aerisyn LLC, investigated manufacturing towers for use in the wind power industry. To produce towers efficiently enough to compete against imports from Asia, Aerisyn relied on an equipment vendor that had experience in demanding fields such as aerospace, nuclear, and wind power.

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Vertical dereeler

The big payoff

February 19, 2007 | By Tim Malarky

Traditional coil slinging and hoisting for vertical dereelers and positioning them in coil cradles requires extra personnel and is time consuming because production must be stopped. When a line isn't running—it's not making any money. To keep your line moving, consider a pallet uncoiler.

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Laser cutting device

Breaking speed barriers in laser cutting

February 14, 2007 | By Thomas Burdel, Pieter Schwarzenbach

A real breakthrough in high-speed laser cutting occurred in 2005. Two additional parallel kinematic drive axes were placed near the point where the laser exits the head, creating a laser cutting machine with one dynamic and light cutting torch capable of independent movement along two axes but working in precise synchronicity with the machine's more sweeping movement of the laser head. This new approach opened up new frontiers and much higher limits in processing speed.

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Hansen steel services

Big shoulders, long strides

February 13, 2007 | By Kate Bachman

Family-owned Hansen Steel Services started six years ago with a 600-ft. long empty building and a combined 144 years of experience and built it into a thriving job shop that shoulders large plate fabrications.

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Detroit Car Bodies

Detroit's reality check

February 13, 2007 | By Kathleen McLaughlin

As the Big Three try to return to profitability, most of their suppliers, many with a negative cash flow, are starting to crack under the pressure. Declining OEM unit volume and mix issues, pricing pressures, and high sustained raw material costs continue to constrain cash flows and limit balance sheet improvements that, in some cases suffered significant deterioration in 2006.

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Jet cutting machine

Economic considerations when purchasing a jet cutting machine

February 13, 2007 | By Dr. John H. Olsen

Thinking about purchasing a jet cutting system? Many factors should be considered before deciding which system to buy. This article discusses fixed and operating costs and productivity and provides the framework for making an intelligent buying decision.

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Tube bender diagram

Safeguarding tube benders with laser scanners

February 13, 2007 | By Steve Aamodt

Tube benders require safeguarding around the perimeter of the machine and area in front of the machine, where the tube is bent, and in the back where the tube is fed. Laser scanning devices offers several advantageous features. Because laser scanning is a noncontact method, it minimizes interference with the machine operation, and because the scanner mounts at the foot of the machine and out of the way of the tube bending action, it allows full access to the work area.

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R&D Update: Hot-stamping boron-alloyed steels for automotive parts - Part I

February 13, 2007 | By Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

Hot-stamped parts are being used increasingly in cars in Europe and North America. Ultrahigh-strength steels, like boron alloys, which meet automotive safety and crash requirements, are difficut to form with cold stamping, so hot stamping with die quenching has been applied.

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R&D Update: Hot-stamping boron-alloyed steels for automotive parts - Part III

February 13, 2007 | By Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

To accurately model the hot-stamping process, FE simulation needs to account for the mechanical, thermal, and microstructural changes in the workpiece.

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spring pins

Die Basics 101: Part XII

February 13, 2007 | By Art Hedrick

Slug pulling, which occurs when scrap metal—the slug—sticks to the punch face upon withdrawal and comes out of the button, or lower matrix, is a serious problem that can damage parts and dies. Various methods can help reduce the occurrence of slug pulling. Air Vents Putting air vents in...

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Arc Welding 101: Preheating a shaft-sprocket assembly

February 13, 2007 | By Paul Cameron

Q: We are welding 1018 cold-rolled, 2.5-inch-diameter shaft to a sprocket made from 1045 steel. We preheat the shafts to about 200 to 250 degrees. We are having some failure of the shaft, and I'm wondering what the proper procedure is for welding the assembly together. The sprockets are welded...

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Forklift image

Handling improvements in safety, efficiency

February 13, 2007 | By Eamon Devlin

Ever more stringent safety standards, driven largely by OSHA and state regulators, have led many fabricators to examine closely their material handling processes. Side loaders can provide safety benefits as well as improve material handling efficiency.

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MPI laser cutting

Cutting lead-times with lasers

February 13, 2007

An expanding metal fabrication shop invests in lasers to help it produce precision parts and manage tight lead times.

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Die protection

Protecting metal stamping dies

February 13, 2007 | By Karen Keller

One of the most difficult problems to overcome in any die protection application is protecting the components from the environment in which they must function. In a typical stamping application, oils, coolants, and other liquids and lubricants often are present that can wreak havoc on components.

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Roller lubrication system

Cleaning up

February 13, 2007

Excessive fluid on finished parts, which required secondary cleaning operations, and additional cleaning of floors, aisles, and racks in the areas where parts were moved and stored were remedied by installing a roller system with a programmable controller.

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