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Crystal Distribution building

Moving in the right direction

December 12, 2006

When Crystal Distribution Inc., a manufacturer of curb adapters and related products, was challenged by the logistics of its facility, President Pat O'Brien had three choices: lease a different building, buy a different building, or build a new facility. Deciding to build a new facility made the most sense and ended up giving the company's manufacturing operations a whole new flow.

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Plasma Arc Welding

P is for plasma, precision

December 12, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

Plasma arc welding (PAW) is very similar to gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), but its highly concentrated arc makes it very different - and not necessarily the best process for every application. A close look at its characteristics and equipment will help you decide if it's right for your applications.

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CO2 lasers

High-powered lasers take a bite out of plate

December 12, 2006 | By Jason Hillenbrand

CO2 lasers are available in wattages that can cut plate more than 1 in. thick. The wattage, however, isn't the only factor that affects total speed and power. The assist gas chosen and the mode of the laser also influence final results.

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Machine tooling

Avoiding common bending problems with common sense

December 12, 2006 | By Bob Want

Tooling determines the outcome of a bending operation. Whether an application is simple or complex, matching the right tooling with the bending equipment and method will save both time and money.

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Stainless steel stampings

Viking's range of choices

December 12, 2006 | By Kathleen McLaughlin

The stainless steel stampings Viking Range produces often require complex draws and piercing, as well as sharp corners and creases—with flawless exterior finishes. Viking has moved from outsourcing its stampings to using press brakes to investing in hydraulic presses of increasing capacity and sophistication—all in an effort to gain greater control over the design, quality, and availability of stamped parts.

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Band saw

Material separation anxiety

November 7, 2006 | By Adam Popson

Material separation with a band saw machine is the beginning of most fabrication and many manufacturing operations, but it doesn't have to cause headaches with the proper preventive maintenance.

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Steel wire brushes

5 tips for better finishing with steel brushes

November 7, 2006 | By Ron Vogt Sr.

Steel wire brushes are essential finishing tools in most metal fabrication shops. Fabricators can take five actions to help improve the performance and life span of these brushes: use the highest safe speed, periodically reverse direction; know when to use crimped or knot wire brushes; keep stainless steel brushes clean; and purchase heat-treated, oil-tempered steel wire.

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race car welding

Drive fast, weld right

November 7, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

Of all the fabrication tools necessary to build -- and repair -- race cars, welding equipment is one of the most essential. To keep a race car together, safe for drivers, and at its competitive best, welding and metallurgy come into play every day in the motorsports industry.

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CR(V1) Standard Complaince

New rule, new equipment

November 7, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

Now that OSHA's new ruling on hexavalent chromium is official, fabricators and manufacturers across the country are examining their plants, monitoring their air, and making adjustments to reduce their permissible exposure limits (PELs) to the fumes produced specifically by stainless steel welding.

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waterjet-system

Achieve peak waterjet performance by optimizing components

November 7, 2006 | By Eric Chalmers

A waterjet systems comprises an ultra-high-pressure pump, CNC machine, and one or more cutting heads. How these components are set up and optimized determines the waterjet system's performance.

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Welding sparks image

Promising welding innovations

November 7, 2006 | By Elia Levi

Translating any good idea into a practical innovation through research and development can require much persistence, dedicated effort, essential investment, and a long time. This article looks at three welding and joining innovations—hybrid laser arc welding, electron beam welding in air, and NanoFoil® joining—with decades-old roots that still are struggling for widespread acceptance.

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Lathe turning diagram

Draw forming, Part V

November 7, 2006 | By Edmund Herman

The remoteness of the energy-affecting elements contributes to the differences between the net shape and non-net shape processes. This additional difference helps drive the nature of the net-shape processing theory.

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The future of energy: stability or volatility?

November 7, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Senior Editor Eric Lundin looks at changes in supply and demand for energy, and how they have affected the prices for crude oil, gasoline, natural gas, and electricity. He also digests a few predictions to see what fabricators can expect for future energy prices.

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Business workers

Understanding and motivating the multigenerational work force

November 7, 2006 | By Vicki Bell

Generational conflicts among the work force can drain a company's enterprise energy and diminish productivity. This article, based on the 2006 FABTECH® International & AWS Welding Show Executive Forum conducted by Dr. Bob Rausch, explains the differences between baby boom and Generation X employees and offers suggestions for melding the multigenerational work force into cohesive, productive teams.

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Coping with change in the workplace

November 7, 2006 | By Vicki Bell

Change is constant in the workplace. Different people react to change in different ways. While some embrace change, others resist or stall the process to the detriment of themselves and their company. This article discusses how individuals can adapt to change more easily and minimize change-induced stress.

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