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Fabricators in search of skilled workers

September 12, 2006 | By Vicki Bell

A recent survey of metal fabricators shows that the vast majority of fabricating companies desperately need skilled labor. These companies are employing various methods to find qualified workers and to compensate for the shortage. Despite the difficulty finding skilled labor, some fabricators would not encourage young people to pursue careers in manufacturing.

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Starting a portable GTAW business (Part II)

September 12, 2006 | By Phil Evans

Starting a portable GTAW business takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it also requires some solid business knowledge before getting started. It's important to learn about what equipment you need, how to set it up, and how to evaluate your welding before you take your first job.

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Why settle for good enough?

August 20, 2006 | By Woodruff Imberman

A survey reviewed the operations of 24 steel pipe and tube manufacturers. Only a minority of these showed signs of having well-run, efficient operations, as measured by on-time shipments, minimal inventory and work-in-progress, employee turnover, internal rework rates, and most importantly, profitability. In fact, a good number of steel pipe and tube producers in this sample barely reach the average. Interviews with presidents of some companies found that inertia was a common characteristic among the low margin companies. Good enough was good enough.

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The ups and downs of employee communication

August 20, 2006 | By Woodruff Imberman

Author's Note: This article is a supplement to "Why settle for good enough?" which appeared in the December 2002 issue of TPJ-The Tube & Pipe Journal, page 42. "Why settle for good enough" was based on a study of 24 Midwestern tube and pipe fabricators and reviewed why some where highly profitable...

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Tailoring incentives to employees' needs

August 20, 2006 | By Woodruff Imberman

An appeal to business owners to look past bonuses to a new way of structuring incentives for their employees

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Starting a portable GTAW business (Part III)

August 8, 2006 | By Phil Evans

Starting a portable GTAW business takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it also requires some solid business knowledge before getting started. It's important to learn about what equipment you need, how to set it up, and how to evaluate your welding before you take your first job.

Continue Reading

Draw forming, Part III

August 8, 2006 | By Edmund Herman

The connections between product conditions and product input variables for draw forming must be made through the intermediary transformation characteristics: plastic strains and displacements. So all product requirements must be redefined as the changes (or transformations) required of those two characteristics.

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Warm forming of stainless steels - Part II

August 8, 2006 | By Ajay Yadav, Giovanni Spampinato, Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

The ERC/NSM conducted experiments using round cup tooling to determine the influence of temperature on the limiting draw ratio – the largest draw ratio of the blank-to-cup diameter that can be drawn successfully.

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Modern flying shear tube cutoff systems - Part II

August 8, 2006 | By John Pavelec

This article, Part II of a two-part series, discusses the different types of die set accelerators found in flying shear tube cutoff systems. It presents an overview of earlier accelerator technologies still in use today—cam link, assisted lift target, and air/oil units. It also discusses three common closed-loop die set accelerators that represent newer technology—hydraulic servo valve, servomotor belt, and servomotor rack and pinion.

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Die Science: Unique forming short cuts

August 8, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Die designers often are faced with how to make a part feature that is unique and possibly difficut to form. Short cuts are discussed for twisting a part, creating a return flange, and making a 90-degree bend.

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Small but great

August 8, 2006

Small and midsize companies demonstrate that business can be successful without compromising quality or responding to demands of a grow-or-die mentality.

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The U.S. sedan — an endangered species?

August 8, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki

Soaring fuel prices caused by Hurricane Katrina and turmoil in the Middle East have turned U.S. tastes toward passenger cars. Rather than trying to catch up with the competition, the Big Three are using global partners to speed their response to international automakers' passenger car success.

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Meeting global challenges through employee rewards

August 8, 2006 | By A.A. Imberman

Arco Industries Inc. bought a 15-year-old, 500-ton Tranemo hydraulic punching press with an antiquated control system. For about one-quarter the cost of a new press, Arco was able to rejuvenate an obsolete press by providing it with contemporary levels of control and productivity.

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FMA member custom-builds motorcycle for Foundation auction

August 8, 2006 | By Terrence Egan

Medalist Laserfab Inc., Oshkosh, Wis., is building a custom motorcycle for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl.® (FMA) Foundation's charitable auction, which will help the Foundation encourage young people to pursue careers in manufacturing. This article explains how you can view the progress of the build, donate items for the auction, and participate in the bidding.

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Die basics 101 starts with eight basic components

August 8, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

A stamping die is a special, one-of-a-kind precision tool that cuts and forms sheet metal into a desired shape or profile. Most dies are constructed of several basic components, including die plates, shoes, die sets, guide pins, bushings, heel blocks, heel plates, screws, dowels, and keys. Dies also need stripper, pressure, and drawing pads, as well as the devices used to secure them—spools, shoulder bolts, keepers, and retainers; and gas, coil, or urethane springs.

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