thefabricator.com 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, thefabricator.com has a team of subject matter experts that write exclusively for the website, covering topics such as welding skills and metal forming basics.
May 9, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
Automakers are racing to introduce green technologies. Toyota is the leader in hybrid sales and plans to introduce two new models even though it will continue to lose money in the short and medium term. Instead of trying to outsell Toyota, GM has introduced flexible-fuel vehicles that run on E-85, an ethanol and gasoline mix.
May 9, 2006
The increasing disparity between upper management pay and blue-collar wages is creating a downward spiral that only can negatively affect our economy.
May 9, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan
Fabricating and repairing pipe in the oil-rich tar sands of Alberta, Canada, is an enormous, ongoing project that requires specialized equipment to meet a variety of challenges. John Page is a consultant in Canada who has been working on several of these projects and has learned what's needed to get the jobs done.
May 9, 2006 | By Robert Fernicola
Plasma gouging and air carbon-arc gouging have their advantages and disadvantages. The most distinct differences are in cost, fume production, and necessary postcutting operations.
This article is adapted from a report analyzing the results of a manufacturers' survey. It discusses the common quality challenges all manufacturers and explains what best-in-class manufacturers are doing with quality control to set themselves apart from the competition.
May 9, 2006 | By Kate Bachman
Cosma International applies its own hot-forming technique to stamping automotive metal components such as A and B pillars, roof headers, roof rails, rockers, door intrusion beams, and bumpers, to meet new CAFE standards for weight, NHTSA requirements for strength, and to counter problems with springback in UHSS components.
May 9, 2006 | By Andreas Kinzyk
The use of high-strength steels (HSS) and ultrahigh-strength steels (UHSS) has made stamping complex structural automotive components increasingly difficult and capital-intensive. Changing from traditional stamping (at room temperature on a mechanical press) to hot stamping (at elevated temperatures on a hydraulic press, with a water-cooled die for quenching) provides a suitable alternative for OEMs that produce these challenging parts.
May 9, 2006 | By Scott Tompson
Roll forming of roofing components for the pre-engineered building and component industries presents unique challenges for manufacturers. Tighter profile tolerances, wider product ranges, and compressed lead times present production challenges for producers running older equipment or those contemplating a move into this market. Some developments in equipment and processes that are important to producing secondary structural members include quick-change roll form tooling systems and tooling that can improve the productivity of roofing components- Cee's, Zee's, Eave Struts, Channel, and Base Angle.
May 9, 2006 | By Mitch Burdick
Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), vibration white-finger, and carpal tunnel syndrome are all side effects of vibration overexposure, which can occur through using grinders often. Find out how to prevent these effects and reduce your overexposure to vibrations from using grinders and other power tools.
May 9, 2006 | By Jim Berge
Robotic welding systems can enhance a company's production and bottom line. However, using these systems requires careful thought and planning, building the right infrastructure, and achieving the right balance between robotic and manual operations. This article presents an overview of one company's successful implementation of robotic welding.
May 9, 2006 | By Shannon DeCamp
Changes are necessary to make sure your welding operation is compliant with OSHA's new permissible exposure limit for hexavalent chromium.
May 9, 2006 | By Vicki Bell
Productivity, an economic bellwether, is predicted to slip from its recent highs in the coming months, largely because of job growth. Companies burned by the recent downturn need to continue to focus on achieving maximum productivity. This article addresses the labor component of productivity and how best to motivate employees to work at high levels.
May 9, 2006 | By John Massenburg
A die transport system may be needed if current production requirements cannot be met with existing presses, and opportunities for additional contracts are limited by current equipment production volumes; parts can be produced competitively in large batches, but not if the part count is smaller; and shop safety needs to be improved.
May 9, 2006 | By Dr. John H. Olsen
High-pressure abrasive and waterjet cutting systems have unique properties that must be understood to maximize performance and ensure safety. This article discusses the principles of water compressibility and pressurization, metal fatigue, high-pressure plumbing, seals, valves, and making and installing ultrahigh pressure fittings.
May 9, 2006 | By Kelly Langdon
Accidents and injuries can occur in all workplaces. Having a well-thought-out emergency response plan and properly organized and trained team can help minimize trauma and damage. This article discusses one company's emergency response program and gives an example of its effectiveness.