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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.

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Starting a portable GTAW business (Part I)

July 11, 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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Warm forming of stainless steels - Part I

July 11, 2006 | By Ajay Yadav, Giovanni Spampinato, Taylan Altan, Ph.D.

To prevent martensitic transformation in stainless steel during drawing operations, warm forming has been explored. In experiments, warm forming eliminated intermediate annealing operations and substantially increased limiting draw ratio values.

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Starting a portable GTAW business Part II: Know your customers

July 11, 2006 | By Phil Evans

Thinking about starting your own portable GTAW business? This installment in a series about this topic focuses on the potential customer base and the welding repair needs of specific segments. It also offers pricing tips for various jobs.

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How do you measure success?

July 11, 2006 | By W.B. "Bud" Graham

Contrary to common opinion, a high production rate is not the key to success in making tube. Attempting to low-ball the price — while cutting corners in maintenance and upgrades -- is a poor strategy in this industry. Columnist Bud Graham provides four production scenarios that compare various rates of capacity utilization and line speed and how these affect profitability.

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Angling for a good cut

July 11, 2006 | By Al Terronez

Good sawing and maintenance practices can help alleviate problems that can occur when making angle cuts in structurals and tubing. Addressing the stock, machine setup, the blade, the cutting fluid, and the saw itself may not completely rid fabricators of problems, but it can help keep the operation profitable and relatively painless.

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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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