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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,...
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.