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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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Optimizing CO2 laser use: Part II

March 7, 2006 | By David Bell

As explained in Part I of this two-part series, many factors can affect laser processing efficiency. This article explains basic laser beam delivery requirements; discusses laser gases and supply methods; and lists common problems caused by using incorrect pressure, flow, and laser speed.

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Head of her class

March 7, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

At a time when it's becoming more and more difficult to find skilled workers, it's encouraging to read about people like 18-year-old Jessica Jelinski who are studying and pursuing careers in metalworking. Jelinski is putting her welding training to good use winning competitions and working on interesting projects.

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Straightening mistakes

March 7, 2006 | By Eric Theis

As a consultant to the industry, the author has had the opportunity to discuss coil straightening and leveling with many people. In this article, he reviews 12 common misconceptions he has heard from those people.

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Stamping complex parts

March 7, 2006

By adding sophisticated hydraulic deep-draw press technology, Tools Inc. was able to greatly enhance its in-house forming and production capabilities.

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Anodizing aluminum

March 7, 2006 | By William Rusch

Manufacturing deep-drawn aluminum containers requires various fabrication steps and provides many opportunities to pollute. Anomatic Corp. provides an overview of its fabricating and finishing steps and describes its efforts at environmentally responsible manufacturing.

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Plasma cutting with a robot

March 7, 2006 | By Ken Trumbull

Robotic plasma arc cutting can make cutting and weld preparation operations more flexible once you know which equipment, controls, and shielding gas will work best for your application.

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A new way to weld sheet metal

March 7, 2006 | By Robert Kloczkowski, Steve Southwell

Nu-Way Industries Inc., Des Plaines, Ill., learned that remote laser welding demonstrates impressive advantages over traditional resistance and arc welding for its applications.

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Taking the danger out of bottom bending

March 7, 2006 | By Steve Benson

It is all too easy to ruin a tool or upset a ram if bottom bending is done incorrectly, which is why many manufacturers do not recommend bottom bending when using their equipment or tooling. Understanding V-die selection and the effects of your decisions should be first and foremost in any bending operation, including bottom bending.

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Guidelines for tungsten electrodes

March 7, 2006 | By Mike Sammons

Choosing one of the six commonly available tungsten electrodes is a crucial first step in successful gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). In addition, tip preparation is critical. The electrode choices are pure tungsten, 2 percent thoriated, 2 percent ceriated, 1.5 percent lanthanated, zirconiated, and rare earth. The end preparations are balled, pointed, and truncated.

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A tale of two welders

March 7, 2006 | By Jennifer Simpson

George Bright and David Anthony are two welders who had the same goal: to upgrade their GTAW systems. Learn about their experiences and gain some insight into what you need to know to upgrade from an air-cooled to a water-cooled GTAW system.

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Up with energy prices and wind towers - Automation, consultation help plate fabricator meet demand for wind tower masts

February 7, 2006 | By Sue DiBianca

With the recent increases in gasoline and natural gas prices, more attention than ever is focused on alternative energy sources. One fabricator, Aerisyn LLC, investigated manufacturing towers for use in the wind power industry. To produce towers efficiently enough to compete against imports from Asia, Aerisyn relied on an equipment vendor that had experience in demanding fields such as aerospace, nuclear, and wind power.

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Machine safeguarding with optoelectronic sensors

February 7, 2006 | By Israel E. Alguindigue

Optoelectronic sensing devices safeguard machine access and prevent injuries related to hazardous machine motion. The ultimate goals are to prevent access to the hazard, eliminate the hazard before access is attained, and prevent the unintended operation of a machine.

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Maintaining a slitting line

February 7, 2006 | By Flix Remrez

A slitting line can operate efficiently for 20 or more years if properly maintained. Modern slitting lines are high-performance machines that are intended to produce 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a result, stampers must be sure that all line elements are properly maintained, which represents a titanic effort if you don't understand what components are critical.

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The big squeeze

February 7, 2006 | By Kathleen McLaughlin

Three companies dominating the market is a distant memory as Japanese and European automakers' market shares steadily increase. The Big Three has evolved into the New 6 that includes Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler. Suppliers tied to the Big Three will have to make a negative adjustment to remain profitable.

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Are you still settling for good enough?

February 7, 2006 | By Woodruff Imberman

A study of executives at several tube and pipe fab shops revealed that the executives and managers are ensnared by four potential traps: talking instead of doing, failing to see the big picture, avoiding listening, and failing to communicate.

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