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.
April 11, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki
The North American International Auto Show held in Detroit is a stage for automakers to display their latest and greatest; it also serves as a harbinger of what's coming at suppliers over the next few years.
April 11, 2006
Volkswagen's automobile manufacturing facility in Saxony, Germany, was spending more time and effort on post-weld finishing operations than it wanted to, but because of the requirements the company was dedicated to meeting, not much automation was possible. Through its research, Volkswagen decided to invest in cold metal transfer welding, which helped the company save time and effort while keeping up its product quality.
April 11, 2006 | By Amanda Carlson
A company bid and won a contract from a company who was previously sending its work to Mexico. The company bought a computer-controlled pipe cutting machine to automate the process and cut lead times.
April 11, 2006 | By Eric Lundin
Newspapers and business magazines are filled with stories about offshoring, layoffs, and plant closings. Quasar Industries, a prototyping and low-volume production shop near Detroit, has bucked this trend and recently increased its manufacturing capability when it purchased a new building. A diverse fabricator, the company provides tooling development and also does stamping, laser cutting and welding, robotic welding, tube fabrication, and machining. The company's client base includes the automotive, appliance, and aerospace industries, among others. But all the equipment it has and processes it performs don't make it successful. Its success is a result of its employees' expertise and its corporate culture.
April 11, 2006 | By Dan Davis
Jay Leno's car collection, housed at the Big Dog Garage in Burbank, Calif., is not meant to collect dust. These cars are to be driven. Bernard Juchli is in charge of that, and now he has a waterjet to help him fabricate hard-to-find or non-existent parts and to keep the cars on the road.
April 11, 2006 | By Kate Bachman
Lights. Camera. Fabricate?! You get home from work after fabricating all day, kick back with a cool one, and turn on the tube just to see more metal fabrication, on-screen, as entertainment. If it's not "American Chopper" or "Monster Garage," it's "Biker Build-Off," "Monster House" or "American Hot Rod." What's the fascination with fabrication? Do shows like these put a new spin on the image of metal forming and fabricating? Have they inspired younger generations to consider metal fabricating as a profession? Why have TV producers zoned in on these types of shows?
April 11, 2006 | By Kate Bachman
How do you get to Hollywood? Ride a motorcycle when you're 3 years old, start welding at 8, and rebuild a car engine at 9—if you want to be the lead fabricator on American Chopper, that is, one of the most popular metal fabrication-as-entertainment reality cable TV shows airing on the Discovery Channel. Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. Teutul are the highly visible father-son pair usually featured in the media. But it is Vincent DiMartino who is the fabricator behind the bikes, the muscle behind the biceps, the grin behind the guns. Vinnie surmised that the automated waterjet from Flow Intl., Kent, Wash., is probably the most sophisticated equipment he uses, and that much of what he fabricates for the choppers is cut on OCC's waterjet.
April 11, 2006 | By T. C. Boster
Technological advances have turned simple press brakes and punch presses into productivie systems, now accepted as the norm for keeping fabricators competitive. Fastener-insertion machines are now incorporating many of those same advances to provide better quality and productivity and to eliminate bottlenecks as they work with the other technologically advanced fabricating machines in the shop.
April 11, 2006 | By Art Hedrick
Previous articles in this series focused on stamping dies and production methods. This article discusses stamping materials—both ferrous and nonferrous.To process, design, and build a successful stamping die, it is necessary to fully understand the behavioral characteristics of the specific...
April 11, 2006 | By Vicki Bell
Richard Wilson's metal art reflects his appreciation for metal's lesser-known intrinsic qualities. This article explains how Wilson became a welder and metal artist and describes the materials and processes he uses. It details one project from start to finish. It also offers insight into the future of the welding labor force from Wilson's perspective as a welding instructor and manufacturing consultant.
April 11, 2006 | By Elia Levi
Tack welding, a necessary preliminary step in many welding projects, must be performed correctly to achieve optimal results from the final weld and to minimize part defects. Quality is as important in tack welding as it is in the final weld. This article describes proper tack welding conditions.
April 11, 2006 | By Paul Hogendoorn
Most manufacturers measure or test parts to verify that the parts meet quality standards. This conventional approach is time-consuming because testing adds steps and time to the production process. Furthermore, it is only as good as the sample size. A different approach to quality is to use a strain monitor to measure strain on the machine's frame. Comparing the strain with a reference (measured when the machine was known to be producing good parts) is a way to monitor the production process, and it doesn't require extra time or steps.
April 11, 2006 | By Paul Cameron
Although it takes effort and time, procedure qualification testing can help you standardize your welding procedures and know what to expect when it comes to the quality of your manufactured parts.
April 11, 2006 | By Matthew Watson
Coil handling equipment can take up a lot of space, so it's important to consider different equipment configurations and options that may deliver much-needed floor space.
April 11, 2006 | By Dan Zimmerman
Conveyor jam-ups or slow-downs can offset machine tool productivity and damage high-production equipment. The solution: a reliable conveyor system that promotes a smooth, uninterrupted production flow.