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Miller plasma cutter

From Pens to Plasma Cutters

January 9, 2007 | By Eric Lundin

What happens when an editor gets to weld? Let Senior Editor Eric Lundin share his first-hand experience. Visitors could try their hands at a variety of welding and cutting processes at Miller Electric's semitruck parked in Hall B at the FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show in Atlanta , Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

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John Engler

NAM on Fabricators' Top Two Concerns

January 9, 2007 | By Vicki Bell

Following the FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show keynote address, the's Web Content Manager Vicki Bell sat down to talk with the speaker, former Michigan Governor and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler.Citing "Fabricating Update" survey results that steel prices and the skilled labor shortage are metal fabricators' No. 1 and 2 concerns, respectively, Bell asked Engler the following questions.

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Team members image

Creating a leadership team that speaks, acts with one voice

January 9, 2007 | By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

This article is based on a 2006 FABTECH® Intl. & AWS Welding Show seminar presented by Dr. Bob Rausch, a facilitator and coach for executives, managers, and their teams. It explains the importance of creating and energizing effective leadership teams, describes common team characteristics, and discusses potential defuelers and refuelers.

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Forming lubricants

Lubricant developments for forming high-strength steel

December 12, 2006 | By Paul Bosler Jr.

Forming lubricants always have been a critical component in the metal forming process, but the performance characteristics of these products are even more essential when working with HSS.

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Machine software integration

Taking software integration to new heights

December 12, 2006 | By Dan Deanovic

For a job shop or contract manufacturer to take as much labor out of the manufacturing process as possible, automation is necessary. This can be helped with the integration of front-office and shop floor software.

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Northern Tool and Engineering

Live or die making tools

December 12, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

A tool- and die-maker for 50 years, Leo Niemela started out successfully enough in the tool and die business. But as the industry started to decline, he and his family had to decide which direction to take: stay with tool and die or reposition the company.

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Plasma cutter

High Roller meets fast cutter

December 12, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

The historic High Roller roller coaster, perched atop the Stratosphere Tower on the Las Vegas Strip, needed to be demolished. The question for contractors was what cutting process and equipment would be best to dismantle the roller coaster, all 367, 3-foot, 300-lb. sections of it.

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Structural steel

Structurally, it's a job shop

December 12, 2006 | By Dan Davis

Structural steel shops book jobs by the shop hour. More jobs lead to more hours and inevitably longer delivery times. In many instances, just-in-time deliveries in the structural business can be measured with calendars, not stopwatches. Suburban Steel Supply Co., Gahanna, Ohio, tries not to fall into that traditional trap when servicing its customers.

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Piercing punch burr

Die Science: Solving punch breakage problems - Part I

December 12, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Numerous factors contribute to the premature failure or breakage of piercing and cutting punches. Two common factors are operator error and incorrect die cutting clearance.

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Can your manufacturing software do this?

December 12, 2006 | By Dan Davis

Manufacturing software has come a long way in just the last five years. Independent software developers point out some of the advancements in manufacturing software in the hopes that some fabricators realize they may be missing out on some real production-optimization tools.

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Slug pulling diagram

Die Basics 101: Part XI

December 12, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Slug pulling is a serious problem in a stamping operation. Addressing the issue requires first understanding why the slugs are pulling. What Is Slug Pulling? When a pierce punch creates a hole, it also produces scrap, usually referred to as a slug. Slug pulling occurs when the slug sticks to the...

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Surveying suitability of welding processes for roll formed parts

December 12, 2006 | By Bill Schubert

Of the many weld processes used, resistance, high frequency and fusion welding are the most likely to be integrated with roll forming. Welding processes that are integrated with roll forming include GTAW, fusion, plasma arc welding, laser welding, resistance welding, and high-frequency welding. The fusion weld processes most successfully integrated with rollforming are those that are fast and don't require a filler metal.

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Solving punch breakage problems

December 12, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

This series of articles investigates the many causes of premature punch breakage in stamping operations.

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Bauer check fixtures

Think you have a challenging bend? Bring it on

December 12, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Take a look at Bauer Welding & Metal Fabricators Inc., a company that thrives on difficult bending applications. It stays away from the hypercompetitive portion of the bending industry—4D to 5D bends in medium-wall-thickness tubing, applications that don't require a mandrel—and gravitates toward tight-radius or variable-radius bends in several planes, parts that require several processes such as bending and flaring, and components that needed flattening and welding.

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Crystal Distribution building

Moving in the right direction

December 12, 2006

When Crystal Distribution Inc., a manufacturer of curb adapters and related products, was challenged by the logistics of its facility, President Pat O'Brien had three choices: lease a different building, buy a different building, or build a new facility. Deciding to build a new facility made the most sense and ended up giving the company's manufacturing operations a whole new flow.

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