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10 frequently asked GTAW questions

February 8, 2005

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Experienced welders know that without the right information, it's easy to sacrifice quality, lose time, and generally become frustrated with gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). And while there is merit in learning by trial and error, if you want to move toward precision GTAW, getting answers to 10...

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FMA goes to China

February 8, 2005

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Two weeks after the first FMA China Tour group returned to the U.S., news broke that IBM had entered into talks to sell its PC business to China's largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo. That news came as no surprise to tour participants.

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Platform consolidation gradually erodes supplier business

February 8, 2005

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The Big Three are in the midst of a decades long process— platform consolidation. While it will make them more cost-competitive with the Japanese automakers, it also will take away business from tooling and stamping suppliers.

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The real issues behind hydraulic press upgrades:

February 8, 2005

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Upgrading any piece of machinery can produce anxious headaches. Often we cause our own headaches by failing truly to justify the reasons to upgrade, choosing instead simply to answer the question, "Can we afford to spend the money?"Answering that question is really easy. Either the money's...

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Fuel cell useful links

February 7, 2005

Here are some sources for manufacturing projects related to alternative energies:1. Hydrogen Fuel CellFuelCell Energy Co. - www.fce.com/site/products/manufacturing.htmlUnited Technologies - www.utcpower.comElectroChem, Inc. - www.fuelcell.comGas Technology Institute - www.gastechnology.orgATI...

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 2

February 1, 2005

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So you're ready to go after the biggest customer in the world: the U.S. federal government. It's time to go to that "buyer" and "sell" your company and what it can do. But before you sell to anyone, first you need to realize whom you're dealing with. The federal government is not a single entity, but a collection of usually small buying activities that work separately to purchase or procure the items they are told to get.

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Implementing a stamping sensor program—uphill

January 11, 2005

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Stamper and toolmaker Ultra Tool & Manufacturing, Menomonee Falls, Wis. had been installing basic stamping die protection for 15 years. Whisker sensors, positive stops, and, in some cases, part-out sensors comprised the limited sensor system for dies that ran in automatic mode. However, this system...

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Metal formers: Keep an eye on monitoring program

January 11, 2005

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The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a call for comments in August on whether to extend the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system and how to improve the program if it lives on. The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) of Independence, Ohio, which represents hundreds of metal...

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Tackling the costs of employer-provided health care

January 11, 2005

Editor's Note: This article is adapted from "Health Care Costs: Where Do We Go From Here?" presented by Neil Trautwein, assistant vice president, human resources policy, with the National Association of Manufacturers, at the association's Future of Manufacturing Forum July 21, 2004.

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Roll forming basics

January 11, 2005

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Roll forming, often called open-section forming, uses successive sets of roller dies to bend a strip of steel progressively until the desired shape is achieved. This process is very similar to traditional tube- and pipemaking, but differs in that it can form more complicated sections.

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Balancing work and life

January 11, 2005

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To remain competitive in today's cutthroat economic environment, companies are doing more with fewer people. The tight job market can make even those employees whose work loads haven't increased feel they have to expend more effort—or even create an illusion of having to expend more effort—simply to keep their jobs. No longer is it just the workaholics among us who are working harder and putting in longer hours.

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More about MIG welding

January 11, 2005

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Editor's Note: This article is a companion piece to Marty Rice's article MIG welding—The basics and then some. My first time using MIG (also called gas metal arc welding, GMAW) in the field was working on four stainless steel hoppers (tanks) at an Owens Corning plant. X-rays of the hoppers'...

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Leadership lessons from the forge

January 11, 2005

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One of the benefits of coaching individuals and teams across the country is that I have the opportunity to meet bright, insightful, and creative people. The inspiration and much of the content of this article come from one of those people—Bob Nichols.

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Listening to your parts

January 11, 2005

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Figure 1Even if the scoring is the reason for the split, that doesn't mean that resolving the galling issue will ensure a robust process.I recently had the chance to engage in some very interesting conversation with the head of the sheet metal formability lab for a very large automotive stamper....

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Simplifying shielding gas selection

January 11, 2005

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Have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions: Why is welding affected by the shielding gases used? Why are so many blends available for carbon steel? Why can I use some gases for some materials and not others? Answering these questions will help you take the mystery...

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