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A trophy fit for Titletown

January 27, 2017 | By Amanda Carlson

A Wisconsin metal fabricator created a 10-ft. replica of the Lombardi Trophy and mounted it in the yard outside of its Green Bay-based tailgate house. Why? Because Packer freedom is a way of life.

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Managing the three legs of the custom metal fabrication stool

January 27, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Technology has become the ticket to entry for metal fabrication. But when a fabricator buys a new machine, it doesn’t stay secret for long. So what really sets a company apart from its competitors? Past speakers at FMA events give some insights.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design changes involve changes to CAD hierarchy

January 27, 2017 | By Gerald Davis

To assist with smooth transitions during design changes, columnist Gerald Davis shows a work flow for changing a part into an assembly.

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Continuous improvement in metal fabrication: Role changes in a lean transformation

January 27, 2017 | By Jeff Sipes

This month, columnist Jeff Sipes walks through the typical day of a production supervisor before and after a lean transformation.

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Ultrasonic welding and machining come together to take 3-D printing to the next level

January 25, 2017 | By Mark Norfolk

As part of a new approach to system design, ultrasonic additive manufacturing and CNC milling can be used together to create parts with complex material makeup that can perform multiple functions.

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Back to basics: The subtle science of burr-free laser cutting

January 25, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Attaining a burr-free cut is about setting up the laser beam parameters and gas flow dynamics to work together to ensure the right amount of molten metal evacuates the kerf at the right time and in the right way.

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A case study in lean manufacturing: Opening the door to single-piece flow

January 25, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Total Door Systems, Waterford, Mich., has successfully adopted single-piece part flow to engineer- to-order commercial door manufacturing. In its old building, the company held up to six weeks of work-in-process. It moved into a new building in 2010, and today the manufacturer holds only one day’s worth of WIP—and can respond to customers within days, instead of weeks.

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Fabricating lessons that stand the test of time

January 25, 2017 | By Dan Davis

AT&F, an organization that likes to describe itself as a fabricator that handles difficult fabricating jobs involving long and heavy parts, is a family company that has beaten the odds. The fourth generation is now involved in opening new outposts in Wisconsin and in India. During this time, the company is working to maintain the core principles that have helped to make it a success from the start.

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Are you lax on your PPE? It could cost you

January 23, 2017 | By Shannon DeCamp

OSHA handed out $11 million in fines to metal fabricators in 2015, and PPE citations comprised 10 percent of that. This number does not include medical cost, increased workers' compensation, property damage, and replacement personnel costs. Are you prepared for an OSHA inspection? If not, here's what you can expect should the agency come calling.

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GMAW for beginners

January 20, 2017 | By Adam Urbano, Rhonda Zatezalo

Even though GMAW is relatively simple process to execute in comparison to other welding processes, there are a lot of moving parts that will either make or break your weld. New welders have a lot to consider, including understanding the base metal, the type of weld necessary, how to set up the machine, and how the best to lay the bead. Knowing which is best for the application is often part of the challenge.

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Reach for the skies!

January 20, 2017

The energy sector is the biggest global market for manufacturers of steel pipes, with the focus on two nonrenewable resources: oil and gas. However, tubular products are equally indispensable for renewable energy, especially wind power. A report from Germany details the progress in making wind towers in Germany's power industry.

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Software solves the biggest bending problems for tube fabricators

January 20, 2017 | By Tom Adams

CAD software allows engineers to work up perfect designs, and this is problematic for tube fabricators. If the engineer lacks experience with tube, they tend to develop parts that can't be made, or can't be made economically. Unison has introduced software to deal with this situation.

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Automated cutting machine turns notion of conventional work flow on its head

January 20, 2017 | By Eric Lundin

When mechanical contractor J.C. Cannistraro found that it was having trouble keeping up with the construction boom in the Boston area, it went looking for a better way to do things. Operations Manager of Plumbing Joe Mierzejewski thought that its cutting and collaring operation was a bottleneck and set his sights on improving the process.

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Technology Spotlight: Clearing out the blowback slag

January 18, 2017 | By Dan Davis

Working all over the world, Van Steel has seen a similar sight at fabrication facilities and construction sites: drums and buckets filled with oxyfuel and plasma cutting tips that have been thrown away because it was easier to do that than clean out the blowback slag. He has developed a tool to make that job easier.

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Achieving successful stamping of AHSS

January 16, 2017 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Forming products from advanced high-strength steels is a challenge. Understanding how these materials react during press feeding, straightening, blanking, and forming is necessary in designing production processes that run as efficiently as possible.

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