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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Creating animations to explain the invention

September 3, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis walks the reader through the steps needed to create a 3-D CAD movie that can be used to bring an assembly or product idea to life.

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Two-coat powder process fights corrosion

September 3, 2014

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A powder-on-powder process developed by Hartford Finishing in Wisconsin is providing customers with corrosion protection that they weren't getting with e-coat or other powder finishes.

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TPJ celebrates 25 years

September 3, 2014

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Editor Eric Lundin recounts some of the more interesting articles published in TPJ since it was founded in 1990, discusses some of the trends, and provides some input from early members of TPA’s board of directors.

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The miraculous effect of spare capacity

August 29, 2014

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The traditional cost-based approach to manufacturing promotes using your resources—people and machines—to the fullest extent, but this can wreak havoc in high-product-mix manufacturing, especially in contract operations with varying and unpredictable levels of demand. This is where the value of spare capacity comes into play.

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Consumables Corner: Advancements in SAW

August 29, 2014

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Q: What role does flux and wire play in submerged arc welding? A: It is important to choose the right flux and wire combination for submerged arc welding (SAW) processes. This will allow you to gain efficiency while meeting your performance requirements. Basic submerged arc welding uses a single...

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Stand apart in a crowded marketplace

August 29, 2014

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As a custom fabricator, you need to establish contrast—that is, why a customer should choose your company over others. You establish contrast not with generic platitudes, but by specifically addressing customer pain points and describing how you can eliminate them.

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Arc Welding 101: Achieving a good work lead connection

August 29, 2014

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Q: What makes a good ground connection, and why is it important? A: In a welding circuit, current needs to pass through as few connections as possible, and the circuit itself needs to be as short as is practical. On the positive (+) side for gas metal arc welding (GMAW), direct-current electrode...

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Why similar fabricators can have very different financial results

August 28, 2014

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Contract metal fabricators may have similar assets and offer similar services, but have very different financial results. The differences may come from differing customer mixes, but it also comes from the fact that many shops have highly concentrated sources of revenue. Lose one big account, and financial results seriously suffer.

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How to get scheduling right

August 28, 2014

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Many point to scheduling as one of the most challenging aspects of running a custom fabrication business. Why, exactly? Sometimes it’s the software, but quite often, it boils down to the inputs used to create the schedule in the first place.

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Exploring the versatility of laser vision systems

August 28, 2014

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For tube and pipe applications, laser vision systems are commonly used for seam tracking on the mill, but they are useful for many more applications—such as edge bevel measurement; strip width measurement and centering verification; mill process control; and coating control. For pipeline construction, they can verify the integrity of end face bevels and weld bead profile measurements.

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Consumables Corner: Eliminating porosity on galvanized steel

August 28, 2014

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Q: Our company manufactures storage rack systems made from mild steel and galvanized tubing. A majority of our parts are fixture-welded on a robot using 0.045-in.-diameter ER70S-6 wire with 90 percent argon/10 percent CO2 shielding gas. We have experienced problems with weld appearance quality and...

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Fabricator delivers a big fish story

August 28, 2014

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Lou Rodriquez finds out he has a talent for creating metal art and ends up with a fish tale that is easy to believe because people can see the result: a huge metal sturgeon that’s the talk of Port Huron, Mich.

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Arc Welding 101: Reading between the lines of AWS D1.1

August 27, 2014

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Q: I am a weld inspector and one of my clients builds control panels. A potential customer of theirs requested that they conform to AWS D1.1 standards on a control panel. This seems odd to me. Can a company become AWS D1.1-certified? Is there a certain process they have to go through to become a...

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The economics of small-parts bending

August 27, 2014

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Bending small parts presents various challenges for press brake technicians, who need to make sure they can bend these small parts quickly and, most importantly, safely. Although the best approach to bending depends on the application, the electric press brake can help make the job much easier.

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How to prepare for the aging workforce

August 27, 2014

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The aging workforce is a complex, multifaceted issue, but it has one immutable fact: There will be more older people working than ever before. Older workers can be incredibly valuable to a manufacturer. They have the experience and skill that this industry craves. But you can’t escape biology. As we get older, the body changes, and the workplace needs to account for these changes. The good news is that these changes not only help older workers, but every employee at the company.

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