Articles

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.

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Aligning with OSHA

November 28, 2016 | By Dave Knoll

Safety improvement for Anderson Dahlen was not an overnight event. It took a couple of shocking incidents and the willingness to work with, not against, the state’s safety regulatory agency before a significant change in the company’s safety culture took place.

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Structural fabrication, the next generation

November 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Structural fabrication is on the cusp of some big changes, and the entry-level employee of today will grow in a field that’s becoming increasingly digitized.

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Job shop estimating: A historical perspective Step 2

November 28, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis continues a series of columns that address one of the most important activities related to shop profitability: job estimating. In this second installment, he describes how an estimator can use the shop’s manufacturing history to refine the predictions of future expense.

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Filter bag, housing manufacturer finds faster cutting process for aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel

November 22, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

When industrial filter and filter housing manufacturer Filter Technology Inc. had one too many late and substandard shipments of steel components, it took matters into its own hands and started cutting pipe and making plate components using a band saw and machining centers. Then its staff went to FABTECH and saw a Soitaab plasma machine with a bed for flat parts and chucks for pipe.

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Failure modes and solutions for ID scarfing tools

November 21, 2016 | By Mike Nelson

Scarfing tools are prone to chipping and breakage caused by mechanical vibrations and thermal shocks. Understanding the causes of these problems is the first step in extending scarfing tool life.

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Grain size control for successfully fabricating stainless and INCONEL alloy tubing

November 21, 2016 | By Chiranjib K. Mukherjee

Tube producers and fabricators make and use tubing that conforms to a particular manufacturing standard, but few standards specify grain size. Knowing the role that grain size plays is a crucial first step in understanding how a fabrication process succeeds or fails.

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Shopping cart manufacturer rings up productivity gains with automated bending cell

November 21, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Shopping cart manufacturer Technibilt has been incorporating automation little by little over the last few decades, but recently took a big step when it solicited bids for a transfer system that would bend and punch tube to make shopping cart frames.

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57-year veteran tool- and diemaker “started somewhere”

November 18, 2016 | By Kate Bachman

Of all of the roles 57-year veteran tool- and diemaker Paul Rettberg has had, the one he has enjoyed the most is the one he fills currently … as a teacher.

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6 Q&A about compact in-die transfer tooling

November 18, 2016 | By Bob Gunst

Compact in-die transfer tooling technology brings the flexibility of a press-mounted transfer system to small-press and small-part applications. The small transfer system mounts directly to the stamping die, becoming part of the die. The in-die transfer tool is set up and run in continuous mode, just like a progressive die.

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Next-gen biobased lubricants, materials offer performance advantages over petro-based

November 18, 2016

While biobased solutions earned past skepticism, the next generation can offer high value in specialty chemicals, biopolymers, and advanced materials, according to Lux Research.

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Compact coil feed lines: small size, large impact

November 18, 2016 | By Nicholas Miller

Profitable part processing begins with a small footprint. a compact coil line does not need a loop and pit because the coil is mounted above the leveler and feeding mechanisms. A compact line has many of the same capabilities as a conventional line but occupies less floor space and, often, with simplified operation. Even at its small size—less than half the size of a standard line—it can handle thick and strong materials. These floor-space savers can process coils up to 20 tons with widths up to 59 inches (1,500 millimeters) and thicknesses between 0.031 and 0.47 in. (0.8 and 12 mm).

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Xtreme MRO keeps heavyweight stamper on track

November 18, 2016 | By Kate Bachman

If an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure, what is it worth when you’re stamping thousands of tons? To Rockford Toolcraft, it’s priceless. The $100 million annual sales stamping manufacturer specializes in stamping heavy-gauge material up to ¾ inch thick. Its maintenance, repair, overhaul program must be topnotch to keep operations moving. The millwrights and electricians who maintain, repair, and overhaul the 60 massive, high-tonnage mechanical presses are highly skilled, very experienced, and ready at a moment’s notice to get the presses back on track ASAP. Here’s how the company keeps its fleet of presses humming.

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When family matters

November 17, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Huffman Welding & Machine Inc., a family-owned and -operated job shop in southeastern Iowa, has always had big goals to grow and thrive in a competitive economic climate. So far they have been able to strike the right balance between pursuing those goals while maintaining the emphasis on people and their community – their family.

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Need welders? Automation can help!

November 16, 2016 | By Chris Anderson

Finding good welders is a real issue for some fab shops, but so is the anxiety attached to integrating robotic welding to help fill the gaps. Pinpointing the appropriate skill set for robotic welding programmers is important to ensure you have the right person in place to run the machine. Industry also has stepped up to deliver systems that make robotic programming easier and faster for individuals who have limited programming training.

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How to choose the right wire and flux for SAW

November 16, 2016 | By Robert Fox

Discovering as much as possible about the application’s requirements helps identify potentially costly and time-consuming conflicts between expectations and reality during the selection process, as opposed to during implementation. Most important, answering the following key questions provides insight into the big question: Which wire and flux is best for you?

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