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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5S: The foundation for the lean journey

September 14, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

5S is critical for any lean journey. And by getting it right—that is, treating it as an important and measurable process that affects the business—fabricators can use 5S to make their office or shop floor a better place to work.

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Grade designations for sheet metals

September 12, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

If you are involved in the metal fabricating or forming business, you need sheet metal to get the job done. Do you know the specifics related to what the sheet metal is called? This guide helps fabricators to understand just what they are working with.

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Weld process advancements

September 7, 2016 | By Dave Almy, Ed Crum

Welding process technology continually evolves. Here’s a look at some advanced processes that might make a significant difference in your operation.

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Heating up with a new punch/laser combo

September 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis

ACP Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, needed the speed and flexibility of modern fabricating technology to increase its manufacturing capacity as it looked to manufacturer two new product lines in its only domestic manufacturing facility.

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A review of surface finishing with elastic-bonded abrasives

September 1, 2016 | By Dr. Jan Koch

Elastic-bonded abrasives have been around for almost 100 years, but technological advancements associated with such abrasives are by no means complete.

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Civil War re-enactors take aim at metal fabrication

August 31, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

The members of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery had two cannons, an old school bus, and many miles to cover to stage mock battles. A team of Civil War re-enactors, they had discarded their previous bus and needed to transform their new bus. They enlisted the help of the staff and students at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), Janesville, Wis.

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The art and science of metals purchasing

August 31, 2016 | By Alan Bear, CPPM, CPP

Materials purchasing is both an art and a science. You need the knowledge and strategy to negotiate with intelligence. You need the art of relationship-building, including good ethics and solid integrity.

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Using dry filtration to capture plasma cutting fumes

August 31, 2016 | By Josh Delson

A dry filtration system for plasma cutting removes all potentially harmful contaminants from the shop air and helps to eliminate the threat of a dust explosion. It also might prove to be a much more effective plasma cutting approach when compared to plasma cutting on a water table.

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Order fulfillment velocity makes the difference

August 30, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Haydon Corp. was an early adopter of business software, and it continues to use its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform comprehensively. The software, along with standard business practices baked into the company’s DNA, has helped the roll former maintain an extremely short order fulfillment cycle.

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Tips for improving spray technician performance

August 30, 2016 | By Jeremiah Treloar

The desire to eliminate waste does not end after parts leave the metal fabrication area. Fabricators that run a paint line also have the opportunity to optimize the finishing operation as well. The first step is to invest in training of the spray technicians.

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Communication in custom metal fabrication: Good ideas, good stories, good community

August 30, 2016 | By Tim Heston

For years Jones Metal, a Mankato, Minn.-based custom fabricator, has published not an occasional employee newsletter, but a weekly digital paper, available at touchscreen kiosks throughout the front office and shop floor. The publication keeps everyone up-to-date on important metrics, spreads improvement ideas and, perhaps most important, builds community.

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Band saw basics: 5 keys to good cutting

August 29, 2016 | By Jim Larson

There are five keys to making a quality cut: coolant, the blade, downfeed, workpiece support, and machine maintenance. If you understand these critical factors, you should be able to achieve good cuts every time.

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Press brake bending: Forming long and skinny

August 29, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Phoenix Products has more than doubled its size during the past year, and much of that growth has to do with tackling an unusual niche: the bending of long, skinny parts.

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Where metal fabrication and history intersect

August 29, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

The members of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery had two cannons, an old school bus, and a lot of miles to cover to stage mock battles. A team of Civil War reenactors, they had discarded their previous bus and needed to transform their new bus. They enlisted the help of the staff and students at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), Janesville, Wis.

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Small manufacturer, big output

August 29, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

James Steel & Tube isn’t the biggest, most high-profile tube producer, but because it is a small company, it is extremely versatile. It has gone through several transformations since it was founded in 1961, and under the guidance of current president Jim Petkus, it is going through another transition.

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