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Applying sheet metal forming principles to plastic

July 12, 2016

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Anytime the inside radius or material thickness varies, there will be a change in the bend deduction. This is just as true when bending plastic as it is when bending sheet metal.

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Fabricating long coils rather than short straights

July 11, 2016

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Most fabricators work with standard lengths of straight tube, but this isn’t the only possibility. Many alloys are available in coiled form, can lead to faster processing, better use of floor space, and increased material yields.

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Coil-fed fabricating

July 11, 2016

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Most manufacturers associate coil processing with the metal forming industry. They also likely assume the punching and laser cutting combination machines consume sheet metal. Elleci S.p.A., a metal fabricator in northern Italy, has a new line in place that will require many manufacturers to alter their preconceived notions about coil consumption in a fabricating facility.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design evolution from invention to manufacturing

July 11, 2016

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Columnist Gerald Davis considers how designs evolve from invention to manufacturing and how various CAD techniques might best be used.

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Automated guided vehicles get flexible

July 8, 2016

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A camera-based automated guided vehicle may have potential in high-product-mix environments. The vehicle takes pictures of its surroundings, remembers them, and then drives itself along that path.

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Maximize your move

July 8, 2016

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Everyone knows that moving is not easy, especially when you are talking about moving a business. Dennis Donovan, a site selection consultant, provides an overview of the main considerations that a metal fabricator should keep in mind as it looks to make a major move.

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Metal fabrication and metrics: Measure what matters

July 8, 2016

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An operation with poor or nonexistent performance metrics is a magnet for lots of confusion and disruption. Poor metrics often have a narrow focus that can negatively affect the whole organization. Conversely, good metrics support the business and its mission.

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The human side of the skilled-labor crisis

July 8, 2016

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In metal fabrication, companies need technical skill, but there’s a humanity to the skill that’s often overlooked. It’s about the relationship between the technician, his machine, and the workpiece.

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Yellow: The color of safety awareness

July 7, 2016

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If you tour Plymouth Tube's Streator, Ill., facility, you can't help but notice all of the yellow caution areas. They mark potential trip hazards and pinch point areas. The focus on safety, both visually and in daily communications, has helped the facility stay injury-free for three years now. It's also enabled the tube production facility to be named the recipient of FMA’s Rusty Demeules Award for Safety Excellence.

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R&D Update: Practical methods for estimating formability of sheet materials

July 7, 2016

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Formability is the ability of a sheet material to deform without failure or fracture. Information on formability helps process and tool design engineers predict failure during analysis of sheet metal forming processes for tool design. Formability information also is used to evaluate...

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Die Science: How many hits does it take to get to the end of a tool’s life?

July 7, 2016

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Recently I was asked at a training session to state the average life of a stamping die. The person asking was from the costing department of a large automotive firm. He said he needed to know because he was getting different answers from different individuals in the organization—anywhere from...

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Tube fabrication equipment manufacturer takes a holistic view of sustainability

July 7, 2016

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Sustainability and green technology are no longer buzzwords, but comprise a host of enduring manufacturing practices. Equipment manufacturer Schwarze-Robitec has rolled out numerous developments to conserve energy, consumables, material, and other resources.

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Building bridges for the 21st century and beyond

July 7, 2016

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Fabricator and bridge erector used oxyfuel for years, but changed to plasma and benefitted from faster, more precise cuts.

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Building effective and agile sheet metal forming supply channels

July 6, 2016

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Strong supply chains hold the promise of all partners being able to share innovation. This requires a commitment from the manufacturers in the chain to be open and communicative. Without that trust, supply chain partners can hurt product success and sabotage profitability goals.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How do we prevent buckling in thin material during strip feeding?

July 6, 2016

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Q: We are trying to stamp a drawn cup from 0.002-inch-thick by 0.500-in.-wide fully annealed stainless steel on a Bruderer BSTA 22e high-speed press with an aluminum ball bearing die set and a Bruderer 198/85 roll feed. There are six draws, and all of the draw die bushings are carbide with steel...

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