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.
December 13, 2005 | By Marty Rice
Welding instructor Marty Rice explains how welding power current works and how failing to follow safety practices can have shocking results. He also expands upon the information contained in "TIG welding—An overview"and discusses TIG qualities, applications, hazards, and the best way to learn TIG.
December 13, 2005 | By Ron Hawkins
Low-volume, low-pressure (LVLP) lubrication systems can offer stampers a way to maintain the most appropriate lubrication level for each job while reducing oil consumption.
December 13, 2005 | By Kathleen McLaughlin
While some stampers are filing for bankruptcy, Alpha's lean manufacturing initiatives have propelled the Detroit-based stamper to a $50 million-dollar company and growing
December 13, 2005
Currently, Dana's Chatham, Ontario division produces several heat shields for fluid-management systems including heat exchangers, valves, and coolers. With higher demand yields and new orders, the stamper needed an automated press line that could improve uptime, quality, and reliability.
December 13, 2005 | By Brian Landry
The straightener, when set properly, removes the coil set, or curvature of the rolled material. If the machine is used or set incorrectly, the coil set can remain in the material, even after being struck in presses with capacities to hundreds of tons. This can cause a variety of problems: out-of-tolerance parts, difficult feed operations that can disrupt and slow performance, and, to some extent, additional wear and tear on feed line components and tooling.
December 13, 2005 | By Mark King
Today's architects develop designs and concepts that push past the boundaries of yesterday. Fabricators are faced with a sometimes daunting challenge to make unusual components to assist architects in completing unusual buildings, to the extent that they sometimes have to rely on themselves to develop new equipment and processes.
December 13, 2005 | By W.B. "Bud" Graham
An overview of the pressures faced by the tube and pipe producing industry in 2005 and the author's views on how 2006 will be similar, but with a greater emphasis on energy costs, conservation, and availability. Ends with a few reminders about tube mill maintenance and efficiency.
December 13, 2005 | By Ron Wood
Work-related ergonomic injuries can exact a high price from employers and employees in both factory and office environments. Even a few incidents can deal a severe financial blow to small and medium-sized companies. Identifying potential risks and developing and implementing an effective ergonomics program can help reduce injuries and costs.
December 13, 2005 | By Hanhui Li
Roll-formed parts are subject to end distortion when the parts are cut at the end of the roll-forming line. Understanding the forces that contribute to end distortion is the first step to balancing the forces and eliminating end distortion.
December 13, 2005
A new laser cutter, a new panel bender, and two older punching and shearing combination machines, connected to a new automatedstorage-and-retieval system have helped an Indianapolis job shop stay on top of emergnecy orders that normally come its way.
December 13, 2005
Great Dane Trailers, one of the world's largest trailer manufacturers, wanted to consolidate on one CAD/CAM software system across its nine manufacturing locations. Following a recommendation from one of its machine suppliers, the company adopted SigmaNEST CAD/CAM nesting software, and just in a nick of time.
December 13, 2005 | By Dan Davis
The traditional belt conveyors used to remove scrap from the stamping operations at American Trim's facility on Baxter Street in Lima, Ohio, just couldn't stand up to the gritty shop environment. The company found a successful alternative with a belt-less material movement solution from GSW Press Automation.
December 13, 2005 | By John Heuring
With its higher tensile and yield strengths, HSS is stronger at any given gauge than conventional "mild" steels. Initially, lighter-gauge HSS was used to replace heavier-gauge mild steel to reduce weight in many automotive parts, and this continues to be the most widely used application for HSS. However, as a new trend to run thicker and thicker gauges of HSS continues, stamping fabricators are evaluating their press feeding and coil handling equipment, as well as press tonnage capacities and die designs to ensure that these harder parts can be formed effectively. The dynamics of HSS have a bearing on feeding, straightening, and coil handling equipment.
Electron beam welding is useful for many applications -- steel, aluminum, and exotic metals; thick, structural sections or thin, delicate components; and harsh conditions such as alternating loads and low temperatures. A programmable controller allows engineers to tailor the electron beam's power distribution, thereby creating a unique weld for each application. EBW often is used in applications that have stringent joint tightness and strength requirements and, in some cases, it is used for welds that cannot be done with any other joining method.
December 13, 2005 | By Richard Allman
In roll forming, non-stop punching and shear systems have traditionally employed simple open-loop control methods. Closed-loop (also called servo-based) systems can overcome many limitations of the open-loop design and yield higher line speeds, reduce downtime, and reduce scrap.