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.
January 10, 2006 | By Jim Berge
Success with robotics depends on many factors. Purchasing the right equipment is not enough. A company's political environment and policies regarding robotics can make or break a robotic project. This article discusses poor politics and policies and offers suggestions for achieving the right robotic environment.
Portable technology is available that can help fabricators positively identify the alloys used in a weldment. This is especially critical when a fabricator is trying to match a filler alloy to a base alloy and application.
January 10, 2006
Companies should develop a written fall protection plan and maintain it on the job site. The plan must describe how your company will protect workers on a given work site when employees are working 10 feet or more above the ground, other work surfaces, or water.
January 10, 2006 | By Steve Beckman
Shopping around for a welding gases distributor involves several key issues critical to a successful long-term business-distributor relationship.
Torches, cables, and cooling are three integral components in gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) equipment, and two cooling methods – air and water – are used in their cooling systems. Although GMAW and GTAW are different processes, the advantages and disadvantages of water- and air-cooled systems are the same. For that reason, you should consider similar factors when choosing a GMAW or GTAW system.
January 10, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan
The welding industry may be the only one forecast to show any growth between now and 2012, but growth in the U.S. is threatened by a number of factors: skilled worker shortages, welding rod litigation; and what some consider the need for greed among business executives.
January 10, 2006 | By Dr. John H. Olsen
Clamping the workpiece against sideways motion and weighting it against vertical motion will prevent part loss and improve part quality in waterjet machining. This article offers practical fixturing suggestions for both cutting from flat sheet and adding features to existing parts.
January 10, 2006 | By Vicki Bell
A recent CFO survey found that only 7 percent of businesses are preparing for a potential avian flu pandemic. Preparation is important for this and other events that can disrupt business and endanger employees. Guidelines include training and preparing an ancillary work force. Cross-training current employees and documenting processes can help.
January 10, 2006 | By Joel Pierson
Many fabricators use fairly rudimentary methods to keep turret press punch tooling stored, but often tooling isn't really organized. A common method is to store tooling horizontally and group tooling by station (A-station tools a grouped together, B-station tools together, etc.). Storing them vertically and grouping them by size (all rounds go together, regardless of station) leads to an elegant and simple organization.
January 10, 2006 | By Eric Lundin
Two big tradeshows, Schweissen & Schneiden (Essen, Germany) and the FABTECH® International/AWS Welding Show (Chicago) highlighted several of the trends that have emerged in the welding industry during the last couple of years. Senior Editor Eric Lundin reviews many of the recent developments in arc and laser welding, and the growing use of another joining technology, adhesive bonding.
January 10, 2006 | By Geoff Lipnevicius
Robotic welding can improve your productivity, but only if your fixturing design lets you. When you're designing fixtures for your welding application, consider your fixture's material; welding circuit optimization; orientation and deposition rates; accessibility, repeatability, simplicity, and dependability; and alternatives to fixture design when design costs are prohibitive.
January 10, 2006 | By Bob Butchart
Every press brake is subject to normal deflection under load. This deflection is corrected by shimming. If you deflect behond design limits, you will put a permanent bend in the ram and this is known as ram upset. You cannot adjust to compensate for ram upset. Remachining of the ram is the only solution. To avoid causing ram upset be careful about bending loads above your tons per inch limit and only air bend if possible.
January 10, 2006 | By William Holyoak
Tube cut-off machines have evolved to integrate end forming and bending capabilities that normally are considered secondary operations. The suitability of a cutting method to be integrated inline with end forming and bending depends on each cutting method’s characteristics and the bending and end forming requirements.
December 13, 2005 | By Doug Harris
Planning an offline band sawing system can be complicated because it can affect, and is affected by, many interrelated factors. Breaking it down to infeed, sawing, and outfeed helps to frame the planning by breaking it down to three subprocesses. Furthermore, answering 15 pertinent questions can help you tailor an efficient sawing operation to your specific facility and sawing applications.
December 13, 2005 | By Art Hedrick
Many specialty components can be used in dies, but the most commonly used are die plates, shoes, die sets, guide pins, bushings, heel blocks, heel plates, screws, dowels, and keys—all of which were explained in Part IV of this series. This article focuses on other common components—pads,...