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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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Troubleshooting Guide for Cleaners

May 15, 2006 | By Mike Pelham

Rust, wear, and dirt cost tube fabricators and producers millions of dollars annually, and they can be the bane of tube processes. Analyzing the criteria for selecting the lubricant, cleaner, and rust preventative can help provide maximum protection.

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Draw forming, Part I

May 9, 2006 | By Edmund Herman

Draw forming is one of the net shape processes, and, as a result, many of the technology advances in the general field of manufacturing have not been as beneficial to draw forming as one would expect. All too often, such advancements as lean manufacturing, statistical process control, just-in-time, and six sigma, have not resulted in benefits for draw forming.

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Structured sheet metal - Part I

May 9, 2006 | By Michael Mirtsch, Ajay Yadav

Increasing sheet metal component rigidity while reducing weight can be achieved by substituting steel with aluminum, magnesium, or titanium alloys; advanced high-strength steel (AHSS); or 3-D structured sheet metal.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 9

May 9, 2006 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

Once you have your contract and have delivered product on time and within specifications, it's time to find out how to get paid in a timely fashion.

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Die Science: Defining material specifications

May 9, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

The root cause of splitting problems in deep-drawn parts often is that the process is not designed and engineered to accept the full range of mechanical properties within the ASTM specifications.

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green tree and green grass

Race to be green

May 9, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki

Automakers are racing to introduce green technologies. Toyota is the leader in hybrid sales and plans to introduce two new models even though it will continue to lose money in the short and medium term. Instead of trying to outsell Toyota, GM has introduced flexible-fuel vehicles that run on E-85, an ethanol and gasoline mix.

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Managing success

May 9, 2006

The increasing disparity between upper management pay and blue-collar wages is creating a downward spiral that only can negatively affect our economy.

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Hitting pay dirt -- in pipe

May 9, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

Fabricating and repairing pipe in the oil-rich tar sands of Alberta, Canada, is an enormous, ongoing project that requires specialized equipment to meet a variety of challenges. John Page is a consultant in Canada who has been working on several of these projects and has learned what's needed to get the jobs done.

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Choosing a gouging method

May 9, 2006 | By Robert Fernicola

Plasma gouging and air carbon-arc gouging have their advantages and disadvantages. The most distinct differences are in cost, fume production, and necessary postcutting operations.

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Achieving quality global manufacturing networks

May 9, 2006 | By Jane Biddle, Jim Brown

This article is adapted from a report analyzing the results of a manufacturers' survey. It discusses the common quality challenges all manufacturers and explains what best-in-class manufacturers are doing with quality control to set themselves apart from the competition.

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Hot forming: Strong meets light

May 9, 2006 | By Kate Bachman

Cosma International applies its own hot-forming technique to stamping automotive metal components such as A and B pillars, roof headers, roof rails, rockers, door intrusion beams, and bumpers, to meet new CAFE standards for weight, NHTSA requirements for strength, and to counter problems with springback in UHSS components.

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A new use for hydraulic presses

May 9, 2006 | By Andreas Kinzyk

The use of high-strength steels (HSS) and ultrahigh-strength steels (UHSS) has made stamping complex structural automotive components increasingly difficult and capital-intensive. Changing from traditional stamping (at room temperature on a mechanical press) to hot stamping (at elevated temperatures on a hydraulic press, with a water-cooled die for quenching) provides a suitable alternative for OEMs that produce these challenging parts.

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Improving roll forming productivity of roofing components

May 9, 2006 | By Scott Tompson

Roll forming of roofing components for the pre-engineered building and component industries presents unique challenges for manufacturers. Tighter profile tolerances, wider product ranges, and compressed lead times present production challenges for producers running older equipment or those contemplating a move into this market. Some developments in equipment and processes that are important to producing secondary structural members include quick-change roll form tooling systems and tooling that can improve the productivity of roofing components- Cee's, Zee's, Eave Struts, Channel, and Base Angle.

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Stop pickin' up bad vibrations

May 9, 2006 | By Mitch Burdick

Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), vibration white-finger, and carpal tunnel syndrome are all side effects of vibration overexposure, which can occur through using grinders often. Find out how to prevent these effects and reduce your overexposure to vibrations from using grinders and other power tools.

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Optimizing flow through robotic welding workcells

May 9, 2006 | By Jim Berge

Robotic welding systems can enhance a company's production and bottom line. However, using these systems requires careful thought and planning, building the right infrastructure, and achieving the right balance between robotic and manual operations. This article presents an overview of one company's successful implementation of robotic welding.

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