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Loading up on quality, productivity, safety

June 12, 2003

Like the products it manufactures, CNH Global N.V. has to stay on the move—technologically.The company's Wichita, Kan., facility uses robotic weldingto help produce Case- and New Holland-brand skid steer loaders.Powerful yet quick, skid steers can spin on a dime and move heavy loads of...

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R&D Update: Dieless NC forming

June 12, 2003

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Dieless NC forming or incremental sheet forming is a numerically controlled incremental process that can produce complex shapes from various materials. The process is based on localized plastic deformation in the sheet metal blank. It was developed as an alternative manufacturing method to prototype sheet metal stampings and produce panels in small lot sizes.

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Inline process auditing

June 12, 2003

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Imagine this: The line is running smoothly, delivery is tight but on schedule, it is 10 minutes to shift change, and suddenly Art the quality control inspector runs by the office window shouting, "We've got bad parts coming out!" You shut the line down, your production supervisor comes running, Art is grabbing as many parts as he can to start checking, and the operator is thinking, "I should run now and let the second shift deal with it."

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Looking to the future

June 12, 2003

A growing manufacturing base in the Southeast spurred Thompson Steel in the mid-1990s to research what type of equipment to purchase for its new facility in Fountain Inn, S.C. The steel supplier had been shipping coils of slit steel from its plants in Baltimore; Franklin Park, Ill.; and Rome, Ga., almost daily to several customers in the area.

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Dealing with internal pressure in free hydraulic bulging

June 12, 2003

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For hydraulic tube bulging, direct pressure control is the most commonly used process. Pressure control allows engineers to determine the correct capacity hydraulic system and, more importantly, prevent tube rupture. However, inflow control, or control of the volume of fluid inside the tube, theoretically could be another viable hydroforming process. Finite element analysis has shown that inflow control could allow engineers to more accurately predict deformation behavior and therefore enhance the hydroforming process.

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Waste not, want not

June 12, 2003

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Any manufacturing process that goes awry can result in waste in many forms, both obvious and hidden. A simple project in which tube is cut, bent, formed, and welded can result in large amounts of wasted money and time if one of the processes goes wrong.

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Lean manufacturing

Using technology to implement lean manufacturing

June 12, 2003

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Lean manufacturing is more than a buzzword. It is key to improving a company's floor performance, customer responsiveness, and, ultimately, its bottom line. Yet few manufacturers truly understand what it takes to implement the concept.

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What's that material?

June 12, 2003

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Many alloys—stainless steels, HASTELLOY®, INCONEL®, INCOLOY®, MONEL®, duplex and superduplex alloys—are similar in appearance and easily mixed up after mill test reports (MTRs) and heat stamps are removed in material processing. These mix-ups can have serious consequences to the end user, including product rework, factory downtime, or premature product failure. A single mistake may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in materials and labor to correct. In addition, any loss of consumer confidence resulting from shipping incorrect material carries incalculable costs.

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Understanding weld discontinuities

June 12, 2003

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A welder's primary concern in any kind of work is ensuring his weld is sound. For this reason, it's important for an inspector examining the weld to be able to spot a variety of weld discontinuities, including:Porosity.Incomplete fusion.Incomplete joint penetration.Unacceptable weld...

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Making your own punch and dies

May 29, 2003

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How many times have you looked through huge piles of blueprints for a prototype part or short-run job and thought, "If only I had that tool, this job would be a piece of cake?"

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Defibrillators—Should you have one in your workplace?

May 29, 2003

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This article explores the facts about AEDs, the legalities surrounding their use by laypersons, and guidelines for implementing an AED program in the workplace.

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Art From the Forge

May 29, 2003

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Those of you who are busy fulfilling commissions for gates, fences, staircases, and the myriad items that keep food on the table might want to look at artwork created by people whose backgrounds are based in the arts. Metalworkers often are so tuned to traditional designs that they are unaware of a swelling modern movement that could generate new ideas, new visions, and new clients.

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Robots and dials and knobs—oh my!

May 29, 2003

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In the late 1950s, the U.S. Navy wanted to find a way to join heavy aluminum structural sections used to fabricate motor torpedo boat hulls.

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Take the old with the new - Selecting saw blades with new technologies in mind

May 29, 2003

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New methods for cutting tube and pipe have been introduced to welding shops in the last few years—methods designed not only to cut metal, but also to cut costs.

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Spinning your wheels?

May 29, 2003

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Grinding wheels used in welding and fabrication are strong, tough tools, but many in the industry have called them "rocks" or "stones," implying that they're unbreakable.

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