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.
September 13, 2005 | By John Meyer
When BMW Dingolfing (Germany) decided to modernize one of its transfer presses, the desired benefits included increased line availability, increased production through the use of an electronic transfer system, and reduced maintenance. However, one of its highest priorities was to minimize or eliminate the risk of production loss caused by interruptions to the power supply.
September 13, 2005 | By Stephanie Vaughan
Being a good welder often means more than on-the-job performance. Whether it's volunteering to help others or otherwise giving back to one's community, these welders are examples of so many who take their time to give of themselves on the job — and outside the office.
September 13, 2005 | By Vicki Bell
Shipyard work is among the most hazardous occupations. Researching possible dangers and following standards and recommended guidelines can reduce injuries and illnesses and prevent OSHA fines.
September 13, 2005 | By Kevin Lyttle
The increased use of coated steels has resulted in an intensified search for solutions to the problems posed by joining these materials. High levels of spatter and welding fume, weld porosity, and poor bead shape are common. These problems lead to increased post-weld cleaning costs, reduced quality, greater rework, and an overall reduction in productivity. The right wire size and type, matched with the most appropriate shielding gas, can substantially improve gas metal arc welding (GMAW) performance on galvanized and coated steels.
September 13, 2005 | By Ken Shoop
As manufacturing has moved overseas, the U.S. slitting market has become saddled with overcapacity. Coil processors can improve efficiencies by upgrading the equipment they use in the following areas: coil storage, changeovers in coil and slitting tooling; scrap handling; and tensioning.
September 13, 2005 | By Todd Kirchoff
The types of press brake projects that remain in the U.S. tend to be those requiring smaller lot sizes, shorter turnarounds, and more complex shapes than those going offshore. Enter the need for smart press brakes—those with the capability to store and apply process intelligence. Today's shrinking lead times and smaller lot sizes demand more frequent setups, which cut into production hours. Graphical machine controls and offline programming can help maximize operational time by eliminating the time for trial-and-error setup and improving first-part accuracy.
September 13, 2005 | By Matt Walsh
To get a better idea of just how far plasma cutting has coe, let's take a look at where it started and where it's headed.
August 9, 2005 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler
Advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) offer enhanced formability. This article discusses the properties and performance of various grades.
August 9, 2005 | By Art Hedrick
Many factors come into play when choosing a production method for stamping. This article discusses and explains the advantages and disadvantages of line dies, transfer dies, and progressive dies. This article is one of a 16-part series on the fundamentals of stamping. Descriptions of all the articles in this series, and links to them, can be found at the end of this article.
August 9, 2005 | By Taylan Altan, Ph.D.
Reducing weight while maintaining or improving functional requirements is one of the major goals of automotive design and manufacturing, as it decreases fuel consumption and improves structural design. As a result of these considerations, the use of aluminum alloys in car manufacturing continues to increase, not only in body panels but also in structural, power train, and suspension components.
August 9, 2005 | By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.
Organizations can be only as energized and focused as their leaders. This article discusses how leaders can replenish their own waning energy levels and refocus.
August 9, 2005 | By Steve Benson
Using oversized V dies in bottom bending can damage press brakes and tooling, but used properly, these dies can help compensate for springback.
August 9, 2005 | By Kate Bachman
Overseas competition, high material costs, just-in-time schedules, demanding quality requirements, stringent safety standards, and industry consolidation are the forces driving trends in the quick die change industry, industry experts say. These forces have intensified the need for quick-die-change equipment and processes, as well as for larger quick die change equipment, equipment that will not damage sensors, and more efficient die storage that can be integrated with quick die change equipment.
August 9, 2005 | By Dan Davis
In the 1990s, Polaris Industries Inc. realized it needed to rethink the way tube fabricating was done at its Osceola, Wis., facility. Laser tube cutting proved to be the answer.
August 9, 2005 | By Dan Davis
Kvaerner Power Inc.'s Fairmont, W.V., metal fabricating operation needed new market opportunities and someone to take over plasma cutting chores after its business partner went out of business. They found a Pennsylvania job shop to help with metal cutting and eventually learned that a 3-D laser could help them bring their outsourced jobs back in-house and that the laser could lead to new business.