Articles

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.

Filter Content

Taking the danger out of bottom bending

March 7, 2006 | By Steve Benson

It is all too easy to ruin a tool or upset a ram if bottom bending is done incorrectly, which is why many manufacturers do not recommend bottom bending when using their equipment or tooling. Understanding V-die selection and the effects of your decisions should be first and foremost in any bending operation, including bottom bending.

Continue Reading

Guidelines for tungsten electrodes

March 7, 2006 | By Mike Sammons

Choosing one of the six commonly available tungsten electrodes is a crucial first step in successful gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). In addition, tip preparation is critical. The electrode choices are pure tungsten, 2 percent thoriated, 2 percent ceriated, 1.5 percent lanthanated, zirconiated, and rare earth. The end preparations are balled, pointed, and truncated.

Continue Reading

A tale of two welders

March 7, 2006 | By Jennifer Simpson

George Bright and David Anthony are two welders who had the same goal: to upgrade their GTAW systems. Learn about their experiences and gain some insight into what you need to know to upgrade from an air-cooled to a water-cooled GTAW system.

Continue Reading

Up with energy prices and wind towers - Automation, consultation help plate fabricator meet demand for wind tower masts

February 7, 2006 | By Sue DiBianca

With the recent increases in gasoline and natural gas prices, more attention than ever is focused on alternative energy sources. One fabricator, Aerisyn LLC, investigated manufacturing towers for use in the wind power industry. To produce towers efficiently enough to compete against imports from Asia, Aerisyn relied on an equipment vendor that had experience in demanding fields such as aerospace, nuclear, and wind power.

Continue Reading

Machine safeguarding with optoelectronic sensors

February 7, 2006 | By Israel E. Alguindigue

Optoelectronic sensing devices safeguard machine access and prevent injuries related to hazardous machine motion. The ultimate goals are to prevent access to the hazard, eliminate the hazard before access is attained, and prevent the unintended operation of a machine.

Continue Reading

Maintaining a slitting line

February 7, 2006 | By Flix Remrez

A slitting line can operate efficiently for 20 or more years if properly maintained. Modern slitting lines are high-performance machines that are intended to produce 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a result, stampers must be sure that all line elements are properly maintained, which represents a titanic effort if you don't understand what components are critical.

Continue Reading

The big squeeze

February 7, 2006 | By Kathleen McLaughlin

Three companies dominating the market is a distant memory as Japanese and European automakers' market shares steadily increase. The Big Three has evolved into the New 6 that includes Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler. Suppliers tied to the Big Three will have to make a negative adjustment to remain profitable.

Continue Reading

Are you still settling for good enough?

February 7, 2006 | By Woodruff Imberman

A study of executives at several tube and pipe fab shops revealed that the executives and managers are ensnared by four potential traps: talking instead of doing, failing to see the big picture, avoiding listening, and failing to communicate.

Continue Reading

Die basics 101: Part VI

February 7, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Previous articles in this series discussed common stamping die components. This article focuses on less common specialty components found only in certain dies, most of which are available from various suppliers.Figure 1Inidie Tapping UnitsImage courtesy of Danly IEM.In-die Tapping UnitsMany dies...

Continue Reading

Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part IX:

February 7, 2006 | By Gary Morphy

In this article Gary Morphy reviews high-pressure and pressure sequence hydroforming and discusses factors to consider when deciding which process is best for a particular application. The decision should be based in part on anticipating future needs.

Continue Reading

Hanging it up

February 7, 2006 | By Marty Rice

In his farewell article for thefabricator.com, reader-favorite author and welding instructor Marty Rice reflects on his life, his welding career, writing for the Web site, and his appreciation for the readers who have contacted him throughout the years. He also expresses his view about the decline of welding training programs.

Continue Reading

A new energy in appliance manufacturing

February 7, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

In January 2006, a new 13 SEER mandate for appliancemakers takes effect. Although it isn't the only thing driving change in manufacturers' product designs, it is providing a springboard for manufacturers to make changes in their products that will help meet increasing customer demands.

Continue Reading

10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 6

February 7, 2006 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

When you price out your bid, you get to be the expert - but that also means a lot of responsibility. Learn what you need to know to price out your bid to the federal government.

Continue Reading

Simplicity 'n' press brakes

February 7, 2006 | By Dan Davis

Simplicity Manufacturing Inc. of Port Washington, Wis., needed new press brakes because it was about to increase its laser cutting capacity. The outdoor power equipment manufacturer turned to a vendor of Turkish-built press brakes for help and found the answer for which they were looking.

Continue Reading

Feeling overwhelmed with pressures?

February 7, 2006 | By Michael P. Schollmeier

Stampers face increasing pressure, from external and internal customers, every day. This, combined with increasing responsibilities, can cause production personnel to feel overwhelmed. Long die changeovers gobble up precious time that could be used for better purposes, leaving many production teams operating in a firefighting mode. Doing a thorough time study and using the results to eliminate time-wasting steps is the first step in implementing quick die change, freeing up some time for value-added activities, and getting control over your production processes.

Continue Reading