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.
December 13, 2005 | By Ron Wood
Work-related ergonomic injuries can exact a high price from employers and employees in both factory and office environments. Even a few incidents can deal a severe financial blow to small and medium-sized companies. Identifying potential risks and developing and implementing an effective ergonomics program can help reduce injuries and costs.
December 13, 2005 | By Hanhui Li
Roll-formed parts are subject to end distortion when the parts are cut at the end of the roll-forming line. Understanding the forces that contribute to end distortion is the first step to balancing the forces and eliminating end distortion.
December 13, 2005
A new laser cutter, a new panel bender, and two older punching and shearing combination machines, connected to a new automatedstorage-and-retieval system have helped an Indianapolis job shop stay on top of emergnecy orders that normally come its way.
December 13, 2005
Great Dane Trailers, one of the world's largest trailer manufacturers, wanted to consolidate on one CAD/CAM software system across its nine manufacturing locations. Following a recommendation from one of its machine suppliers, the company adopted SigmaNEST CAD/CAM nesting software, and just in a nick of time.
December 13, 2005 | By Dan Davis
The traditional belt conveyors used to remove scrap from the stamping operations at American Trim's facility on Baxter Street in Lima, Ohio, just couldn't stand up to the gritty shop environment. The company found a successful alternative with a belt-less material movement solution from GSW Press Automation.
December 13, 2005 | By John Heuring
With its higher tensile and yield strengths, HSS is stronger at any given gauge than conventional "mild" steels. Initially, lighter-gauge HSS was used to replace heavier-gauge mild steel to reduce weight in many automotive parts, and this continues to be the most widely used application for HSS. However, as a new trend to run thicker and thicker gauges of HSS continues, stamping fabricators are evaluating their press feeding and coil handling equipment, as well as press tonnage capacities and die designs to ensure that these harder parts can be formed effectively. The dynamics of HSS have a bearing on feeding, straightening, and coil handling equipment.
Electron beam welding is useful for many applications -- steel, aluminum, and exotic metals; thick, structural sections or thin, delicate components; and harsh conditions such as alternating loads and low temperatures. A programmable controller allows engineers to tailor the electron beam's power distribution, thereby creating a unique weld for each application. EBW often is used in applications that have stringent joint tightness and strength requirements and, in some cases, it is used for welds that cannot be done with any other joining method.
December 13, 2005 | By Richard Allman
In roll forming, non-stop punching and shear systems have traditionally employed simple open-loop control methods. Closed-loop (also called servo-based) systems can overcome many limitations of the open-loop design and yield higher line speeds, reduce downtime, and reduce scrap.
December 13, 2005 | By Thorsten Frauenpreiss
Laser beam sources with higher output powers and improved beam qualities have expanded the range of laser applications. Most system's lasers have power higher than 2 kW. Higher power does not always increase the speed, however. Increasing the power during thermal cutting value may cause increased heat-affected zones on the material and place higher demands on the motion system, thus limiting the cutting speed. A new patented cutting machine, the diffusion-cooled CO2 slab laser, may offer improved beam quality and smaller focus diameters under conditions comparable to conventional fast-axial-flow CO2 laser with 4-kW output power.
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.
November 8, 2005 | By Taylan Altan, Ph.D.
In recent studies, dry-film lubricants have been shown to give better lubrication conditions when compared to oil-based liquid lubricants. This factor, as well as savings in the amount of lubricant used, has helped increase the use of dry-film lubricants in the automotive industry for forming of aluminum and high-strength steel stamped parts
Given the range of advanced high-strength steels to be introduced into automotive bodies over the next decade, automakers must recognize the implication of non-traditional resistance spot weld failure modes.
November 8, 2005 | By Art Hedrick
Unnecessary die repair stems from several basic shortcomings, namely poor die design, setup procedures, tool design, and maintenance techniques.
November 8, 2005
Manufacturers that track and address the effectiveness of their workplace practices make recruiting and retaining talent a key part of their strategy—a huge competitive advantage.
November 8, 2005
Automotive parts manufacturer Pridgeon & Clay was looking for a way to manage the growth it was forecasting. The company decided to buy several robotic welding workcells and modular air filtration systems so it could rearrange the facility's layout and give the company the opportunity to buy one piece of equipment at a time.