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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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Pressing through power failures:

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.

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No good deed goes unnoticed

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.

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Shipyard work safety —

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.

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Resolving the challenges of welding coated steels

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.

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A focus on slitting lines

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.

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Software brings new intelligence to press brakes

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.

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Plasma Cutting: Then and now

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.

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Introduction to advanced high-strength steels - Part I

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.

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Die Basics 101: Part III

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.

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R&D Update: Air-assisted forming of aluminum alloy for automotive components

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.

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Getting your mojo back

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.

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Oversized V dies: the effects on bottom bending

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.

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Judging the quick and the die

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.

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Recreational tube cutting

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.

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Boiled over by laser's performance

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.

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