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Tube and pipe bending trends

July 11, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Interviews with several tube-bending equipment-makers reveal that tube bending is becoming more complex every day, for a number of reasons. Manufacturers try to decrease material usage and go to stronger, difficult-to-bend materials with thinner walls; many manufactured items are smaller than ever before; and bends have to be smoother, especially in exhaust systems. Meanwhile, fabricators are split into two camps: High-volume OEM that are increasingly dependent on advanced controls and flexible workcells, and job shops that still get by on less sophisticated, manually operated equipment.

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Lean implementation failures

July 11, 2006 | By Richard Kallage

The most important parts of lean implementation are preparation—especially an objective assessment and development of the business and technical cases for lean—leadership that can get things done, appropriate training, resolution of people issues, and well-designed deployment methods.

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21st century stamping material specifications

July 11, 2006 | By Edmund Herman

Advanced technology in the metal stamping industry has rendered obsolete traditional methods of selecting, specifying, and supplying material. Using modern technology to quantify materials can reduce the occurrence of material variation exceeding the die and process capabilities and make die development a much more efficient process.

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Baled out

July 11, 2006

With growth coming fast and future expansions likely, this Tier 1 auto supplier replaced its capacity-limited scrap baling system with an autoloading conveyor system to maximize ROI and productivity.

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Draw forming, Part II

June 16, 2006 | By Edmund Herman

In draw forming, measurement and quantification are essential to ensuring part quality for the customer. However, the product requirements and the product input variables have different metrics and different conceptual meanings, which seems to defy direct engineering. Three processing variables can be adjusted during production to ensure the part is formed correctly.

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Structured sheet metal - Part II

June 13, 2006 | By Michael Mirtsch, Ajay Yadav

Vault-structured sheet metal undergoes very little strain hardening during structuring, so it can be deformed further into shapes such as cans, containers, washing machine drums, thin-walled detector tubes, heat exchangers, and light reflectors.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 10

June 13, 2006 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

Although the last step in the bidding process is to submit your bid, your final step in working with the government is never to give up and to apply what you learned throughout the process to every government job opportunity.

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Evaluating dry film lubricants for automotive applications Part II

June 13, 2006

The ironing test developed at the ERC/NSM reproduces production conditions of contact pressure up to 94 kilopounds per square inch (KSI) and temperatures up to 300 degrees F to quantitatively evaluate lubricant performance.

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Evaluating dry film lubricants for automotive applications Part I

June 13, 2006

In recent studies, dry-film lubricants have been shown to give better lubrication conditions 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.

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Tube hydroforming for expanded design options

June 13, 2006 | By Paul Tauzer

Hydroforming has become a favored technology for automotive parts because it allows manufacturers to increase a component's strength, reduce its weight, and reduce the number of parts in an assembly. Another important benefit, one that is often overlooked, is the increase in design freedom this technology allows. Engineers and designers must be aware of the factors that restrict design freedom, such as material characteristics and press limitations, and alternatives such as annealing and axial feeding that help work around these limitations.

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A review of common nondestructive tests

June 13, 2006 | By Mark Willcox, George Downes

Five types of nondestructive testing are common for tube and pipe weld inspection, and each has advantages and disadvantages that may make one more suitable than another for your inspections.

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Flushing out four-letter words: rust, dirt, and wear (Part II)

June 13, 2006 | By Mike Pelham

A tubular assembly is cleaned in an Alliance Aquamaster CD-3000 rotary-drum cleaning system with wash and heated blowoff. The drum is constructed of stainless steel and includes spiral flights and part "kicker" bars. Photo courtesy of Alliance Manufacturing Inc., Fond du Lac, Wis....

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Envelope, please!

June 13, 2006 | By W.B. "Bud" Graham

Bud Graham revisits his January/February column on problems that plague tube mills (or nearly any manufacturing company, for that matter) and shares some reader feedback. Also, he provides the runners-up and winner of a caption contest for a photo that also appeared in the January/February issue.

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Die Science: Die building

June 13, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

In any stamping process including progressive dies, transfer dies, or line dies, three factors are essential to consider when processing a piece of flat metal into a finished part: What is the metal? What is the metal's thickness? What are the part tolerances?

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SUVs: A profit center in flux

June 13, 2006 | By Bernard Swiecki

As oil hovers around $60 per barrel, SUVs aren't that cool anymore. Many view them as dinosaurs, remnants of '90s excess that have no place in a thriftier, more environmentally conscious century.

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