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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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Waste replaced

October 11, 2005 | By Stephanie Vaughan

If your welding shop hasn't implemented lean manufacturing initiatives, it's only a matter of time, the experts say. Learn and brush up on your understanding of lean manufacturing to see what tools might help boost your productivity and efficiency.

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Welding robots and lean manufacturing learn to play together

October 11, 2005 | By Jim Berge

With careful analysis and planning, automation can be an integral, cost saving component of lean manufacturing.

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Successful tradeshow tips for attendees and exhibitors

October 11, 2005 | By Pat Lee

Getting the most from a tradeshow takes more effort than just being there. Following a few common tips, both attendees and exhibitors can maximize the tradeshow experience.

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The benefits of materials engineering

October 11, 2005 | By Michael Pfeifer

U.S. stampers are missing an opportunity to gain a competitive edge by offering materials engineering support, which often is lacking within OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Many stampers take the position that they "just build to a print"—but so do overseas shops.

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Laser cutting and welding with one tool

October 11, 2005 | By Dirk Petring, Ph.D.

Today's laser sources have the power and beam quality needed to cut and join metal in an expeditious and repetitious manner. The market demands that type of flexible production, so those characteristics are basic requirements in modern laser devices. The market demands also have promoted the idea of multifunctional processing. That has led to the development of a combination head capable of laser cutting and welding 3-D metal work pieces.

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Introduction to advanced high-strength steels

September 13, 2005 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Part I of this two-part series presented an overview of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). This article addresses issues encountered when processing these grades.Using AHSS in appropriate applications offers opportunities for reduced product weight, enhanced crash performance, manufacturing...

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Introduction to advanced high-strength steels - Part II

September 13, 2005 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

Understanding and compensating for the challenges associated with processing advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) can help you minimize springback, edge cracking, trimming, wrinkling, and die wear.

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Tube mill cutoff die setup for square and rectangular profiles

September 13, 2005 | By John J. Pavelec

When properly selected and utilized, single-cut die sets can produce top-quality cut ends on square and rectangular tubing. This article discusses the criteria for selecting and using the die sets to achieve the best results.

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Keys to success in laser welding

September 13, 2005 | By David Havrilla

Although a firm grasp of laser physics, metallurgy, tooling and fixturing, weld process parameters, and part strength testing is necessary to implement laser technology in any manufacturing facility, it's also critical to think of other issues that will impact the success of your laser use. Some keys to a successful laser project include involving production personnel early in the process, choosing a laser technology advocate, considering your shop's ambient environment, using trained operators and maintenance personnel, and planning for spare parts and maintenance.

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Safety: The burning issue in oxyfuel torch use

September 13, 2005 | By John Uccellini

While flashback arrestors help prevent backfires and flashbacks in oxyfuel torches, no device replaces the necessity for safe operating practices and properly maintained oxyfuel torch equipment.

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Get your schedule in order

September 13, 2005 | By Bob Szabo

The quality of resistance-welded components depends on the weld schedule, which comprises several machine settings. Although many resistance welding machine and electrode suppliers offer standard weld schedules for common metal combination, special weld schedules often are necessary to address increased use of special metals, joint combinations, coatings, and weld-through sealants and adhesives.

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AHSS Tooling Requires Greater Protection

September 13, 2005 | By Brad Jeffery

Tools are subject to extreme wear during AHSS forming. Using the right lubricant can help increase tool life.

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Trends for stainless steel tube in automotive applications

September 13, 2005 | By Kate Bachman

Evidence that stainless steel has potential as a material for automotive components—for its high strength-to-weight ratio for overall weight reduction, good dent performance, corrosion resistance, and formability—was presented by ISSF members at the SAE International™ 2004 SAE World Congress, in Detroit.

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Want a firsthand look at manufacturing in China?

September 13, 2005 | By Eric Lundin

China has been in the news extensively during the past couple of years, and developments in 2005 have intensified the focus on the world's most populous country. Chinese companies Hair and China National Offshore Oil Co. put in bids on U.S. companies (Maytag and Unocal); meanwhile, the People's Bank of China unhooked the yuan from the dollar in favor of linking the yuan to a basket of foreign currencies. This is the perfect time to embark on a tour to get a better understanding of the country's manfacturing capabilities, so FMA, TPA, and Thermatool Corp. teamued up to organize the tube- and pipe-oriented tour of the country.

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9 Questions About Annular Cutting

September 13, 2005 | By Darwyn Jones

One way to avoid dimpling and deburring while making holes in tube and pipe is use annular cutters. Because annular cutters are hollow, there is no dead-zone resistance to overcome. Knowing how to use an annular cutter and what to watch for can help avoid problems and extend tool wear.

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