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Saving money by spending on safety

June 13, 2006 | By Ashley Hildreth

Although the upfront costs of installing machine safeguards can be expensive, it is far more expensive to put your company at risk for employee injury and the resulting medical expenses, lost production, fines, and lawsuits.

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Introduction to Tube Hydroforming

June 13, 2006 | By Gary Morphy

Under the right circumstances, hydroforming can be a viable, cost-effective manufacturing process. Tube hydroforming often produces stronger structural components than can be achieved with more conventional methods. This article explains tube hydroforming, describes its evolution, and discusses the factors that should be considered when deciding whether to use the process.

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Die Basics 101: Part VIII

June 13, 2006 | By Art Hedrick

Figure 1 Part VII of this series introduced two basic types of metals used to manufacture stamped parts—ferrous, metals that contain iron, and nonferrous, metals that do not contain iron. This article discusses the specific mechanical properties of these metals in more detail.The metal's...

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Measuring the plastic strain ratio of sheet metals

June 13, 2006 | By Richard Gedney

Determining how much a metal can deform before thinning or fracture occurs is necessary for designing a reproducible forming operation. Testing the incoming sheet material is also essential because material properties may vary from coil to coil and affect the part quality and scrap rate. Understanding a material's plastic strain ratio and how to measure it are crucial in accurately establishing a material's formability.

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Warm forming titanium parts

June 13, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Senior Editor Eric Lundin visited a fabricator that specializes in aircraft components, M-DOT Aerospace, to learn how the company uses warm-forming of titanium to manufacture a cradle for an auxiliary power unit, or APU. Understanding titanium's characteristics is the key in forming this durable, corrosion-resistant, tough material.

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Not a one-stock shop

June 13, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

After years of working in fabricating and machining, Shawn McFadden struck out on his own to start a fabrication shop, which later evolved into a custom motorcycle shop. He doesn’t use the latest CNC machines with digital readouts and other state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. He uses manually controlled machines and ingenuity.

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The wiper die's feathered edge

June 13, 2006 | By William Q. Tingley III

The mechanical aspects of rotary draw tube bending haven't changed since modern tooling was developed 50 years ago. Likewise, the role of the tooling (mandrel, pressure die, bend die, and wiper die) hasn't changed. However, tube fabricators these days have many choices in regard to the tooling, especially wiper dies. Choices include material, rake angle, and whether the wiper die's feathered edge is fully machined or honed by hand.

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A closer look at self-piercing riveting

June 13, 2006 | By Yingjie Xu

Self-piercing riviting, an alternative sheet joining method, is being used more to join aluminum sheets. The finite element method can be employed to study the SPR process and joints, perhaps even leading to the elimination of physical testing of these mechanical joints.

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Cutting right to the point

June 13, 2006 | By Ken Hall

Experience and education are allowing metal fabricators to become more familiar with circular saw blades and the saw designed to run them. Choosing and applying the correct blade, along with proper maintenance, can provide an efficient method for a metal cutting operation.

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Implementing Press Automation

June 13, 2006 | By Dean C. Phillips

To compete in a global market, all stampers need adapt their manufacturing processes. By mixing automation with electronic controls, job shops can increase output and exceed past manufacturing goals.

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What associations really do

June 13, 2006 | By Kristen Darby

Ever wonder why associations exist—what purposes they serve and why people join them? This article explains just what an association is, traces the history of associations, and describes how these organizations benefit members and the general public.

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Poor Boy Blacksmith

June 13, 2006 | By Bob Nichols

Generations ago blacksmiths served long apprenticeships and acquired the knowledge to make their own tools. Today blacksmithing often is pursued by untrained hobbyists who need economical tools. This article is about a seasoned blacksmith who uses his skills to make tools and then markets them using the latest technology.

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Fabricator puts the brake on bend inconsistency

June 13, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Well-known for agriculture, Nebraska also has a strong manufacturing base. OEMs include Kawasaki, Husqvarna, Eaton, Thermo King, Claas, and Case New Holland. Standard Iron & Wire, a Minnesota-based fabricator, opened a manufacturing facility in Grand Island, Neb., to take advantage of this fertile manufacturing environment. Chief among its concerns was finding a press brake that would produce accurate, consistent parts. It purchased two LVD press brakes with the company's adaptive bending technology.

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Job diversity through a waterjet

June 13, 2006 | By Dan Davis

Pacific Metal Cutting of Placentia, Calif., wasn't struggling when it bought its first waterjet in May 2004. After two years of waterjet ownership and the addition of a second table, the metal cutter is struggling to keep up with new business.

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Structured sheet metal

June 13, 2006 | By Ajay Yadav

Editor's Note: This article is Part II of a two-part series discussing structured sheet metal and different structuring processes. Part I compares various structuring processes. This column was prepared by Michael Mirtsch and Ajay Yadav of the Engineering Research Center for Net Shape...

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