Articles 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, 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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Coil feed line considerations when stamping HSS

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.

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Characteristics of electron beam welding

December 13, 2005 | By B.E. Paton, Kevin Bartels

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.

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In the loop on closed-loop roll forming?

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.

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Looking to higher power for laser speed?

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.

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Creating an efficient offline band sawing system

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.

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R&D Update: Evaluating dry film lubricants for automotive applications Part III

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

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Advanced materials require advanced knowledge

November 8, 2005 | By Jerry E. Gould, Warren Peterson

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.

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Die maintenance. Die repair.

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.

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Measuring up: Benchmarking your workplace practices

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.

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Taking one step at a time

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.

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Just say no to rework

November 8, 2005 | By Chuck Wahr

Most imperfections related to band sawing that cause rework can be avoided by following proper band sawing techniques and strategies including preventive maintenance, choosing the proper band saw blade, and using less fluid.

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Safety Bingo

November 8, 2005 | By Mark Paulson

An effective safety awareness program keeps safety uppermost in employees' minds, reduces accidents, and has a positive impact on the bottom line. This article describes one company's program that's both effective and fun. It might be just what you need to help improve your company's safety record and bottom line

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Tube-bend tooling: square-back wiper dies or wiper inserts?

November 8, 2005 | By Barry Rooney

Wiper dies are a fundamental requirement in modern tube bending applications in which tubes are bent at increasingly tight bend radii with increasingly thinner wall thicknesses. The design of the wiper die plays a key role in its performance and durability, as does its manufacturing method and the material from which it has been constructed.

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Growing gains with lasers

November 8, 2005 | By Stephanie Vaughan

Jeff Adams may have taken the nontraditional route in manufacturing by starting out in the laser equipment vendor community, but he has since moved to the job shop side of the industry, using his laser knowledge and expertise to help grow his 12-year-old laser job shop in Libertyville, Ill.

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Details on Domex 700 MC

November 8, 2005 | By Mikael Reinberth

Domex 700 MC, an extra-high-strength HSLA steel, can use milling and thermal cutting to prepare a joint for welding and most common fusion welding methods to joint it -- but a few specifics regarding filler metal are important to know before welding this steel.

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