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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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Die basics 101: Part IV

October 11, 2005 | By Art Hedrick

Stamping dies can comprise many components. This article discusses the basic components, including die plates, shoes, die sets, guide pins, bushings, heel blocks, heel plates, screws, dowels, and keys. 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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Don't let your health go up in smoke

October 11, 2005 | By Clifford Frey

Although the health effects of welding exposures often are difficult to predict, components of welding fumes have a range of toxicities that, under the right conditions, can affect many parts of the body adversely. Knowing what situations and welding process components can negatively impact your health is the first step toward learning how to protect yourself from those health hazards.

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Fitness equipment manufacturer pumps up

October 11, 2005

Paramount Fitness Corp., a manufacturer of strength training equipment, used to purchase small quantities of laser-cut parts from outside vendors. Its desire for a laser could not be justified because the quantities of parts were so low. Engineers at TRUMPF worked with Paramount to create special fixtures so that a TC L 2530 sheet metal laser could handle tubular parts. The company soon found the new laser running 10 hours per day, six days a week. In keeping with the company's strategy to reduce direct labor, it soon justified a TUBEMATIC to handle its tubular parts.

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Collaboration in the stamping industry

October 11, 2005 | By Mark Rasmussen

What is the best way to determine the optimum combination of application, design, and costs? An effective collaborative process makes the difference. Teamwork and open communication throughout the process — from prototyping to production — ensure the best design and most efficient manufacturing process, which can save millions of dollars in large projects.

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Blanking questions have you on the edge?

October 11, 2005 | By Young Seo

Reducing the damaging effects of fractures, burnishing, burrs, and rollover improves subsequent forming processes. The blanked edge condition can be improved by adjusting the punch and die clearance tolerance, shaving the area of the defected blanked edge, designing an appropriate contact profile of the tool and die, and understanding the mechanical properties of the sheet metal used.

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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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