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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Innovative die setup and maintenance methods for tube mill cutoff

April 11, 2005 | By John Pavelec

Figure 1Tube Mill Cutoff - Left to Right - Single CutA comprehensive tooling plan that includes setting up and maintaining sufficient tools according to the original design manufacturer's (ODM) specifications is critical for efficient high-speed tube mill operation. The tube mill cutoff component...

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Using AC for Al

April 11, 2005 | By Steve Purnell

Figure 1Orbital gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) has been used in many industries since its introduction in the 1950s. Developed by the aerospace industry for welding small fittings to tubes, the process was limited by its large power supplies and cumbersome fixtures suited only to workshop...

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Tension control in tube and pipe production

April 11, 2005 | By Dr. Yunjiang Li, Harry Focht

On a tube or pipe mill, the incoming strip is formed by about 24 pairs of tool stands. To help ensure such a line runs smoothly, the strip must be pulled between every pair of stands. The parameter that indicates if or how much the strip is pulled is tension.Traditionally, tension is controlled by...

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Companies with solid training programs will survive the future

April 11, 2005 | By Michael Long

Every week I receive a phone call that goes something like this: "I need someone in here to train my guys now. We're behind in filling our customers' orders; our defects are way up; we can't keep the equipment up and running; and the guy who knew how to fix all of this retired six months ago."I try...

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Die Basics 101: Part I

April 11, 2005 | By Art Hedrick

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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The Big Three's 2005 cost challenges

April 11, 2005 | By Bernard Swiecki

A decline in the Big Three's market share, combined with rising health care and retiree costs, is contributing to extreme cost pressures for the Big Three and their suppliers.The Sales Situation2004 was a tough year in Detroit. The overall U.S. market for light-vehicle sales increased more than 1.4...

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Rising to great heights in Great Falls

April 11, 2005 | By Kate Bachman

When Waterjet Extreme Technologies (WET), Great Falls, Mont., was asked to bid on a large and lofty fabrication project as part of the Great Falls International Airport redesign, co-owners John Kramarich and Rip Rippetoe viewed the inherent challenges as opportunities to explore the limits of their capabilities while dealing with a limited budget.

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Automatic lubrication application

Optimizing spray nozzle performance for lubrication:

April 11, 2005 | By Bob Adams

Although mandrel bending is the method most likely to produce a high-quality bend, it is by no means an exact science. Material, size, bend dimensions, and machine variables make it necessary to consider each application individually—and some of these considerations require experience and...

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Evaluating in-house coil slitting

April 11, 2005 | By Jim Russell

As the cost of steel rises and profit margins shrink, small to medium-sized stampers are looking for ways to reduce costs and streamline operations while maintaining quality.One area to consider is the cost of slitting steel.Shops that run 10,000 to 50,000 tons a year usually outsource slitting....

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Analyzing coil handling equipment purchases

April 11, 2005 | By Kevin Enos

Refurbishing can be a cost-effective way to breathe new life into an old piece of equipment. This cam feed was originally built in 1974.Recent economic growth finally has spilled over to the manufacturing sector, so this might be a good time to upgrade your stamping process. While orders may be...

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Up Around the Bend

April 11, 2005 | By Scot Stevens

Red Dot Corp., forced by eroding margins to consider lean manufacturing and reduce lead times, embarked on a project to reduce wasted time, materials, and space. As part of this project, the company decided to move some of its manufacturing processes from its main plant in Seattle, Wash., to one of its distribution hubs in Ipswich, England. Because the facility would rely on a single press brake, Red Dot shopped around for a press brake that would run continuously with a minimum of service calls. The company's success in press brake operations in Ipswich led it to overhaul its press brake operations in its facilities in Seattle and Memphis, Tenn.

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Incorporating beveling economically

April 11, 2005 | By Elia Levi

While beveling is known as a common procedure used to shape the edges of thick plates or pipes for welding, not everybody knows how to make the process cost-efficient in the overall welding operation.

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Addressing behavior-based safety issues

April 11, 2005 | By Cheryl Henderson

Editor's Note: A version of this article previously appeared in the Jan./Feb. issue of Connections, FMA's member newsletter.

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See unitized tooling make a difference

April 11, 2005 | By Henry Llop

From small custom job shops to large, multibillion-dollar companies, manufacturers are accommodating shorter product life cycles to meet the rapid innovation in today's marketplace.

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Advanced lubricants improve high-strength steel forming

March 8, 2005 | By Brad Jeffery

Advanced or ultrahigh-strength steel (AHSS or UHSS) use in more than 60 percent of structural automotive stampings has changed the rules when it comes to tooling surface, heat and friction control, robotic automation, and paint pretreatment. With yield strengths now reaching production levels of...

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