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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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.
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...
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....
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...