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.
November 9, 2004
Editor's Note: This column was prepared by the staff of Winning Workplaces, a not-for-profit organization that helps small and midsized businesses create better work environments.Employee reward programs can be a great way to motivate staff. If set up correctly, they are a win/win proposition that...
November 9, 2004 | By Art Hedrick
As a consultant and educator, I travel to numerous die shops and stamping plants, and almost all of them have the same basic request:"Can you show these tooling guys how to make the dies run better?"I hear comments like "We sure have a lot of downtime and scrap, not to mention the usual problems...
November 9, 2004 | By Kate Bachman
Contract manufacturer Morton Metalcraft talks about how it faces challenges in fabricating weldments and assemblies for heavy-duty equipment, including ramping up after a slowdown—with machines, manpower, and material, and revising material flow.
November 9, 2004 | By Alec Banish
Tube fabricators use a variety of methods—sawing, lathe cutting, rotary cutting, supported shear cutting, dual-blade shear cutting, and laser cutting—to cut tubing from mill lengths into shorter pieces for use in final fabrication. No single method is optimal for cutting the broad range of tubular materials and tubular shapes produced by this industry.
November 9, 2004 | By Rick Wester
Folding machines aren't the fastest machines for bending sheet metal, but for low- to medium-volume production, they can provide an efficient bending process. Because the equipment operator does not support the weight of the material during the bending cycle, folding machines are well suited to large, bulky parts. Also, part quality is not dependent on an operator's skill.
November 9, 2004 | By Voss Aerospace
Every day Voss Aerospace faces challenges that vary as much as the materials its welders join and fabrication processes they use.
November 9, 2004 | By Greg Dickerson
As I entered the clean, well-lit Midwest factory one day, I found several relatively new presses and feeder systems. The shop floor appeared to be well-organized, with material steadily flowing into and away from the presses. The employees seemed to know their jobs and were on task.But when I...
November 9, 2004 | By Girish P. Kelkar
Multiple-impulse welding isn't uncommon, but it's not usually the first choice for most resistance welding applications. However, experiments with this type of resistance welding demonstrate that it has a wider range of applications, especially when its modified heat balance is understood
November 8, 2004 | By Vicki Bell
Editor's Note: Originally published on December 11, 2003.It's that time of year when companies celebrate the holidays. Whether the celebration involves a lavish holiday party held off-site or a casual get-together in the office, both party organizers and attendees should follow safe practices, not...
November 1, 2004 | By Gerald Davis
Editor's Note: This is the eleventh episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." He has been advised to develop a feedback system and to become a master of metrology.My guru missed my joking attempt at yoda-speak. "Meteorology is the study of weather,...
Editor's Note: This is the first in a 10-part series intended to help fabricators develop a plan to obtain a government contract. This series is a follow-up to John DiGiacomo's article "Fact, fiction, and the feds: Dispelling myths about selling to the government." Several steps are necessary to...
October 12, 2004 | By Richard Sutherlin
Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a three-part series on welding zirconium. Part I addresses metallurgy, weld preparation, and shielding techniques. Part II covers welding technique. Part III discusses additional methods of joining refractory metals.
October 12, 2004 | By Gerald Davis
Editor's Note: This is the tenth episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about understanding that your niche is only part of the strategic planning job."Remind me of what you have tried so far to improve your cash flow," my...
October 12, 2004 | By William Pfister
Never before has competition been greater in the metal stamping industry, both domestically and worldwide.
October 12, 2004 | By Art Hedrick
Establishing a good buying procedure is a critical aspect of the tool purchasing process. All too often tool supplier expectations are not communicated and executed effectively. Miscommunication can cause you to purchase a die that doesn't produce good parts, needs constant attention, wears out prematurely, or has other problems.