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Simplicity 'n' press brakes

February 7, 2006 | By Dan Davis

Simplicity Manufacturing Inc. of Port Washington, Wis., needed new press brakes because it was about to increase its laser cutting capacity. The outdoor power equipment manufacturer turned to a vendor of Turkish-built press brakes for help and found the answer for which they were looking.

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Feeling overwhelmed with pressures?

February 7, 2006 | By Michael P. Schollmeier

Stampers face increasing pressure, from external and internal customers, every day. This, combined with increasing responsibilities, can cause production personnel to feel overwhelmed. Long die changeovers gobble up precious time that could be used for better purposes, leaving many production teams operating in a firefighting mode. Doing a thorough time study and using the results to eliminate time-wasting steps is the first step in implementing quick die change, freeing up some time for value-added activities, and getting control over your production processes.

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Making your way as a job shop today

February 7, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

No matter how you start up your own job shop, it takes a delicate balance to become - and remain - successful. Profitability certainly helps, but so do flexibility and diversification.

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Don't get stuck

February 7, 2006 | By Mike Wilks

Magnetic soft-belt conveyors can feed presses and transport parts from one workstation to another or from production to inspection, storage, or packaging operations. If you work with ferrous metal coils or sheets, a magnetic system may help improve plant efficiency, safety and reduce costs.

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Selecting equipment for maximum productivity

February 7, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

H. Meeuwsen B.V., a fabricator in Yerseke, Netherlands, found that purchasing a laser that could handle parts up to 12 m long greatly enhanced its capabilities. It augmented this purchase with a tandem press brake. One side of the brake has an 8-m capacity; the other has a 4-m capacity. This gives the company the ability to bend 12-m parts, if necessary, or to run the two brakes simultaneously for smaller items. Subsequent growth in customer demand led the company to consider purchasing a second laser. A careful analysis revealed that the company could do just fine with a smaller laser, so it purchased a laser with a 3-m capacity.

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Imagination fabrication

February 7, 2006 | By Kate Bachman

BCI Burke, Fond du Lac, Wis., is the oldest playground and park and recreation equipment manufacturer in the country. As the company grew and its product offerings and colors multiplied, it found it needed to address problems with long leadtimes. Burke looked at every possibility for improvement, including processes improvements, inventory organization, manufacturing equipment purchases, and personnel productivity improvements, including crosstraining.

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Understanding press feeds

February 7, 2006 | By Bruce Grant

Major technology shifts in how stamping presses are fed have allowed press feed technology to evolve, enabling stampers to realize increased processing speeds, improved processing flexibility, easier setup, and better quality and reliability. Even with today's advancements, a press feed must meet three basic and important criteria to be successful: Setup must be flexible. It must deliver the material with sufficient precision into the tool and die. It must feed at the correct time. Advancements in feed technology include pilot release, space-saving line configurations, transfer/progressive operations, and scratch-free processing.

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Happy New Year!

January 10, 2006 | By W.B. "Bud" Graham

How can we make 2006 better than 2005? One way is to adopt a few work-related new year's resolutions. The author lists five factors that hold the industry back--factors that everyone should resolve to overcome for a successful year.

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Optimizing CO2 laser use: Part I

January 10, 2006 | By David Bell

Many factors can affect laser processing efficiency. This article, Part I of a two-part series, stresses laser system maintenance and discusses factors that can affect beam quality and efficiency—namely, impurities introduced by laser gases and gas supply systems and how to prevent them. It also has a supply system requirements list. Part II discusses beam delivery to the workpiece and the gases used to process the material.

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Are company politics undermining your robotic projects?

January 10, 2006 | By Jim Berge

Success with robotics depends on many factors. Purchasing the right equipment is not enough. A company's political environment and policies regarding robotics can make or break a robotic project. This article discusses poor politics and policies and offers suggestions for achieving the right robotic environment.

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Positive ID

January 10, 2006 | By Tom Anderson, Jim Pasmore

Portable technology is available that can help fabricators positively identify the alloys used in a weldment. This is especially critical when a fabricator is trying to match a filler alloy to a base alloy and application.

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Don't fall down on the job

January 10, 2006

Companies should develop a written fall protection plan and maintain it on the job site. The plan must describe how your company will protect workers on a given work site when employees are working 10 feet or more above the ground, other work surfaces, or water.

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Who you gonna call?

January 10, 2006 | By Steve Beckman

Shopping around for a welding gases distributor involves several key issues critical to a successful long-term business-distributor relationship.

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Elements of success:

January 10, 2006 | By Mike Sammons, Bill Giese

Torches, cables, and cooling are three integral components in gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) equipment, and two cooling methods – air and water – are used in their cooling systems. Although GMAW and GTAW are different processes, the advantages and disadvantages of water- and air-cooled systems are the same. For that reason, you should consider similar factors when choosing a GMAW or GTAW system.

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Finding direction for the welding industry

January 10, 2006 | By Stephanie Vaughan

The welding industry may be the only one forecast to show any growth between now and 2012, but growth in the U.S. is threatened by a number of factors: skilled worker shortages, welding rod litigation; and what some consider the need for greed among business executives.

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