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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Die Basics 101: Part II

June 14, 2005 | By Art Hedrick

Figure 1EmbossingAll forming operations deform sheet material by exposing it to tension, compression, or both. Most part defects, such as splits and wrinkles, occur in forming operations. Successful sheet metal forming relies heavily on the metal's mechanical properties. The metal being formed must...

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How sleep deprivation affects work performance

June 14, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2003 the average U.S. male slept 8.48 hours in a 24-hour period. The average U.S. female slept 8.65 hours. While both averages surpass the recommended eight hours for adults, recent studies indicate that the vast majority of...

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Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part VIII: Dimensional Stability

June 14, 2005 | By Gary Morphy

Whether they are producing automobiles or hydroforming press parts, designers, manufacturers, and assembly personnel are very concerned about dimensional stability. Surfaces and holes must be located in a specified range and smaller is better. Concern escalates as the drive to improve quality and reduce build tolerances and problems increases.

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Fatigue Failures

June 14, 2005 | By Elia Levi

Fatigue causes the majority of mechanical element failures in structures and machinery. It is important to understand the causes of the failure and how to prevent or repair it.

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The blades of Don Fogg—a cut above

June 14, 2005 | By Bob Nichols

This 11.375-in. blade was forged from 1095 steel; the habaki* is made from 40 percent shibuichi, gold-plated nickel silver seppa, and Damascus tsuba.*See glossary at the end of the article for swordsmithing terms. Photo courtesy of Don Fogg.What is it about forged and polished steel sharpened to an...

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Reoiling technologies for stampers:

June 14, 2005 | By Douglas Goetz

The stamping environment has been host to numerous attempts at process improvements over the past few years—some very successful, others discarded as unappealing lessons learned.

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Die lubrication: the big picture

June 14, 2005 | By Steven Rainwater

When considering a die lubrication method, you should be sure to evaluate its effect on your entire operation. While most of us focus on how lubrication affects just the manufacture of parts, a close look reveals that it affects many other aspects of running a plant. However, many of them are not obvious.

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Band sawing in short order

June 14, 2005 | By Dave Burkhart

Many metal fabricators, machine manufacturers, welding repair shops, and steel service centers encounter unique metal separation problems, particularly with band sawing. They often have to cut a variety of metal grades, shapes, and sizes with only a few band saw machines.

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Taking a long-term view of press brake productivity

June 14, 2005 | By David Bishop

Reducing nonvalue-added time—back guauge origin, nonprecison clamping surfaces, die shimming, scrap, and inefficient tooling storage—over time can save thousands.

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Metal on his mind

June 14, 2005 | By Stephanie Vaughan

Most people are happy just to get their thoughts down on paper. Mike Ingram takes it a step farther, capturing what he sees in his mind in the metal he shapes and welds.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 4

June 1, 2005 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

Before we address getting the bid package, read the following. If you believe that you can find one bid – that one special bid – and put all your eggs in that basket, consider this: "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've...

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Reinventing the wheel - Automated line reduces in-process inventory, increases production flexibility

May 10, 2005

Kawasaki's production encompasses several wheel sizes and designs, which require more than 60 different dies. To become more efficient, the manufacturer wanted two complete press lines—one to make round and rectangular blanks directly from coil and one to stamp finished disks.

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Metal manufacturing's greatest concerns

May 10, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Figure 1March 2005 "Fabricating Update" Survey ResultsIn a recent "Fabricating Update" newsletter, we asked subscribers to choose their operations' leading concerns from factors often cited as contributing to manufacturing's woes. Steel prices—the No. 1 response—outranked the next...

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Electrical safety practices save lives

May 10, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Cord- and plug-connected equipment without a grounded connectorElectricity improves life. During power failures, much work and many routine activities grind to a halt. However, electricity can cause serious injury and even death if you fail to follow electrical safety practices, particularly in the...

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It's all about tool selection -- or is it?

May 10, 2005 | By Steve Benson

Figure 1 The radius gauge fits squarely into the bend. Air forming, bottom bending, and coining are different forming methods that can be used to create various bends—sharp, radius, and profound-radius. Throw in a mix of operators and engineers with different ideas of what each...

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