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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Keeping employees well and health care costs down

February 8, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Health care costs have skyrocketed. While the medical community, insurance companies, and politicians address the issue, each group jockeying for the position that best serves their interests, employers are having to make serious decisions about whether they can continue to provide employee...

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Safety faux pas

February 8, 2005 | By Steve Benson

Figure 1 No Triggering Device Protection In the more than 25 years that I've been in the precision sheet metal trade, I have seen many examples of safety faux pas. Most were mistakes and oversights committed because of inattentiveness, lack of training, and inexperience. However,...

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Sensors help stamper get firmer foothold in motorcycle part fabrication

February 8, 2005 | By Kate Bachman

When stamper Ultra Tool & Manufacturing, Menomonee Falls, Wis., ventured upon an opportunity to produce a unique and challenging project for one of its customers, a well-known U.S. motorcycle manufacturer, the company jumped on it and put the pedal to the metal. The road to success, however, would...

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Manufacturing more efficiently south of the border

February 8, 2005

Manufacturing requires reliability and service, as John Deere Mexico found out when it researched an upgrade for manufacturing equipment. The company invested in a punch-laser combination machine and a press brake to help become a just-in-time manufacturer.

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10 frequently asked GTAW questions

February 8, 2005 | By Mike Sammons

Experienced welders know that without the right information, it's easy to sacrifice quality, lose time, and generally become frustrated with gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). And while there is merit in learning by trial and error, if you want to move toward precision GTAW, getting answers to 10...

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FMA goes to China

February 8, 2005 | By Scot Stevens

Two weeks after the first FMA China Tour group returned to the U.S., news broke that IBM had entered into talks to sell its PC business to China's largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo. That news came as no surprise to tour participants.

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Platform consolidation gradually erodes supplier business

February 8, 2005 | By Bernard Swiecki

The Big Three are in the midst of a decades long process— platform consolidation. While it will make them more cost-competitive with the Japanese automakers, it also will take away business from tooling and stamping suppliers.

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The real issues behind hydraulic press upgrades:

February 8, 2005 | By Gerry Nord

Upgrading any piece of machinery can produce anxious headaches. Often we cause our own headaches by failing truly to justify the reasons to upgrade, choosing instead simply to answer the question, "Can we afford to spend the money?"Answering that question is really easy. Either the money's...

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Fuel cell useful links

February 7, 2005

Here are some sources for manufacturing projects related to alternative energies:1. Hydrogen Fuel CellFuelCell Energy Co. - Technologies - www.utcpower.comElectroChem, Inc. - www.fuelcell.comGas Technology Institute - www.gastechnology.orgATI...

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 2

February 1, 2005 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

So you're ready to go after the biggest customer in the world: the U.S. federal government. It's time to go to that "buyer" and "sell" your company and what it can do. But before you sell to anyone, first you need to realize whom you're dealing with. The federal government is not a single entity, but a collection of usually small buying activities that work separately to purchase or procure the items they are told to get.

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Implementing a stamping sensor program—uphill

January 11, 2005 | By Kate Bachman

Stamper and toolmaker Ultra Tool & Manufacturing, Menomonee Falls, Wis. had been installing basic stamping die protection for 15 years. Whisker sensors, positive stops, and, in some cases, part-out sensors comprised the limited sensor system for dies that ran in automatic mode. However, this system...

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Metal formers: Keep an eye on monitoring program

January 11, 2005 | By Dan Davis

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a call for comments in August on whether to extend the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system and how to improve the program if it lives on. The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) of Independence, Ohio, which represents hundreds of metal...

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Tackling the costs of employer-provided health care

January 11, 2005

Editor's Note: This article is adapted from "Health Care Costs: Where Do We Go From Here?" presented by Neil Trautwein, assistant vice president, human resources policy, with the National Association of Manufacturers, at the association's Future of Manufacturing Forum July 21, 2004.

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Roll forming basics

January 11, 2005 | By Dan Mennecke

Roll forming, often called open-section forming, uses successive sets of roller dies to bend a strip of steel progressively until the desired shape is achieved. This process is very similar to traditional tube- and pipemaking, but differs in that it can form more complicated sections.

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Balancing work and life

January 11, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

To remain competitive in today's cutthroat economic environment, companies are doing more with fewer people. The tight job market can make even those employees whose work loads haven't increased feel they have to expend more effort—or even create an illusion of having to expend more effort—simply to keep their jobs. No longer is it just the workaholics among us who are working harder and putting in longer hours.

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