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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The Big Three's 2005 cost challenges

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...

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Rising to great heights in Great Falls

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.

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Automatic lubrication application

Optimizing spray nozzle performance for lubrication:

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...

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Evaluating in-house coil slitting

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....

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Analyzing coil handling equipment purchases

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...

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Up Around the Bend

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.

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Incorporating beveling economically

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.

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Addressing behavior-based safety issues

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.

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See unitized tooling make a difference

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.

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Advanced lubricants improve high-strength steel forming

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...

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Are your weld procedure specifications relevant?

March 8, 2005 | By Paul Cameron

In fabrication shops that require code or standard compliance, welding sometimes isn't completed within the guidelines of the qualified weld procedure. Weld inspectors often must review finished products that don't make the intended customer happy. Inspectors typically try to answer the following...

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Frequently asked questions about hardfacing

March 8, 2005 | By Bob Miller

This robot is hardfacing an agricultural tool.At first glance, hardfacing can be confusing and troublesome; in reality, it isn't. Understanding some of the basics about hardfacing can go a long way toward instilling confidence in your hardfacing product selection.The following 19 answers to...

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99% GTAW, 100% RAD

March 8, 2005 | By Stephanie Vaughan

Troy Trepanier stands next to the FastForward Fastback 1967 Mustang®, a project car restored with modifications borrowed from Ford's 2005 concept Mustang. It was made in 18 weeks with parts and accessories found and bought on eBay Motors. Troy Trepanier says his company does all the...

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Carpal tunnel syndrome

March 8, 2005 | By Vicki Bell

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a musculoskeletal disorder, is the compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy in the hand and fingers. CTS affects both white- and blue-collar workers.How CTS OccursEight bones in the wrist, called...

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Design for welding: Letter to an engineer

March 8, 2005 | By Elia Levi

Drawing Guide Notes courtesy of, a U.K.-based Web site. Editors Note: The image is presented solely for the purpose of illustrating typicaldrawing notes.My Dear Design Engineer,I sometimes am baffled by the way some of your colleagues deal with projects that require welding...

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