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.

Filter Content

Job Burnout—Part 1

June 8, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

If you are employed, you're lucky to have a job. Perhaps you've heard this, thought it, or both. And it's true. With so many people out of work, it seems almost like biting the hand that feeds you to complain about your work conditions and expect your employer to care.If you're suffering from job...

Continue Reading

Safety makes good business sense

June 8, 2004 | By Charlie McCarthy

Editor's Note: Charlie McCarthy is a member of the FMA/CNA Safety Committee, an organization devoted to improving safety in the metal manufacturing environment.As a businessperson performing your normal responsibilities, you think about many things during your average workday. The demands relating...

Continue Reading

Sink-making secrets

June 8, 2004 | By Art Hedrick

Figure 1Double drawn stainless steel sinkSink photo courtesy of Polarware.Have you ever looked at a deep-drawn double-bowl sink and wondered how it's made? After all, one deep-drawn shell is right next to the other. Where does the metal come from to achieve the height?Figure 1shows a classic...

Continue Reading

Advanced lubricant technology for high-strength steel

June 8, 2004 | By Brad Jeffery

Figure 1As if the recent rise in steel prices weren't enough, now automotive stamping suppliers are faced with the difficult task of getting high-strength steel (HSS) to form parts with tooling designed for mild steel.In an effort to reduce vehicle weight and improve gas mileage, automotive...

Continue Reading

Revving up weld quality

June 8, 2004

Before introducing new resistance welding systems, Ford Motor Company's New Model Product Development Center was cluttered and dark, and it was difficult to work there because of the high number of weld controls and weld guns being used (left). Installing weld controls and associated manual...

Continue Reading

Safeguarding machines with an ergonomic spin

June 8, 2004 | By Gary Hutter

Human factors contain elements of psychology, engineering, statistics, and observation. Safety codes and standards often are written based on some aspect of human factors, and it may be critical to have a full understanding of the human factors behind the code or standard before applying the same concept to other equipment.

Continue Reading

Spraying it right

June 8, 2004 | By Stan Reineke

For coil-fed applications, spray cabinets can be mounted to the feeder to accommodate passline changes.Most stampers understand the need for lubricants, but many apply as little as possible so they don't have to deal with the mess. Others take an opposite approach and flood the tool and...

Continue Reading

Dangerous curves

June 8, 2004 | By Kathleen McLaughlin

Provocative lines and innovative materials are the hallmarks of luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Cars Ltd.Jaguar has reaped the benefits of aluminum since 1922, when the company, then known as the Swallow Sidecar Co., designed sidecars out of lightweight aluminum panels. Since then the company has...

Continue Reading

Hydroforming tapered engineered tubes

June 8, 2004 | By Chuck Smith, Taylan Altan, Ph.D., Prashant Soman, Serhat Kaya, Yingyot Aue-u-lan

Hydroforming often results in localized thinning. Using engineered tubes—tubes that have a thicker wall where the tube is most prone to thinning—can result in a stronger finished component.

Continue Reading

Optimizing your hydraulic cutoff press

June 8, 2004 | By Bob Jackson

It is accepted that, because tube production is a highly competitive industry, many tube producers stay up nights thinking of ways to increase output and improve quality with less labor. Three obvious strategies are to increase mill speed, minimize downtime, and eliminate secondary operations...

Continue Reading

Selecting a shielding gas for joining stainless steel

June 8, 2004 | By Kevin Lyttle, W.F. Garth Stapon

The use of stainless steel has grown significantly over the past decade in North America. As its use has grown, so has the number of different consumables required to join it. Because stainless steels are used in applications that are different from carbon steels, it follows that their welding...

Continue Reading

Pumping up productivity on older press brakes

June 8, 2004 | By David Bishop

You may be able to improve press brake productivity and eliminate bottlenecks with more advanced tooling, anti-deflection [crowning] systems, and clamping systems. Such advancements have made it possible to form a larger range of materials and part configurations with fewer tools than before.

Continue Reading

Plasma pleases plenty

June 8, 2004 | By Dan Davis

Technological developments in lasers are positioning them as an attractive alternative to plasma. But fabricators are still sticking with plasma cutting for many applications where speed and cost-effective operation are concerns.

Continue Reading

Gouging: The other plasma process

June 8, 2004 | By David Cook, Don Morong

Plasma gouging, although not necessarily as well-known as plasma cutting, is one of four methods of gouging that can be used for a variety of industrial applications. Different techniques bring about different results, depending on the application.

Continue Reading

The challenge of robotic welding aluminum

June 8, 2004 | By Joe Hoffman

Robotic gas metal arc welding (GMAW) of aluminum alloys has been an industry challenge for many years. Early attempts made to automate this process typically failed. The failure of early automated cells was associated with a lack of process experience or improper equipment selection. This failure...

Continue Reading