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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Not Your Parents' Workplace

March 8, 2005

Editor's Note: This column was prepared by the staff of Winning Workplaces, a not-for-profit organization that helps small and midsized businesses create better work environments.

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Managing rotary-draw tube bending

March 8, 2005 | By Tony Granelli

Editor's Note: This article is adapted from a conference presentation made by the author at a previous TPJ Symposium.

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Simulating a robotic workcell

March 8, 2005 | By Eric Patty

Not so long ago, setting up a robotic work cell was a trial-and-error affair. However, advances in simulation technology allow manufacturers to visualize a robotic work cell and sort out any problems before setting up the cell. Simulating the work cell's function helps to ensure the cell will yield the desired results and helps prevent costly mistakes and re-engineering.

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The cutting edge of cut-to-length lines

March 8, 2005 | By Alexander Tschoeltsch

When a company plans to invest in a cut-to-length line, basic line configuration is the first decision—and one of the most important—to make.The fixed-shear line is a common configuration. It can be an entirely stop-start (or "tight") line, or it can include a decoiling and leveling...

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Construction Junction

March 8, 2005

Two six-axis robot arms perform full-penetration gas metal arc welds on structural steel.Millions of construction companies strive every day to cut production time while maintaining, or even improving, quality.Robert J. Simmons owns a company that has made it happen.Over several years he found a...

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Anchor's a way down the road to improvement

March 8, 2005 | By Dan Davis

A Fort Worth, Texas-based fabricator found that it was spending thousands in moving material from one building to the next for various operations. The company embarked on several expansion projects and invested in new equipment to help remedy the situation.

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Measuring wall thickness in seamless tube, cast-iron pipe

March 8, 2005 | By Marvin Klein

Controlling the wall thickness during the manufacture of seamless steel tubes and cast-iron pipe is critical in meeting specifications and minimizing scrap. Ultrasonic measurements typically are performed on tube or pipe at room temperature, many hours after forming is complete. At this...

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 3

March 1, 2005 | By Jim Kleckner, John DiGiacomo

In Step 2 we discussed finding bid opportunities. Before we dive in, it's important to note that recent statistics show that in 2003 the federal government wrote 10.9 million contracts; 23 percent went to small businesses, meaning small businesses actually got $3 billion more work than they thought they would.

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Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part VII: Holes

February 8, 2005 | By Gary Morphy

When making holes in hydroformed parts, fabricators have many choices—milling, drilling, laser cutting, plasma cutting, flow drilling, post-piercing, and hydropiercing.

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Solving pierce punch breaking and chipping problems

February 8, 2005 | By Art Hedrick

Figure 1Having a pierce or perforating punch chip, or worse yet break, can cause severe die damage. It also can result in nonconforming parts because of burrs or undersize holes. Broken punch pieces can fall into the die and crush pads, as well as forming and cutting sections. This article...

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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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