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thefabricator.com 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, thefabricator.com 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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Infrared thermography—its role in maintenance and loss prevention

August 10, 2004 | By Jerry Basta

Unexpected production interruption is intolerable in today's business environment, in which little time or money is available for taking chances. Sophisticated production processes, just-in-time delivery, and increased productivity demands require using every tool available to prevent disrupting...

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Boosting band saw blade life

August 10, 2004 | By Dave Burkhart

Because intermittent cutting can be hard on blades, you should find ways to increase blade productivity for your environment. Several guidelines, such as selecting the right blade tooth size, breaking in the blades, and choosing the right blade for the job are ways to help improve the productivity of your band saw blade.

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Playing it safe with robotic welding

August 10, 2004 | By Sergio Aguilar

This robotic welding workcell is guarded on all four sides. The back of the workcell uses the control panel and hard guards to prevent entry to the safeguarded space. The wall must be high enough to ensure that no one can reach over it into the protected area.In 2002 the Robotic Industries...

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Six Sigma methodology to improve ship and boat welding

August 10, 2004 | By Jeffrey Noruk

Nowhere in manufacturing is the axiom "Do the job right the first time" more true than in a shipyard's welding operation. The welding process must be optimized for high productivity, yet maintain quality levels required by stringent welding standards. Even using the most fine-tuned process, a...

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Tips for welding preparation

August 10, 2004 | By Bill Sandford, Bill Atkinson

The increasing use of advanced equipment and applications (such as orbital welding for high-purity systems) requires better weld preparation. A thorough understanding of equipment, tool bits, and materials—including advanced alloys—helps to achieve better end prep.

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Slitting ultrahigh-strength steels

August 10, 2004 | By Greg Hoon, Ed Basta

The automotive industry's search for stronger and lighter materials spawned new steel grades to meet higher strength-to-weight ratio requirements. While these materials allow automotive engineers to design lighter and stronger components, they present stampers and coil processors with some...

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Preventive maintenance for hydraulic presses

August 10, 2004 | By Carl Jean

Ask 10 stampers what preventive maintenance is, and you'll probably get 10 different answers.Why? Because not all presses require the same maintenance.To keep all of your shop's equipment in good working condition, try developing and implementing a written routine preventive maintenance schedule.An...

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Tackling cutting and piercing problems in stamping operations

August 10, 2004 | By Art Hedrick

Figure 1Poor cutting section designCutting problems, such as die sections breaking, slugs jamming and pulling, and burrs, are common stamping challenges. Many of these problems are caused by poor die design. Others are caused by poor maintenance techniques, improper setup, and poor scrap...

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Miter sawing adds eye appeal to structural steel

August 10, 2004 | By David D. McCorry

As a structural steel fabricator, you may have operated a miter saw. The fact is, however, in many other shops the miter feature has rarely been used because, traditionally, most steel buildings—from the skyscraper to the humble warehouse—have been designed without miter cuts. Beam ends...

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Lean on it

August 10, 2004 | By Dan Davis

Mike Wriglesworth of W.W. Metal Fab, Milwaukie, Ore., is a convert. Lean manufacturing is his new religion.At least, that's what he and the 85 employees practice at work. With the encouragement and financial backing of one of its largest customers, truckmaker Freightliner LLC, and the Oregon...

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How to reduce press brake setup times

August 10, 2004 | By Shawn Shultz

Over the past several years the sheet metal fabrication industry has witnessed a number of technological advancements in both machines and tooling. Machines are now capable of punching, cutting, and bending faster and more accurately than previously imaginable.

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Four Canadian automotive fabricators and what drives their success

August 10, 2004 | By John Cooper

Editor's Note: In an effort to offer a glimpse into some of the successful fabricating and manufacturing operations in the world, The FABRICATOR® offers this quick look at four Canadian companies.On a busy workday the machine shop at F&P Mfg. Inc., in the village of Tottenham, northwest of...

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Job Burnout—Part 3

August 10, 2004 | By Vicki Bell

This is the last in a series of articles about job burnout. Part Idiscussed the causes. Part IIcovered symptoms and solutions from an individual standpoint. It also included a test to help you determine where you are in terms of burnout.Job burnout is a complicated condition caused most often by...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 7

July 13, 2004 | By Gerald Davis

Editor's Note: This is the seventh episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about sales training."Why does it matter whether the sales staff understands this concept of buying a contract? If they are getting orders and the...

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Welding Miniature Devices

July 13, 2004 | By Michael Francoeur

Welders have been joining miniature electromechanical devices for industrial and medical applications for more than 30 years. However, it's a subject that hasn't been featured much in papers and technical publications.The history of joining miniature devices goes back to the turn of the century in...

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