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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Skilled workers make new press brake technology even more valuable

September 14, 2004 | By Steve Benson

This article grew out of an FMA discussion board posting about new press brake controllers and software in which someone asked, "Do I really need all of these bells and whistles?" A profound fact of today's technology-intensive world is that skilled press brake operators are now unnecessary. After...

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Keep on stamping

September 14, 2004 | By Kevin Enos

To be competitive in a global economy, U.S. stampers must provide defect-free parts, reduce waste, and eliminate downtime while contending with increasing raw material costs and limited availability of some metals. Because stampers have no control over the supply side of the market, they must focus...

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The case for open-book management

September 14, 2004

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.Some companies' financial information is not exclusively in the realm of accountants and top management. Everyone from...

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Winning with Lean

September 14, 2004 | By Kathleen McLaughlin

Larry Martin hates the term lean manufacturing."When someone mentions lean manufacturing, it usually conjures up visions of layoffs and a stark, militarylike plant," said Larry Martin, vice president of Utah-based Martin Door Manufacturing Inc.He blames lean manufacturing's bad reputation on...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 9

September 14, 2004 | By Gerald Davis

Editor's Note: This is the ninth episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about business network tiers, and the guru has asked Gerald to identify which tier his job shop is in.I sucked in my gums and tried to ape his sagacious...

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Survival of the fastest

September 14, 2004 | By Ken Shoop

Because metal fabricators and OEMs have increasingly strict requirements, many suppliers of sheets and blanks must provide high-quality metal stock in terms of flatness, finish, and dimensional accuracy. Competition for every bid is tight, making it easy to take the quality for granted. If every...

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The growing versatility of turret punch presses

September 14, 2004 | By Rich Dapp

Recent improvements in press drive technology, machine control design, tooling, and CAD/CAM programming software are increasing the throughput capability and the overall versatility of CNC turret punch press equipment.

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Where abrasive waterjets shine

September 14, 2004 | By Dr. Mohamed Hashish

Abrasive waterjet's cold-cutting and omni-directional capabilities make it especially well-suited to cutting unusual shapes out of exotic and heat-sensitive materials. Also, because abrasive waterjet is a cold-cutting process, it does not create a heat-affected zone (HAZ), which can make it more difficult to execute downstream processes, such as welding.

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Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part VI

September 14, 2004 | By Gary Morphy

Tube hydroforming reshapes a tube from a normally round cross section to a desired shape. The final shape, usually rectangular, develops along the part length. The cross-sectional periphery may be consistent throughout the part and equal to the original tube, or it can be expanded in localized...

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Chemical-free cleaning of HSP lubricants

September 14, 2004 | By Brad Jeffery

New requirements for clean, dry parts drive the need for efficient, flexible workcell parts cleaning.

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Sequence scheduling in automotive scheduling

August 10, 2004 | By Frank G. Rubury

Although automakers' demands on automotive stampers fluctuate, under normal conditions, the variation in quantities of parts required is 20 percent or less. Most of the time the variation is substantially lower, although seasonal changes, such as holidays and plant shutdowns, can have an impact on...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 8

August 10, 2004 | By Gerald Davis

Editor's Note: This is the eighth episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about communication among operator, machine, and management—the "work unit."I started to answer his question about how a piece of equipment...

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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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