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A ticket of entry to laser cutting

July 5, 2016

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Alkras has introduced a laser small enough to fit on the gantry of a cutting table. It’s being marketed as a ticket of entry for those fab shops—especially small ones—that have not yet entered the laser cutting arena.

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Reshaping metal grinding

July 5, 2016

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Metal fabricators don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the costs associated with grinding. It’s necessary in many shops, so company management just throws labor at it. They don’t realize, however, that new ceramic alumina developments have the potential to save them money when it comes to grinding operations. The Norton Quantum 3 abrasive wheel is one such example.

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Tooling: The heart of choosing a press brake

July 5, 2016

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When considering a new press brake purchase, focus on the tooling and forming method first. How will your staff react to changes? How steep will the learning curve be? Also, think about where your company is headed and the markets it serves.

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Great gates!

July 5, 2016

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After learning to weld on the family farm and honing his skill during his college years, Josh Foster decided to augment his steady, part-time job with a fabrication business. Big Creek Metal Works makes all sort of items, from large ranch gates to small art items, specializing in custom work.

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Managing part flow in custom metal fabrication

July 1, 2016

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Think of how fast modern laser cutting is; now think of a typical press brake. There’s no contest. With this in mind, how can a fab shop best manage part flow? Elements of quick-response manufacturing (QRM) can help.

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5 ways that CAD/CAM nesting software impacts the bottom line

July 1, 2016

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Modern CAD/CAM nesting software can assist metal fabricators looking to reduce costs related to raw material spending, production labor, parts programming, and work order creation.

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Adhesives and bonding tapes: Enhancing design space

June 29, 2016

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Adhesives and bonding tapes can perform and even outperform many of the same tasks as welding and fastening. The scope of their applications might surprise you.

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Big press brake bending, high throughput

June 29, 2016

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In large-workpiece bending, material handling and tooling changeover can take serious time. Shorten that time, and bending throughput levels, even for the largest jobs, can jump significantly.

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Cutting to the chase on gas delivery for CO2 lasers

June 29, 2016

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A working knowledge of the ways in which purity, pressure, and flow affect how lasers use gases is key to setting up a gas delivery system that both works correctly and is cost-effective.

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All you need to know about the heat-affected zone

June 28, 2016

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Any thermal cutting or welding process changes the material makeup of the workpiece. This heat-affected zone can make downstream processing of the metal a bit more unpredictable.

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3 questions to ask for better laser cutting

June 28, 2016

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Brent Donner, president of DLC Manufacturing and Fabrication, has spent almost a decade as a laser cutting consultant. Over that time he has noticed several fundamentals that many operators miss: properly cleaning and polishing the optics, centering the nozzle, and calibrating the beam focus.

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So, you want to become an AWS CWI

June 28, 2016

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Becoming an AWS certified welding inspector is a challenging task that takes serious preparation and study. Shortcuts don’t cut it.

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The 2016 FAB 40: Planning their next move

June 22, 2016

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It’s been quite a run. Over the past four years many FAB 40 companies have reported big revenue gains. In 2015, not so much, at least on average. Sales at some big companies either held steady or declined somewhat, mainly thanks to weak markets that by now every fabricator knows about: oil and...

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Modeling with surfaces, patterns, and configurations

June 20, 2016

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Columnist Gerald Davis reviews the use of equations, configurations, design tables, and specific modeling tools for creating 3-D models of paper and cake.

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Metal fabrication and the buying experience

June 17, 2016

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SixAxis, a fabricator of safety platforms, portable stairs, and other industrial products, developed its own software with quoting, customer relationship management, and product configuration features. According to sources, software changed the customer buying experience, which in turn helped the company quintuple in size over six years.

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