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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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Forming a Marman bead

August 25, 2016

The Marman clamp, devised to secure two cylindrical surfaces end-to-end, has earned a unique place in tube fabrication. Although it’s not always easy to form, the Marman bead is a robust, airtight seal suitable for many applications, and is often used for diesel engine exhaust systems.

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So, you want to become an AWS CWI—Part II

August 24, 2016 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

The letters and numbers used to classify electrodes all mean something. Understanding their meaning is important when choosing an electrode for your job. You also must be knowledgeable about these classifications to become an AWS CWI.

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Robot deposits welds in high gear with Tip TIG

August 17, 2016 | By Tim Heston

A new robot welding cell incorporates TIP TIG, a hot-wire welding process that feeds an oscillating wire under a tungsten electrode. In some applications, the method reportedly allows the robot to weld at speeds close to those of gas metal arc welding.

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Bending Basics: How to locate the press brake’s backgauge position

August 17, 2016 | By Steve Benson

When determining the backgauge position, you need to know the outside flange dimension and bend deduction, based on the actual radius you achieve.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Product development modeling with fabrication as the end goal

August 16, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis reveals that delivering a straightforward CAD model might make sense for a project that will require alterations down the road.

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Mastering fundamentals opens opportunities for advancement

August 15, 2016 | By Bill Frahm

If a person in metal forming or fabricating understands the basics of metal properties and how that metal is formed to meet quality expectations, he or she shouldn’t have a problem keeping up with the rapid advancements in material development and machine tool technology.

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Documentation keeps the knowledge in-house

August 11, 2016 | By Shannon Bennett, Simon Spencer

Every noteworthy quality improvement methodology calls for observation, analysis, planning, measuring, and reviewing work processes to get better results than achieved previously. For any of this to be successful, manufacturers need to document work instructions, corrections, and goals.

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Better business processes, smoother days

August 11, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

So many shop managers operate in firefighting mode. They call customers, suppliers, employees, and bosses to explain, apologize, and then shift into high gear to “Git-R-Done.” As columnist Jeff Sipes explains, that really has no place in manufacturing.

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Accounting for time in metal fabrication

August 11, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Traditional cost accounting treats inventory as an asset and, according to the author of a new book, does not capture the true costs of long lead times. A new accounting method, which complies with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), aims to correct this.

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Metal fabrication for the visually impaired

August 11, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Beyond Vision, a not-for-profit organization that employs people who are visually impaired and blind, has an eight-person machine shop that recently delved into metal fabrication. The company’s story shows just how much these people can contribute to a job shop operation.

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Projection welding of fasteners to hot-stamped boron steel

August 8, 2016 | By Allen M. Agin, Bob Kollins

Only 10 years ago, the use of boron steel was in its infancy. Today it’s found in a large number of automotive applications. That’s led to new research about the material. One area of focus has been in the projection welding of fasteners to this type of material.

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Miles ahead with design and welding

August 4, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Fed up with waiting on his welding subcontractor, an owner of a landscape design company regained control and gets a creativity boost by learning how to weld.

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AI Industries builds with automation push

August 4, 2016 | By Robert Colman

Some people look at automation in a manufacturing setting as a threat to future job creation. That’s not the case for Surrey, B.C., Canada-based AI Industries. It has invested in automated processing equipment for its structural steel fabricating business and grown its work force simultaneously.

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Staying safe while using oxyfuel torches

August 3, 2016 | By Dave Marquard, Kurt Tarkany

The mere presence of oxygen in any sort of industrial application raises the chances of a catastrophic incident. Oxygen safety devices can help to reduce that likelihood.

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A fabricator founded on operator skill

August 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston

In quiet, rural New Ulm, Minn., technicians at DLC Manufacturing & Fabrication are perfecting the craft of cutting and bending sheet metal and plate, making clean cuts in steel 1.5 in. thick (and even thicker). It’s a small shop where skill runs deep.

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