January 11, 2017 | By Art Hedrick
Some stamping plants and die-building facilities are far more productive and efficient than others. Each shop typically has its own niche, as well as its own strengths and weaknesses. So what are the key decisions managers make that result in a successful stamping or die-building shop? Staffing...
January 11, 2017 | By Thomas Vacca
Q: We are developing what we thought would be a fairly straightforward stamping. We are blanking a rectangular shape, 2.15 by 2.35 inches and 0.004 in. thick, from 301 stainless steel. A simple, single punch blanks the part through the die chase in one shot. But as we brought up the stamping speed...
January 10, 2017 | By Chris Kuzma
When considering a retrofit to an older plasma cutting table, a fabricator needs to consider equipment location, state of table components, the types of shielding gases and consumables that might be needed with a technology upgrade, and any possible training that may be needed.
January 9, 2017 | By Amanda Carlson
A Missouri man’s fairly recent immersion in metal sculpture has yielded confidence and surprising results, at least to him.
January 9, 2017 | By Steve Benson
Making accurate time estimates requires both complete information about the job at hand as well as technical talent, both in engineering and in press brake operation.
January 9, 2017 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis shows a work flow for creating two versions of the same product.
January 9, 2017 | By Tim Heston
Good estimating involves more than just numbers crunching. A good estimator needs to communicate and collaborate with various people, from the owner to the machine operator. That person also needs the right organizational structure and technology in place to be effective.
January 9, 2017 | By Tim Heston
The future of work in metal fabrication may be less about a specific task and more about uncovering better ways to satisfy customer demand and get the job done.
January 6, 2017 | By Jeff Sipes
How do you define “continuous improvement”? Turns out, it depends on your organization and your role within it. Altogether, the mix of continuous improvement perspectives within a company should strike a balance between two concepts: efficiency and effectiveness.
January 6, 2017 | By Robert Farrell
Laser cutting with nitrogen as an assist gas is still the No. 1 choice for applications in which edge quality is critical. Air as an assist gas, however, might work in some not-so-critical applications, and its use will generate sustainable cost and time savings while boosting productivity.
January 6, 2017 | By Spencer Dick
Fabricators that cut a lot of aluminum extrusions probably end up with plenty of scrap. Traditional thinking suggests that’s not so bad because recyclers pay them for the aluminum scrap. Over the long term, however, that thinking is costing them money. If fabricators can minimize scrap, they can maximize revenue because that raw material, once destined for the scrap bin, will be transformed into something of high value. Optimization software and cutting automation can help fabricators keep their material out of that scrap bin.
January 6, 2017 | By Travis Haynam
A one-size-fits-all approach to ventilating welding fumes from large fabrications isn't going to work, because while it may remove the fume hazard, it likely won't keep the welder's breathing zone completely clear of particulates. That's why a fabricator should consider several different elements to create a suitable ventilation setup.
January 6, 2017
More than 31,000 attendees came to the Las Vegas Convention Center for FABTECH® 2016. As always, new technologies didn’t disappoint. Exhibitors, conference speakers, and attendees all talked about positive changes ahead, about “closing the loop” to make their manufacturing organization one cohesive, determined unit, ready to compete.
January 4, 2017 | By Bob Rochelle
A robot is only a part of a robot-based automation system, whether the system is for welding or other applications. Regardless of the application, several components and functions are common to all systems. Controls, communication devices, operator interfaces, sensors, peripheral equipment, parts handling equipment, fixtures, safety features, and cable management devices are common components in all systems. Most projects require some personnel involvement as well.
January 4, 2017 | By Tim Heston
The Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has developed a system that quickly oscillates the beam in specific patterns as it cuts, welds, or otherwise processes material. These patterns have the effect of “shaping” a laser beam, allowing the technician to tailor the beam’s shape to fit the application.