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Precision sheet metal bending, bump by bump

June 1, 2015

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Bump bending remains more art than science, especially for large and thick workpieces, but using the right tools and setup procedures help make this challenging brake operation much more efficient.

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A modern take on accountability

May 28, 2015

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The definition of accountability has evolved to mean responsibility with consequences. Ideally, entry-level and other low-level employees should have accountability over the outcomes of their work, but that accountability must be based on objectivity and fairness. Otherwise, an accountability scheme can actually weaken an organization instead of strengthening it.

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Putting heavy-duty cutting on the table

May 28, 2015

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Thermal cutting of plate can produce a haze in the shop, but does it have to be that way? Table options can help to clean up the plasma and oxyfuel cutting process and create a better work environment for fabricators.

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Best coolant practices make perfect

May 28, 2015

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Taking all of the necessary parameters into consideration when designing a tube or pipe mill can be a big task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The main considerations include all of the cooling system capacity and location, the type of coolant, the filters and skimmers to be used, and local water quality. Making these decisions early, and incorporating them into the mill’s design, maximizes the cooling system’s efficiency.

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Driving change, not fork trucks

May 28, 2015

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Quality Industries has changed a lot in two years, and in another two years it will change even more. A new management team is putting a new emphasis on engineering and continuous improvement.

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Rob Key Designs: Fabricator in the national spotlight

May 27, 2015

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Tulsa, Okla.-based Rob Key Designs is among 100 businesses featured in the Small Business Revolution project, an initiative showcasing successful small businesses in the U.S. How did this fabricator become successful? Owner Rob Key shares some insight.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design for function

May 27, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis offers an overview of using CAD to develop a better design.

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Different people, different perspectives on lean

May 27, 2015

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Employees and managers experience a lean transformation in vastly different ways. Understanding these viewpoints can help change a company culture to one that embraces continuous improvement.

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An artist and welder in equal measure

May 26, 2015

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San Francisco-based metal artist leans on creativity and production welding know-how to create sculptures that are simple in appearance but complicated in execution.

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FMA $500,000 grant supports Harper College manufacturing education

May 26, 2015

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The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA) partnered with Harper College, Palatine, Ill., with a $500,000 sponsored gift to support Harper College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology program and the Harper College Promise Scholarship program.

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Turning to milling for weld preps

May 26, 2015

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Preparing tube or pipe ends for welding with a portable tool is one way to get the job done, but for complex end forms and high-volume work, a stationary beveling machine is the way to go.

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Decision-making in metal forming

May 21, 2015

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We live in the Information Age. But for many in manufacturing faced with costly decisions in design and manufacturing, it can seem like the Way Too Much Information Age. Large volumes of data and information are available from myriad sources. But publishing accessibility is widespread and easy,...

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Cheese, metal fabrication, and the future skilled worker

May 21, 2015

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Over the past two decades, Millerbernd Systems has evolved into a complex entity--part fabricator, part automation systems provider. It also launched a local education initiative to ensure talent remains in the pipeline.

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Stamper performs subassembly superbly

May 21, 2015

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DieMasters Inc. grew from a small diemaker shop to a 100-employee stamping contractor. The company added value to its bottom by making assemblies, which now comprise 70% of its revenue. The assemblies are a metaphoric representation of the company itself, which makes products diverse in every way possible—size, type, market, materials, complexity. While Diemasters’ success is the result of a concerted effort, President and CEO Virgil DeLay pulls the company together and keeps the band on cue with a well-defined production system.

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Talking about the next generation of fabricators

May 15, 2015

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While many people turned their back on manufacturing careers, Kyle Layman couldn't wait to get started. Now he's the impetus for growth at Layman Fabrication, North Vernon, Ind., while dad gets to focus on the fabrication activity that he's always loved.

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