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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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Eliminating solvents, reducing VOCs

October 26, 2016 | By Martin Tellez

Environmental concerns and the associated legislation have put quite a bit of focus on volatile organic compounds and solvent-based coatings. Water-based coatings are making substantial headway in providing viable alternatives that perform well.

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Modeling tube forming for OCTG with FEA

October 26, 2016 | By Z. Kent Li

The staff at TMK-IPSCO instituted a study of OCTG products using finite element analysis. The purpose was to study and analyze forming behavior as the material progressed through the mill, with an additional benefit of evaluating the load at each mill stand to improve the mill performance and tube quality.

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Load, lock, and let her rip!

October 25, 2016 | By Rick Jackson

Laser cutting machines brought a big leap in productivity to the metalworking market when they were introduced, providing holemaking, cutting, coping, and other capabilities on a single machine. However, this isn’t the only factor in a laser machine’s productivity. The time it takes to load and unload material has a big effect on cycle times and warrants close attention to maximize the machine’s output.

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Stretch flanging and hole expansion with AHSS

October 25, 2016 | By Daniel J. Schaeffler

New, stronger steels have forced metal formers to rethink what they have always done in the pressroom. Traditional rules are no longer applicable across the board. The case of punching holes in these new steel alloys is a good example.

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Tube producer eliminates weld problems one flaw at a time

October 24, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Tube production is always a matter of juggling a great number of balls at once and dealing with relentless competitive pressure. For companies that provide tube for automotive applications, the risk of a recall is an additional burden. Longtime auto industry supplier Middletown Tube Works found a diagnostic tool that assists its eddy current system in evaluating the tube production process.

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Bet on FABTECH® 2016

October 24, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Whether your company is preparing for growth, a slowdown, a process upgrade, or hiring new workers, FABTECH brings together every aspect of the metal fabricating industry in one location to educate, inform, entertain, and provide networking opportunities to you.

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From pilot to fabricator

October 24, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

When opportunity called, Navy veteran and barbecue grill fabricator Fred Moss was ready and willing to answer.

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Cleaning the plasma table while simultaneously cutting?

October 24, 2016 | By Dan Davis

SALSCO Inc. is a product manufacturer that has a lot in common with job shops: At any one time it has 250 line items of different components on its shop floor for its 38 different products. To stay on top of production demands, it needs all of its plasma cutting capacity. That's why it hurt when tables were taken offline for routine cleaning or fetching of parts that fell between the grates. Company President Salvatore J. Rizzo thought there could be a better way and designed a modular base that allows the plasma cutting table to cut while parts and debris are constantly removed from the bottom of the table.

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Blast cleaning large fabrications efficiently

October 24, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Two blast room products aim to minimize the non-value-added time in manual blast cleaning.

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Press brake bending: The meanings of the technical words mean everything

October 24, 2016 | By Steve Benson

As parts become more complicated and our machines get more sophisticated and precise, there is a real need to be much more precise in our trade-related language.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Modeling a cable harness

October 17, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis considers techniques for adding parametric harness connections to models.

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Learning to take cybersecurity seriously

October 14, 2016 | By Dan Davis

Cybersecurity expert Steve Douglas shares his thoughts on why metal fabricators need to pay attention to just how they are protecting their internal information and files. Shops may not think they are targets, and that's when they are at their most vulnerable.

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6 steps to delegation success

October 14, 2016 | By Mark Ernst

Managers need to delegate. Delegation helps employees learn new skills and allows a business to grow. But delegation isn’t easy, and these six steps should help managers overcome the challenges.

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Closing the skills gaps through apprenticeships

October 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis

As manufacturers look for the manufacturing engineers and machine operators to replace retiring baby boomers, they are finding that traditional recruitment efforts are lacking. Many find that it’s easier to groom their own workers rather than hoping that they turn up on the doorstep.

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Metal fabrication investment strategy: Keep buggering on

October 13, 2016 | By Tim Heston

This year’s “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from the FMA shows an industry that’s facing tight competition, but also one that is pushing on, investing, and making efficient use of resources.

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