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Ask the Expert: The continuing challenge of die maintenance

April 15, 2015

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Q: I have been trying to locate the die maintenance check list printed in a STAMPING Journal® article several years ago, which also included the 10 Tooling Laws. I am hoping you can lead me to it. A: You will find the check list at the end of this article. But even with a maintenance check...

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Ask the Expert: Determining stock width for stamping a part in a progressive die

April 14, 2015

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Q: How do I define the width of the metal stock required to stamp a part in a new progressive die? A: You need to consider a lot of factors when determining stock width for stamping a part in a progressive die. I assume your question on the stock width is so you can estimate the raw material...

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Ask the Expert: Fixing die shortcomings

April 14, 2015

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Q: We have a large stamping tool running in a 300-ton press. A changeover tool makes a left part and a right part, each of which is about 0.1 in. thick and shaped like a peanut. One-half of the part (lengthwise) is coined offset one material thickness in depth in addition to a number of other...

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3 tips for building an effective welding workforce

April 9, 2015

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Shapiro & Duncan Inc., a third-generation mechanical contractor serving the mid-Atlantic region offers some tips for building an engaged and talented welding team.

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Reaping rewards with precision laser cutting

April 8, 2015

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In 1973 full-time farmer Mike Van Mill tried his hand at building a grain wagon for a neighboring farmer, and he has been at it full-time since incorporating Brent Industries a few years later. Now the operations manager for Unverferth Mfg., Shell Rock, Iowa, Van Mill is part of a team that manufactures implements under the Brent brand name. The staff runs the facility like a savvy farmer runs a farm, always looking for a better way but proceeding cautiously. A sheet laser purchased in the early 2000s led to a tube laser purchased in 2014.

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Lean welding comes full circle

April 8, 2015

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Andersen Industries is experienced with working with large fabrications, such as custom trailers, and eventually sought a method to make it easier to help welders move equipment and accompanying lines. The result was a boom designed specifically for welding.

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Quality shines bright at MACO

April 7, 2015

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The recession nearly killed MACO Incorporated, a fabricator and machine shop in rural western North Carolina. But it survived thanks to some introspection and a new focus on quality certification.

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Building a winning motorsports weld shop

April 7, 2015

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Jeremy McGrath, a Supercross racer making the transition to off-road truck racing, recently set up a state-of-the-art motorsports welding shop geared toward component builds and repair work. If you’re setting up a motorsports welding and fabrication shop for the first time, there are some vital pieces of equipment that will help you be successful. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a renowned off-road truck racer to have a professional-grade motorsports fabrication shop.

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Metallurgy Matters: Reactions speak louder than words

April 6, 2015

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Before we get into nonferrous gas-metal reactions, let’s look at one of the ways you can identify potential cold-cracking problems in steel. In the May/June 2004 issue, we looked at cold cracking—also known as hydrogen cracking, delayed cracking, and under-bead cracking—as it relates to...

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Stainless Steel Workshop: Storing and reconditioning filler metals

April 6, 2015

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For years fabricators have questioned the need for properly storing opened containers of electrodes in a controlled environment. The cost of holding ovens, as well as the discipline required to use them, has had fabricators second-guessing the benefits of such a practice. Regardless of the type of...

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Plasma cutting torches: the long and short of it

April 2, 2015

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Plasma cutting torches have come a long way from the first-generation squared-off, clunky hunks of plastic that looked like a child’s toy hammer. Today’s high-tech torches come in various models for different applications.

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4 ways to a better laser-cut edge

April 2, 2015

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Edge quality in laser cutting has improved significantly over the decades, and many of those improvements come from four areas: better materials, nozzles, process control, and beam quality.

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Improving the performance of transfer dies

April 1, 2015

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The use of high-strength work materials has dramatically increased the performance requirements on the stamping and forming tools. The selection of the proper tool steel grade at each transfer die station plays a large role in optimizing productivity. The tooling’s performance may be enhanced further with the addition of a coating.

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Cliché lawn art, be gone

April 1, 2015

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Salt Lake City metal artist Fred Conlon demonstrates a steady flow in creativity with his sculptures that make you laugh, make you think, and make your lawn look good.

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Continuous improvement, from the first quote to the final shipment

April 1, 2015

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Burlington, Ky.-based Skilcraft LLC has changed a lot in the past decade. It has moved away from the traditional job shop model toward comprehensive contract fabrication. And it got there by scrutinizing every step of the manufacturing process, from quoting to shipping.

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