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Building a manufacturing workforce

July 15, 2015

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Alexandra Industries, a producer and fabricator of aluminum extrusions in Alexandria, Minn., recognized the need to get involved in the local school district to boost the image of manufacturing in the eyes of students. But it didn't just volunteer to send over speakers. It heavily influenced the curriculum at the new high school and donated new manufacturing technology.

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Software tracks truth on the manufacturing shop floor

July 14, 2015

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Manufacturing execution systems manage schedules based not about assumptions on available capacity, but on data gathered directly from manufacturing equipment.

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Securing your business for the next generation

July 14, 2015

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Fab shop owners may avoid succession planning. They may be too busy, or the decision may be difficult. But nobody lives forever, and not having a solid succession plan in place puts the future of the business at risk.

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Technology: The ultimate moving target

July 14, 2015

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How will technology advancements affect the kind of skilled worker we will need in the future? And how many skilled workers will we need? The answers to these questions are of incredible importance to metalworking and manufacturing in general

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Gas gives the big assist in laser cutting

July 13, 2015

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Assist gas aids cutting and evacuates molten material from the kerf. It’s a key variable, one that may be the culprit for a bad cut edge. Just know that it’s not the only potential culprit.

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Minimizing scrap on laser welding mills

July 9, 2015

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Laser welding on a tube or pipe mill wouldn’t be very effective without a good control system. Eric Lundin interviewed TRUMPF to learn about the capabilities of the company’s SeamLine and SeamLine Pro systems.

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Beltless scrap conveying has come a long way, baby

July 9, 2015

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Moving scrap via beltless conveyors has been going on for awhile. But what options are available? Which are best for which applications? Do the benefits of beltless outweigh the drawbacks? Is anything new in beltless conveying technology?

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Behind the hype of additive manufacturing

July 7, 2015

Additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3-D printing, is here to stay. It won’t change the world overnight, but for the right application, an additive process can be a true game-changer.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Document management

July 6, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis offers an overview of using document management tools with a CAD workstation.

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R&D Update: Forming aluminum alloys at elevated temperatures, Part II

July 1, 2015

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Elevated-temperature (ET) forming of aluminum can be accomplished isothermally or nonisothermally. In isothermal warm forming, the die, blank holder, and punch are heated. In nonisothermal deep drawing, the die and blank holder are heated, and the punch may or may not be cooled. The die and punch...

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Die Science: Drawing and stretching

July 1, 2015

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When I conduct training seminars on drawing and stretching, I usually bring with me a variety of unusual parts made using those processes. Often, attendees ask how to stretch the metal into a shape such as a deep can or deeply formed part without splitting the metal. I simply answer: “We don’t....

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Forming aluminum on the press brake: Bending soft, not sharp

June 29, 2015

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Air bending soft aluminum has such a low tensile strength that it doesn't take much for a narrow punch tip to penetrate the surface and turn the bend sharp.

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Keeping it together at 330 MPH

June 29, 2015

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Top Fuel races are a dazzling sight, covering 1,000 feet in little more than 3 seconds. The drivers get the glory and the engines get the attention—they develop approximately 10,000 horsepower—but underneath the car’s exterior is a marvel of modern engineering: a tubular chassis that somehow holds together through 4G of acceleration during the race and the even harsher 5G of deceleration when it’s over.

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Ask the Expert: How can I evaluate the performance of recycled lubricant in-house?

June 29, 2015

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Q: I have an issue regarding the consumption of stamping lubricant in our facility. The toolroom is requesting to use only new lubricant rather than recycled, as well as a richer lubricant mix in some tools. This is increasing our lubricant and disposal costs. Is there a test that I can perform...

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Employees set the pace for success

June 25, 2015

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Wisconsin Metal Parts Inc., Waukesha, Wis., has grown its metal fabricating business very aggressively in recent years. The latest machine tool technology has helped, but its employees have made it stay in control and on course.

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