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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can I get a die to run in two different presses?

April 11, 2016

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Q: When I move a die from one press to another, the die runs fine in the first press but will not run in the second press. The presses are the same size, stroke, and speed range, although one is a few years older than the other. What can I do to ensure the die runs in both presses. A: There are...

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Demand variation: Challenge or opportunity in custom metal fabrication

April 4, 2016

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For custom fabricators, demand variation is a fact of life, but this doesn’t mean that a shop can’t mitigate its effect. Lean consultant Jeff Sipes describes several options that can help make life easier, even for shops that deal with extreme shifts in demand.

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Offline weld robot programming evolves

April 4, 2016

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Several years ago Groupe Gravel invested in robotic welding and plasma cutting. And from the very start, for most work, technicians never programmed jobs using a teach pendant.

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Head and optics innovations key to laser cutting growth

April 4, 2016

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Today a fiber laser can cut both thick and thin material efficiently and with good edge quality. Key advances in laser optics and cutting head design have helped make this possible.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Is there a check list for setting progressive dies?

April 1, 2016

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Q: We are new to die setting. Do you have a check list that could help us with different progressive dies? Can you recommend any literature on the subject? A: First, I do not know of any comprehensive literature. Most literature tends to focus on an individual subject rather than cover the overall...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can we achieve fast punch changeout halfway through a run?

April 1, 2016

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Q: I’m a diemaker for a Detroit Three automaker. We have a job on which we have to change punches halfway through the run. Changing the punches is a lengthy operation and involves quite a bit of downtime. Does anyone in the industry make an automatic or semiautomatic punch removal system that we...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can I reduce snap-through condition effects?

March 31, 2016

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In the May/June 2012 “Ask the Expert” column, you discussed the causes of the large vibrational energy wave that must be dissipated by the press structure beyond the shear loads. Is there any way to reduce the vibration? A: Many lamination and blanking dies incorporate moveable stripper...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Why do press and die problems occur at lower-than-capacity press speeds?

March 31, 2016

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Q: To improve efficiency and reduce cost in our newly acquired high-speed blanking operation, we have increased press speeds from 225 SPM to 450 SPM. After several successful months, we are experiencing a high number of new press and die problems. The presses are capable of speeds higher than 500...

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How fabricators manage machining

March 31, 2016

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These days certain custom fabrication operations have in-house machining capabilities. How these capabilities are managed depends on a company’s location, access to talent, and customer demands. The FABRICATOR talked with managers at two custom fabricators, each of which takes a distinct approach to managing its machining operations.

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How one fabricator maintains quality in bending

March 31, 2016

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DeWys Manufacturing, Marne, Mich., used to rely on quality personnel running all over the plant to check parts, but that caused downtime as people waited for the quality check. As the company explored lean manufacturing and refined its training process, it sought to make quality the job of everyone, not just a select few. The results of this thinking are particularly evident in the press brake department.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Can I pierce material in a progressive die in the opposite direction?

March 31, 2016

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Q: Do you have much experience with piercing material in the opposite direction than usual in a progressive die? In other words, the slug goes through the punch shoe. A: Yes. This is very doable and not uncommon. I assume you need to do this because the piercing direction is a part-functional...

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What brings youth to the sheet metal business?

March 31, 2016

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How can a fab shop bring talented youth into the fold? Two members of FMA’s Young Professionals’ Council tell what sparked their interest--and it isn’t what you might expect.

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Welding for oil: This bust shall pass

March 30, 2016

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Odessa, Texas, has changed. In 2014 traffic was a nightmare; now, not so much. At the heart of the Permian Basin, Odessa is feeling the brunt of the oil and gas bust.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How do I hold washers in the strip in a compound die?

March 30, 2016

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Q: Do you have suggestions for holding washers in the strip in a compound die? High-strength, low-alloy material properties change from heat to heat, periodically causing parts to drop out of the strip. For this reason, we blank up and use a knockout bar to eject the parts. A: Two significant...

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The next generation of portable beveling

March 30, 2016

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Weld prep is an unheralded but necessary activity for those working with heavy plate. Portable beveling technology has emerged that may make life a little easier for the fabricator looking to deliver high-quality weld joints.

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