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.
July 7, 2016 | By Art Hedrick
Recently I was asked at a training session to state the average life of a stamping die. The person asking was from the costing department of a large automotive firm. He said he needed to know because he was getting different answers from different individuals in the organization—anywhere from...
July 7, 2016 | By Eric Lundin
Sustainability and green technology are no longer buzzwords, but comprise a host of enduring manufacturing practices. Equipment manufacturer Schwarze-Robitec has rolled out numerous developments to conserve energy, consumables, material, and other resources.
July 7, 2016 | By Eric Lundin
Fabricator and bridge erector used oxyfuel for years, but changed to plasma and benefitted from faster, more precise cuts.
July 6, 2016 | By Bill Frahm
Strong supply chains hold the promise of all partners being able to share innovation. This requires a commitment from the manufacturers in the chain to be open and communicative. Without that trust, supply chain partners can hurt product success and sabotage profitability goals.
July 6, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca
Q: We are trying to stamp a drawn cup from 0.002-inch-thick by 0.500-in.-wide fully annealed stainless steel on a Bruderer BSTA 22e high-speed press with an aluminum ball bearing die set and a Bruderer 198/85 roll feed. There are six draws, and all of the draw die bushings are carbide with steel...
July 5, 2016 | By Ryan Lizotte
Installed and used properly, a reamer minimizes spatter and debris, prolongs consumables life, improves weld quality, and keeps a robotic welding cell productive.
July 5, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Alkras has introduced a laser small enough to fit on the gantry of a cutting table. It’s being marketed as a ticket of entry for those fab shops—especially small ones—that have not yet entered the laser cutting arena.
July 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Metal fabricators don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the costs associated with grinding. It’s necessary in many shops, so company management just throws labor at it. They don’t realize, however, that new ceramic alumina developments have the potential to save them money when it comes to grinding operations. The Norton Quantum 3 abrasive wheel is one such example.
July 5, 2016 | By Steve Benson
When considering a new press brake purchase, focus on the tooling and forming method first. How will your staff react to changes? How steep will the learning curve be? Also, think about where your company is headed and the markets it serves.
July 5, 2016 | By Eric Lundin
After learning to weld on the family farm and honing his skill during his college years, Josh Foster decided to augment his steady, part-time job with a fabrication business. Big Creek Metal Works makes all sort of items, from large ranch gates to small art items, specializing in custom work.
July 1, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Think of how fast modern laser cutting is; now think of a typical press brake. There’s no contest. With this in mind, how can a fab shop best manage part flow? Elements of quick-response manufacturing (QRM) can help.
July 1, 2016 | By Alyson Schoenung
Modern CAD/CAM nesting software can assist metal fabricators looking to reduce costs related to raw material spending, production labor, parts programming, and work order creation.
June 29, 2016 | By Shari Loushin
Adhesives and bonding tapes can perform and even outperform many of the same tasks as welding and fastening. The scope of their applications might surprise you.
June 29, 2016 | By Tim Heston
In large-workpiece bending, material handling and tooling changeover can take serious time. Shorten that time, and bending throughput levels, even for the largest jobs, can jump significantly.
June 29, 2016 | By John Karpus
A working knowledge of the ways in which purity, pressure, and flow affect how lasers use gases is key to setting up a gas delivery system that both works correctly and is cost-effective.