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Role changes in lean manufacturing

March 1, 2017 | By Jeff Sipes

Columnist Jeff Sipes describes how front-line employees’ roles change with a lean transformation. The workday changes, and they must adapt. But as long as the changes are made with employees (and not to them), front-line workers should thrive.

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New GTAW variant boosts aluminum welding throughput

March 1, 2017 | By Erwan Siewert, Nakhleh Hussary

A new gas tungsten arc welding variant uses two gas streams, an outer shielding gas and an inner focusing gas, to constrict and stabilize the arc. It is designed to increase throughput and quality and reduce heat input.

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How to build a rep with reps in custom metal fabrication

March 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturers’ representatives can help a shop grow and diversify. But finding the right rep isn’t straightforward. The rep and fabricator need to be a good fit, and both need to scrutinize the other’s relationships and reputation.

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Reducing thermal spray hazards with proper dust collection

March 1, 2017 | By Taylor Morgan

The fine dust particles generated during powder spraying can contain a variety of metals with potential health risks. The proper dust collection system can keep workers safe and a manufacturer in compliance with regulations.

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A square deal on continuous improvement in custom manufacturing

March 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

After adopting quick-response manufacturing, Square Deal Machining Inc. (SDMI) in Marathon, N.Y., cut lead times and inventory levels in half. The change required focus on the new manufacturing method, technology, and company culture.

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Die Science: Understanding interactivity for difficult stampings

February 28, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

It’s no secret that the quality of a stamped part is influenced by numerous variables, including the mechanical ability of the material being stamped, the condition of the tooling and the press, the number of process steps being used, and the geometry of the dies. To truly solve a...

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Die Science: Thinking like sheet metal

February 28, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

If you have ever attended one of my public or custom on-site training courses, you’ve heard me emphasize the importance of understanding your sheet metal’s behavior before you try to cut or form it. Chances are that sometime during the course, I said, “You must think like the sheet metal or...

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Die Science: Diemaker or dieologist?

February 28, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

If you have ever attended one of my technical seminars, you know that I often use the word dieologist. Don’t waste any time trying to find it on the Internet, because you probably won’t. It’s a word that I made up and frequently use to define a diemaker who uses his or her knowledge of sheet...

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Die Science: The basics of servo-drive presses

February 28, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

As materials change and the competition gets tougher, metal stampers must invest in technology that helps them to remain competitive. In stamping, efficiency is everything. Stampers must produce higher-quality parts in shorter cycle times using materials that often have poor formability. This is an...

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Choosing a gas for oxyfuel cutting

February 27, 2017 | By Phil Evans

Fuel gases have been used in manufacturing for decades, but how much do fabricators know about what has become such a common part of the manufacturing process? Phil Evans, a certified welding inspector and educator, discusses the basics.

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Technological advances in powder coating spray and recovery

February 24, 2017 | By Jeff Hale

Gone are the days of the large monolithic powder coatings systems that snaked around a shop floor and the need to have multiple booths for color changes. Technology advances now make more compact, one-booth systems capable of quick and easy color changes a reality.

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Punch up your production

February 24, 2017

Automation and software have helped streamline punching significantly—and not just by scrutinizing the machine cycle time and total green-light time, but by looking at the overall punching cycle time, from sheet loading until a punched part reaches the next operation.

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Die Science: What really makes a press shop work?

February 24, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

As stampers, we often believe that purchasing new machines and investing in new technology are key to remaining competitive in the global market. Although keeping up with the latest equipment and techniques is very important, it’s not the only answer for having a successful stamping company....

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Ensuring quality bent parts—from sheet to ship

February 24, 2017 | By Kate Bachman

Weaver Fabrication & Finishing gauges its bent parts' quality before they're even formed--from ensuring that its material is to spec to measuring that the dimensions, thickness, stiffness, and edge quality of the parts it bends on its new press brake machine are to its customers' specs. Here is how the manufacturer does it.

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Die Science: Opportunity knocks

February 24, 2017 | By Art Hedrick

When you think of the tool and die industry, you often think first of tool- and diemakers—people grinding die sections, reading engineered drawings, assembling dies, and trying out tooling. Although tool- and diemakers are critical to the diemaking process, many jobs are equally important to the...

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