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Building success with the staggered truss

June 17, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Developed during the 1960s by MIT graduate students, the staggered-truss system avoids the use of interior columns to transfer loads to the foundation; instead, trusses themselves carry the brunt of the load transfers. More than anything, the steel design method has potential to take various hotel, condo, and office-building projects away from other construction materials, like concrete, and that's certainly good news for structural steel fabricators everywhere.

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When customers and suppliers file bankruptcy

June 17, 2008 | By Timothy McFadden

Although economic growth in recent years has resulted in fewer business bankruptcies, increasing signs of economic slowdown may mean that fabricators will soon see more of their customers or suppliers file for bankruptcy.

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Automotive toolmaking tricknology : Applying NUMMI's concepts to tool and diemaking

June 17, 2008 | By Gary Gathen

In 1984 the Fremont, Calif. GM assembly plant shuttered under the strain of horrible management-labor relationships. Toyota offered to reopen the plant in a joint venture with GM implementing its Toyota Production System. Tool and diemaking shops can apply the same NUMMI concepts to revitalize their companies and reinvent themselves.

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Unfolding truth about flats

June 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis reveals the usefulness of unfolding parts on the computer screen.

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Where is the welding management?

May 27, 2008 | By Elia Levi

Skilled, responsible welders can be expected to perform tasks to which they are accustomed very well. But when a brand-new project comes in, management should be careful not to give welders responsibilities they are not prepared to take. They need more than encouragement and sympathy.

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Good leadership comes from inside

May 27, 2008 | By Vicki Bell

How important is good leadership? Extremely important. Poor leadership can cause a massive talent drain and cripple a company. When it comes to leadership, emotional intelligence can make the difference between a good leader and one who needs work to become an asset rather than a liability.

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Sport compact racing car

Fabrication business coming up races

May 13, 2008 | By Dan Davis

Mazworx, a shop that rebuilds engines for racing, fabricates custom parts for racing upgrades, and works on compact cars to prepare them for racing, is also involved in racing. The belief is that it can build up its reputation for racing parts through appearances at NHRA sport compact races throughout the Southeast.

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Multigun resistance welding system

Resistance-weld more for less

May 13, 2008 | By James L. Dillard

Costs associated with poor resistance weld quality often can be traced back to faulty electrode usage. With today's high cost of copper—to say nothing of the extra labor and lost production time—wearing out electrodes prematurely has become more expensive than ever.

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Diversity a blessing for Blessing

May 13, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Diverse customer base—from heavy equipment to medical—key to Blessing Industries' success

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Streamlined scheduling suits fabricator

May 13, 2008 | By Tim Heston

Indianapolis-based Estes Design and Manufacturing has made significant strides in adopting manufacturing-friendly information technology, marrying enterprise resource planning (ERP) and scheduling software to ensure work flows efficiently through the shop.

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Machined-part modeling in 3-D CAD

May 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis guides the reader through the 3-D design of a coupling that needs to be machined. He starts off with a bad example of how to do it and works his way toward a much better process.

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Laser Marking Safety Mecco

The right trace at the right time

April 15, 2008 | By Dan Davis

You won't find this tale on the DIY cable network, but it's a true story of do-it-yourself success for Ford Motor Co.Despite the sales struggles most North American automakers face, these companies still must move forward with plans to design and produce new models of automobiles. They can't elect...

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Will tube and pipe industry have energy to continue expanding?

April 15, 2008 | By Richard Marando

The current expansion in the tube and pipe industry isn't new, but it bears a close look nonetheless. Understanding the factors that are causing it and how manufacturers are reacting to it provide some guidance to the future of this trend.

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Fabricated aluminum parts

Of cars, this specialty vehicle manufacturer can do it

April 15, 2008 | By Dan Davis

M&M Vehicles Corp., Mexico, Mo., is less a car company and more of a fabricating shop. That's been the case from the beginning when Chris Miller and another employee cut diamond-plate aluminum sheet with a Skil saw blade turned backwards and then hand-bent the sheet to form boxes that graced those early used golf cars.

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3D CAD modeling of sheet metal parts

April 1, 2008 | By Gerald Davis

The main variation in sheet metal modeling technique is when to let the 3D CAD system know that the part is to be treated as sheet metal. Columnist Gerald Davis walks us through three different ways to accomplish this.

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