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Press brake training: Passing the torch

December 1, 2015

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Southern Metalcraft Inc.’s press brake veteran will be retiring at the end of 2016, and he is now passing the torch to someone who never worked on a press brake until 2009. So how did the rookie learn so quickly? Technical aptitude plays a role. But more important than that, the veteran and rookie get along and just work well together.

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2016 capital spending forecast in metal fabrication: The growth continues

November 30, 2015

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According to the “2016 Capital Spending Forecast” from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, total capital spending will edge up a little more than 2 percent next year. Still, certain equipment categories, including welding and bending, may experience dramatic gains.

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3 steps to optimize a finishing operation

November 30, 2015

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Metal fabricators are pressed for time, so many don’t dedicate the time to conduct a thorough analysis of something as trivial as abrasive disc usage. That’s a mistake, because a few simple steps can produce momentum that makes a more formal investigation into abrasive usage hard to ignore.

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Friction stir welding expands its scope

November 30, 2015

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Friction stir welding, which is used in projects such as the new NASA heavy-lift rocket, is now being used in more typical metal fabricating applications.

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R&D Update: Flow stress data and FE simulation

November 30, 2015

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Finite element (FE)-based computer software commonly is used in the sheet metal forming and stamping industry for die design and for predicting metal flow and thinning in the formed part. It is a useful tool for predicting and preventing forming defects such as fracture and wrinkling. However,...

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Cutting costs automatically with automated material handling

November 30, 2015

Schletter Inc., a producer of solar mounting systems, invested in an automated sheet metal storage and handling system from Volz-Stopa America Inc. for its Shelby, N.C., manufacturing facility.

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Ask the Expert: How do I calculate press tonnage for swaging?

November 30, 2015

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Q: We are in the process of quoting a new job for the swaging and stamping of copper rod. To do this job, we need to buy a hydraulic press. The goal is to deform copper rods into a flat form on one of the edges. How do we calculate how much press tonnage we need? A: Obviously I would need a...

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Die Science: Training new tool- and diemakers

November 27, 2015

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I must get two or three calls a week from companies needing tool- and diemakers, die maintenance specialists, or die repair specialists. The demand for skilled labor has skyrocketed in the last year or so. Unfortunately, most of the time I can’t help them. The Dwindling Talent Pool...

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Aluminum Workshop: Fine-line lack of fusion and its causes

November 16, 2015

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Q: I recently fabricated a large component from 1-in.-thick 5083 aluminum. The customer required it to be radiographed. His inspector failed one of the radiographs because of a lack of fusion (LOF) discontinuity. I looked at the radiograph and I can’t see any discontinuity. Could the inspector be...

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Arc Welding 101: For the record: Grounding, work leads are not the same

November 16, 2015

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Q: I am writing this in regards to an article you wrote last year about grounding and grounds (“Achieving a good work lead connection,” Practical Welding Today, July/August 2014, p. 58). You mentioned that grounding to a structure should not be used if at all possible. My question is this: If...

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Consumables Corner: Discovering the cause of lack of fusion in PJP joints

November 16, 2015

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Q: We manufacture various products for the agriculture and transportation industries. A majority of our products are made from 6061 and 5652 aluminum and are joined with gas metal arc welding (GMAW-S) using a 5356 filler metal and 100 percent argon shielding gas. Most of the joints are partial...

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Women in manufacturing: One company’s 50-50 workforce

November 11, 2015

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PPI, a diverse manufacturer based in the Southeast, defies national trends. While women make up only 27 percent of the U.S. manufacturing workforce, they make up nearly half of PPI’s workforce. What drew these women to manufacturing, and what makes them stay?

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Making CAD magnets

November 11, 2015

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Does your shop have special punching tooling that it would like to use more? Columnist Gerald Davis demonstrates how to prepare a CAD model of the punching tooling that a customer can download into its own CAD tooling library and possibly incorporate into future jobs that may end up with the job shop.

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A grand unifying theory of press brake bending: Part III

November 11, 2015

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In this installment of the Grand Unifying Theory of bending, press brake guru Steve Benson describes bending calculations for aircraft tooling. He also covers the basics of bottoming

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Interrelated coil processing reduces cost, enhances control

November 11, 2015

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More stampers are using multiple coil processing methods, including feeding, multiblanking/slitting, recoiling, and blanking, on the same line to achieve flexible fabrication. Benefits of doing so include better control and savings.

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