Articles


Filter Content

How to choose the right wire and flux for SAW

November 16, 2016 | By Robert Fox

Discovering as much as possible about the application’s requirements helps identify potentially costly and time-consuming conflicts between expectations and reality during the selection process, as opposed to during implementation. Most important, answering the following key questions provides insight into the big question: Which wire and flux is best for you?

Continue Reading


What makes an air bend sharp on the press brake?

November 16, 2016

Press brake operators use rules of thumb when it comes to determining sharp bends. But what truly determines the point at which a bend turns sharp is the relationship between the punch nose radius, the tonnage required to form, and the shear strength of the material.

Continue Reading


Using strengths and experiences to boost profitability

November 14, 2016 | By Bill Frahm

Metal formers are more than just suppliers of stamped parts. They understand how material reacts during the forming process and how downstream processes can be set up to handle stamped parts efficiently. This is valuable knowledge and should be shared with customers to solidify relationships and possibly boost revenue opportunities.

Continue Reading


So, you want to be a CWI—Part III

November 10, 2016 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

Continuing his series to help you prepare to become a certified welding inspector, Carlisle Smith focuses on welding wires and rods with some metallurgical information thrown in for good measure.

Continue Reading


Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Modeling a ribbon cable

November 8, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis considers techniques for adding ribbon cable connections to 3-D models

Continue Reading


Making sense of manufacturing acronyms

November 8, 2016 | By Stu Johnson

The enterprise software space has hundreds of three-letter acronyms—from MRP and ERP to MOM and MES—that represent technologies that help make managing business processes easier.

Continue Reading


Job security in manufacturing: Why all the negativity?

November 7, 2016 | By Tim Heston

The labor market is tight. Wages are going up. In metal fabrication, small companies are paying just as well if not better than bigger firms, according to a recent survey from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International®. Considering all this, why all the negativity? High uncertainty about the future may have something to do with it.

Continue Reading

Share the lean manufacturing knowledge

November 7, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes

As you pursue your lean journey, you create knowledge. What you do with that knowledge can predict how successful your lean efforts will be. If you tell the workforce only the bare minimum, then you are probably leaving lots of improvement potential on the table.

Continue Reading


Artist keeps ’em guessing

November 3, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Metal artist Chris O’Rourke goes a little further than most artists do, focusing on attention to detail. Many fabricators are more than a little mystified as to just how he did what he did, and most are equally perplexed when they realize how much time and effort he puts into his work.

Continue Reading


Structural fabricator has trial-by-fire leadership succession

November 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Bass Mechanical, a mechanical contractor and structural fabricator in southeast Pennsylvania, has transformed during the past two years. The company founder died unexpectedly, and his 27-year-old son, who at one point did not plan to enter the family business, is setting the stage for long-term growth.

Continue Reading


What is metal fabrication and where is the industry headed?

November 3, 2016 | By Aaron Continelli

Today’s metal fabrication shops are far different from those operating in the booming post-World War II economy. A fluctuating market, cyclical industries, and the need for sophisticated equipment and quick turnaround times in both production and output have shops scrambling to maintain profitability.

Continue Reading


7 reasons cast-iron platen tables make sense for welding

October 31, 2016 | By Paul Cunningham

Cast-iron platen tables have been around for decades, but many metal fabricators don't know about the usefulness or flexibility of these durable work surfaces.

Continue Reading


Flexible metal fabrication, however you slice it

October 31, 2016 | By Tim Heston

MF&B Restaurant Systems Inc., a pizza oven manufacturer in Dunbar, Pa., increases its fabrication flexibility by shortening punch tool changeovers, making good use of form tools, and making product design choices.

Continue Reading


Tube finishing machine handles straights, curves

October 28, 2016

Situation Ferrita Sweden AB, Köping, Sweden, specializes in stainless steel exhaust systems, mainly for passenger cars. The company has an international reach, making systems for brands from all over the world. It also makes systems for niche models—the Chrysler Viper, Maserati GranTurismo,...

Continue Reading


Safety and ergonomics strategy at Heatcraft: Do it safely, or not at all

October 28, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Heatcraft Worldwide Refrigeration, a division of Lennox International, has a culture in which safety is baked into the organization’s technology, processes, and mindset. If a project can’t be done safely, it isn’t worth doing at all.

Continue Reading