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One metal manufacturer, one name, many services

June 3, 2016

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Merrill Technologies Group, Saginaw, Mich., has implemented a strategy that managers hope will double the size of the company over the next five years.

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How to maximize rebates on lighting upgrades

June 2, 2016

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If you are considering a lighting retrofit, chances are you're already aware that tax incentives and rebates are available, and you're counting on them to shorten your ROI.

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A big leap into big tube cutting

June 2, 2016

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If Richards Sheet Metal Works had taken the conventional path, it would have invested in a new flat-sheet cutting laser, especially considering its 5-kW workhorse was more than a decade old. But Richards isn’t a conventional metal fabricator. Today it has one of the largest tube cutting lasers in the country.

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Fabricators and their power hammers

June 2, 2016

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Power hammers are pieces of equipment that hark back to the earliest days of metal fabricating. Today’s power hammers allow fabricators to lean on the technology, not purely on brawn, to deliver the shaping blows. While power hammers are not found in many precision sheet metal shops, many operations do employ them. In fact, they are a key part of the operation.

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Staying safe during deburring and grinding

June 1, 2016

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Certain potentially dangerous situations can be avoided on the shop floor with automated deburring and grinding technology.

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No experience necessary

June 1, 2016

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A fed-up masonry contractor from Scottsdale, Ariz., closed his business, taught himself how to weld, began sculpting in metal and bronze, and now happily makes a living as a metal artist.

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Drive systems, automation, and flow: a press brake evolution

June 1, 2016

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Over the years press brake machines have undergone three big changes: how the machines are driven, how they are automated, and, finally, how parts flow through them.

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The reality of waterjet abrasive recycling

June 1, 2016

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Because shipping spent waterjet abrasive off to the landfill usually is easy, not too much thought is given to attempting to recycle it. However, in today's manufacturing world, all aspects of the operation are scrutinized for possible cost savings. That includes looking at abrasive recycling.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Is it necessary to balance a die in a press?

May 31, 2016

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Q: I always try to balance my single-stage and progressive dies in our presses. However, with some new dies coming in, I have no room to move them in the press to a balanced condition. Is it necessary to balance a die in a press? A: To give you a better understanding of the subject, we should...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can I increase press speed without constant production stoppage

May 31, 2016

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Dennis Cattell advises that the centerlines of the press, bolster, feed, straightener, and reel might not be in line and the coil material guide settings might not be correct.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can we form holes smaller than the material thickness?

May 31, 2016

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Q: We are using a progressive die to make a part that is 3.770 inch in diameter with 45 holes, each 0.172 in. in dimeter, on a 3.514-in. bcd [basic center diameter]. Our customer has asked us to change the material from 0.080-in. half-hard copper to 0.240-in. half-hard copper. Now the hole is...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can I avoid die crashes?

May 31, 2016

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Q: I am a die setter and press operator who works with progressive dies that run up to 120 SPM. For die and press protection, we have: Strip material location with pilots. Pilot protection with limit switches. Four double-material-thickness stripper sensors in case of slug pull-up. Sensor on...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can I prevent slivers in blanking operations?

May 27, 2016

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Q: We are making shallow drawn cuts from 0.007-inch-thick aluminum base material with a thin polymer coating. The cups are assorted sizes from 0.375 to 0.75 in. and equal depths. We pierce the blank and use a balentine to carry it in the strip web through the draw operations, and finally we...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Do we really need die safety blocks for die setting?

May 27, 2016

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Dennis Cattell answers this question with a resounding "Yes!"

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Growth strategies for fabricators

May 26, 2016

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Many small businesses grow quickly in the early years, but eventually growth hits a plateau. Big gains in additional growth come from gaining new customers or acquiring another company. In Going to Market, a presentation at The FABRICATOR®’s Leadership Summit, Lisa Wertzbaugher, sales and marketing manager for fabricator Superior Tube Products, discussed a four-part strategy for expanding the company’s sales, revenue, and profitability.

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