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How do you measure your shop’s performance?

February 16, 2017 | By Bill Frahm

The use of operational effectiveness and efficiency (OEE) measurements is a good way to get a feel for how a manufacturing operation is performing, but further work needs to be done if a shop really wants to fix what ails it.

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Management in the metal fabrication industry

February 9, 2017 | By Aaron Continelli

Just as shop floor workers require special skills, shop managers do so as well. Here is an overview of management duties and what employers in the metal fabrication industry are looking for in managers.

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Technology Spotlight: Reading the laser cutting beam—there’s an app for that

February 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Precitec’s cutting head senses trouble in real time, and communicates via Bluetooth directly to an operator’s phone or tablet.

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Following the roll forming road map

February 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Many people call roll forming a black art, but David Rostocil isn’t one of them. If an operator is given the print, follows documented operating procedures, and maintains good records—and has consistent material thickness and properties to work with—the process becomes a science, one that over time can be tweaked and perfected.

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6 ways to optimize a waterjet for your shop

January 31, 2017 | By Chip Burnham

A waterjet can be outfitted to fit your shop's unique needs. Knowing how they work, benefits and how to make them more productive will help you get the most out of your waterjet, from art to part.

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Consumables Corner: Finding a flux/wire combination to match A572, weld through rust

January 30, 2017 | By Nino Mascalco, Rob Koltz, Steve Sigler

An overhead crane manufacturer solicits the Consumables crew for help choosing a flux/wire combination that closely matches A572.

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Arc Welding 101: WPS & PQR for dummies

January 30, 2017 | By Paul Cameron

Paul Cameron explains the important elements of developing a WPS or PQR for weld inspecting.

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Lean manufacturing and a tale of two sandboxes

January 30, 2017 | By Gary Conner, Logan O’Hara

Change can cause an emotional roller coaster. One often-missed component of continuous improvement is empathizing with those who must change what they do every day. Without empathy, understanding, and describing what the change means for the whole organization, emotions can run high.

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Aluminum Workshop: Choosing a filler to repair 356.0-T6 casting

January 30, 2017 | By Frank Armao

A reader wanting to make a repair to a 356.0-T6 aluminum cylinder gets Frank's advice on what filler metal to use.

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A new way to automate sheet metal bending

January 30, 2017 | By Tim Heston

At Minneapolis-based Atlas Manufacturing, a collaborative robot has taken over the mundane task of forming long runs of simple parts.

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Fabricating a new sales approach

January 30, 2017 | By Dan Davis

More job shops are looking to formalize their sales efforts, and that often means eschewing contract sales reps and hiring a full-time employee to go out and chase business.

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Press brake bending basics: Tooling choice when forming aluminum

January 30, 2017 | By Steve Benson

When choosing tools to bend aluminum, as always, you need to consider the naturally floated radius as well as where the bend turns sharp. You also may consider forming certain aluminum grades in the annealed condition.

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A trophy fit for Titletown

January 27, 2017 | By Amanda Carlson

A Wisconsin metal fabricator created a 10-ft. replica of the Lombardi Trophy and mounted it in the yard outside of its Green Bay-based tailgate house. Why? Because Packer freedom is a way of life.

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Managing the three legs of the custom metal fabrication stool

January 27, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Technology has become the ticket to entry for metal fabrication. But when a fabricator buys a new machine, it doesn’t stay secret for long. So what really sets a company apart from its competitors? Past speakers at FMA events give some insights.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design changes involve changes to CAD hierarchy

January 27, 2017 | By Gerald Davis

To assist with smooth transitions during design changes, columnist Gerald Davis shows a work flow for changing a part into an assembly.

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