thefabricator.com is the digital home of The FABRICATOR magazine, the metal fabricating industry’s foremost authority on manufacturing technology. Technical articles, case studies, and company profiles from The FABRICATOR and its sister publications, Practical Welding Today, The Tube & Pipe Journal, and STAMPING Journal can be found on this site. Additionally, thefabricator.com has a team of subject matter experts that write exclusively for the website, covering topics such as welding skills and metal forming basics.
June 15, 2016 | By Tim Heston
General Sheet Metal Works has experienced double-digit growth in recent years. For a $70 million operation, that’s saying something. And yet, the company has few growing pains to speak of—thanks to a new business structure that has made scaling up much easier.
June 14, 2016 | By John Packard
The U.S. has placed duties on several types of steel imports, and the domestic steel companies have idled plants. That means supply sources are slowly tightening. Increased demand by the domestic industrial base could push steel prices higher.
June 9, 2016 | By Michelle Howell
If you need more workers and you’re having a difficult time finding them, perhaps you should explore equipment options that can mitigate the need for more help. For example, some welding tables can eliminate the need for extra hands.
June 8, 2016 | By Art Hedrick
Columnist Art Hedrick goes back to basics about drawing, offering a comparison of drawing and casting, an explanation of flow and control.
June 7, 2016 | By Thomas Vacca
Over the years I have received many requests from readers asking for suggestions and advice for particularly challenging stamping applications. Some of the issues can be addressed through creative tool design; some can’t. Some stampings by design make it virtually impossible to satisfy all the...
June 3, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes
Keeping all employees engaged all the time isn’t easy, but the benefits are substantial. Ultimately, such engagement unleashes employee talent.
June 3, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Merrill Technologies Group, Saginaw, Mich., has implemented a strategy that managers hope will double the size of the company over the next five years.
June 2, 2016 | By Josh Kurtz
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.
June 2, 2016 | By Tim Heston
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.
June 2, 2016 | By Jeffrey Dean
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.
June 1, 2016 | By Ingo Heiland
Certain potentially dangerous situations can be avoided on the shop floor with automated deburring and grinding technology.
June 1, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson
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.
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.
June 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis
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.
May 31, 2016 | By Dennis Cattell
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...