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Using power tools effectively

November 10, 2014

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Following basic safety practices when using power tools contributes to safer conditions for the machine or tool operator and provides cost savings for the fabrication shop through improved productivity and extended consumable life

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Piecing together the continuous improvement puzzle

November 10, 2014

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Various improvement initiatives related to 5S, part flow, communication, management structure, and planning led to a stark change at Miller Welding & Machine Co., a contract fabricator in western Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, everything just clicked.

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Arc Welding 101: Don't spare the rod—Electrode storage myths

November 10, 2014

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Welders often ask me, “Can I dry welding rods in my oven if they have gotten wet?” and “Can I put 7018 welding rods in my freezer for a certain amount of time if they are old?” The 7018 electrode is a low-hydrogen rod, which means it doesn’t tolerate moisture in its flux. If you’ve...

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Aluminum Workshop: Sizing up processes, power source capabilities for aluminum welding

November 7, 2014

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Q: I have a small shop at my home and would like to add a piece of welding equipment to increase my capabilities to weld aluminum. But, I’m confused. I don’t know whether to buy a gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) machine or a gas metal arc welding (GMAW) machine. Any suggestions? A: In general,...

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Welding small, and growing

November 7, 2014

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MicroArc Welding specializes in putting tiny welds on tiny parts. It’s all manual. It requires a careful touch that few people have. For MicroArc, an eight-person weld shop outside Boston, this tiny niche has led to big opportunity.

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Maximizing operational performance with automation

November 7, 2014

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Software is allowing fabricators to squeeze every bit of productivity out of fabricating equipment and the people that run the equipment. The software optimizes advanced cutting features and automates related processes.

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Arc Welding 101: Hot rods and MIG

November 7, 2014

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Q: Can gas metal arc welding (GMAW) be used on motorcycles and hot rods? A: Yes, but it takes a lot more than just running a good bead. The popularity of cable TV fabrication shows with the likes of Jesse James, the Teutuls, and Boyd Coddington has generated a lot of questions about GMAW....

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What is good company culture, exactly?

November 6, 2014

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Good culture may boil down to giving people an opportunity to contribute beyond their traditional job description, and rewarding them for it.

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Metal fabrication, efficiency, and safety

November 6, 2014

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Morality and fear often drive safety investments. People don’t want to see people get hurt, and they don’t want fines from a terrible accident to put them out of business. But there’s another driver that’s sometimes overlooked: efficiency. Safety is an important part of the foundation for efficiency and operational improvement.

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Driving profitability while protecting employees

November 6, 2014

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Developing a total solutions approach to safety, health, and wellness is going to be critical to every employer’s business survival in the future. The best companies will be those that create a culture where everyone feels responsible for identifying, reporting, and reducing potential risks, greatly improving their ability to take proactive corrective action before anything bad happens.

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Aluminum Workshop: Aluminum TIG with DCEN

November 6, 2014

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Q: I do a lot of aluminum GTAW, and I have always used alternating current (AC). Recently a friend told me that I can GTAW aluminum using direct current electrode negative (DCEN). Is this true? A: Yes, it is true, but using DCEN requires some changes in the process. Let’s find out what they are....

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Arc Welding 101: Thoriated tungsten and its alternatives

November 6, 2014

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Q: In "TIG welding--An overview," you said you used 2 percent thoriated tungsten until you heard about the health risks. What are other options? Does cost vary significantly (not that cost should matter when it comes to health or safety)? My fabrication shop runs 14 gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)...

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Going beyond commodity sheet metal perforation

November 5, 2014

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Accurate Perforating doesn’t just make holes anymore. It provides entire perforated and fabricated sheet metal components. The 200-employee Chicago manufacturer has done a lot to stand out in a consolidated sector.

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Classes for the masses

November 5, 2014

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Frustrated by an OEM that always makes easy products complicated, uses unrealistic tolerances, or leaves out critical information? You’re in good company—every manufacturer experiences this type of thing once in a while. Superior Tube Products Inc., Davenport, Iowa, deals with this by providing classes that teach the finer points of bending tube and pipe.

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Aluminum Workshop: Choosing tungsten for aluminum TIG

November 5, 2014

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Q: I am just getting into aluminum GTAW and I have heard many recommendations about which tungsten electrode I should use. Can you tell me how to make the right choice? A: I will certainly try. First, let’s look at the commonly available tungsten electrodes (see Figure 1). Each type is given an...

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