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You can’t commoditize human connections

April 30, 2015

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Ken Schmidt helped turn Harley-Davidson around, not by improving product quality, but by connecting to the people who bought motorcycles. That same connection can form the backbone of a fabricator’s success.

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Getting to the root of pipe welding automation

April 29, 2015

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Automating the root pass in pipe spool fabrication has always been a challenge, and making weld preparations more consistent just hasn’t been economically practical. In this market, advanced vision systems and adaptive welding have helped overcome these challenges.

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Two tanks for waterjet productivity

April 29, 2015

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A dual-tank waterjet system made for a metal fabricator is now a product offering for all fabricators interested in boosting waterjet productivity.

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ERP and the (very) small shop

April 29, 2015

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With today’s cloud-based systems, advanced ERP systems no longer require a hefty IT infrastructure on-site, which can make advanced ERP available to even the smallest of shops. But from the get-go, shop owners need to plan for the upgrade, and they can start by asking a few key questions.

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Employee retention: The first 30 days

April 29, 2015

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Nothing is more frustrating than spending time and money to train new hires, only to lose them six to 12 months later. Why did they leave? Quite often the reasons go back to their first 30 days on the job.

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Getting a grip

April 24, 2015

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Setting the grip die securely in rotary draw bending requires close attention to three factors: the pressure exerted by the machine, the contact area, and the material’s coefficient of friction.

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Metallurgy Matters: Influencing weld strength

April 24, 2015

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Weld metal strength: It’s a subject that’s often discussed, and just as often misunderstood. To fully consider how strong weld metal will be or how you can strengthen it, you have to think about not only the preweld decisions that influence weld strength, but also the postweld reactions and...

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Spiral pipe welding automation drives productivity

April 23, 2015

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To meet demand from the petroleum industry, spiral pipe producers have turned to advanced automated systems to ramp up production

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Punch it, laser-cut it, or something else? The sequel

April 23, 2015

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Ten years ago The FABRICATOR ran an article titled "Punch it, laser-cut it, or something else?" which looked at the different machines available to perform basic fabrication operations. New technology has changed the thinking a bit when it comes to the discussion of what can be accomplished with laser cutting and punching machines. This article sequel tackles those points.

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Assuring quality in the small to medium-size job shop

April 23, 2015

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Quality assurance is a critical aspect of fabricating. It requires input from various departments, careful inspection throughout all facets of the job, and detailed recordkeeping. Here’s a blueprint for optimum QA.

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Ask the Expert: Increasing progressive-stamping tooling life with the right lubricant

April 15, 2015

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I get a lot of questions regarding how to maximize the life of progressive-stamping tooling, but no one response fits all. We talk a lot about tooling materials, heat treatment, and coatings. But time and again, stamping lubrication is treated as relatively insignificant. Stampers put little...

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Ask the Expert: The continuing challenge of die maintenance

April 15, 2015

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Q: I have been trying to locate the die maintenance check list printed in a STAMPING Journal® article several years ago, which also included the 10 Tooling Laws. I am hoping you can lead me to it. A: You will find the check list at the end of this article. But even with a maintenance check...

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Ask the Expert: Determining stock width for stamping a part in a progressive die

April 14, 2015

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Q: How do I define the width of the metal stock required to stamp a part in a new progressive die? A: You need to consider a lot of factors when determining stock width for stamping a part in a progressive die. I assume your question on the stock width is so you can estimate the raw material...

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Ask the Expert: Fixing die shortcomings

April 14, 2015

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Q: We have a large stamping tool running in a 300-ton press. A changeover tool makes a left part and a right part, each of which is about 0.1 in. thick and shaped like a peanut. One-half of the part (lengthwise) is coined offset one material thickness in depth in addition to a number of other...

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3 tips for building an effective welding workforce

April 9, 2015

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Shapiro & Duncan Inc., a third-generation mechanical contractor serving the mid-Atlantic region offers some tips for building an engaged and talented welding team.

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