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Want to make your own products?

December 6, 2013

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This column is a bit of a change of pace, but like all the previous ones it is targeted to the real issues I see with contract manufacturers and fabricators. This column focuses on products, specifically, the products you may want to build and market under your company’s auspices versus someone...

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Tackling thin aluminum with GTAW for the first time - TheFabricator.com

Tackling thin aluminum with GTAW for the first time

December 5, 2013

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A welder tackling gas tungsten arc welding of thin aluminum for the first time might find it more difficult, but in reality, it's just different from the gas metal arc welding that he or she originally learned. Following these guidelines can help the welder make a smooth transition into thin aluminum welding.

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Electronic sensors augment error-proofing, quality control programs - TheFabricator.com

Electronic sensors augment error-proofing, quality control programs

December 2, 2013

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Manufacturing is changing—the old hands are retiring, and many left the industry suddenly in the wake of the 2009 downturn. The workforce is smaller and less experienced than before, yet the demands for quality and consistency have never been higher. Electronic sensing and measuring systems can help with inspection and error-proofing in this demanding situation.

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Cutoff choices for tube, pipe producers - TheFabricator.com

Cutoff choices for tube, pipe producers

December 2, 2013

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Like any mechanical system, a mill can run only as fast as its slowest component. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of various cutoff systems is the first step in making sure the cutoff keeps up with the rest of the mill.

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Fabricator switches saw blade, improves throughput - TheFabricator.com

Fabricator switches saw blade, improves throughput

December 2, 2013

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When fabricator SF Tube Inc. noticed a falling productivity in its welding department, it discovered poorly cut tube that required an added step, end facing, before welding. The band saw blade was the culprit, which led to one change, a different brand, but ultimately a handful of improvements in productivity.

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Hinging Success—on Hinges - TheFabricator.com

Hinging Success—on Hinges

December 2, 2013

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Midlake grew from a small garage shop to a precision sheet metal manufacturer with an unusual focus--on hinges.

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Big improvements in a short time - TheFabricator.com

Big improvements in a short time

December 2, 2013

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A.J. Antunes started down the path of lean manufacturing about a year ago. Its managers say they are in the "baby steps" of lean--but those steps have been pretty big.

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The right equipment for the application - TheFabricator.com

The right equipment for the application

December 2, 2013

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When any discussion takes place about metal fabricating in Europe, the focus almost always centers on automation because these shops have to cope with high-priced labor and strict regulations. That’s not so much the case for all European fabricators, however. Shops in Belgium are more interested in increasing throughput, and sometimes that may not call for advanced automation. They want equipment that is the right fit for their shops.

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2014 forecast: The big question mark - TheFabricator.com

2014 forecast: The big question mark

December 1, 2013

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2014 could be a banner year for the metal fabricaton business, or it could be a dud. Uncertainty reigns, and at the end of 2013, most of it focused on Washington.

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Lowering the learning curve - TheFabricator.com

Lowering the learning curve

November 27, 2013

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A Pennsylvania crane fabricator relies on virtual weld training to kick-start weld training for new hires.

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Job shop estimating: Control and feedback methods - TheFabricator.com

Job shop estimating: Control and feedback methods

November 26, 2013

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Columnist Gerald Davis explains how the process of estimating is supported by buddy checks, databases, and report cards.

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Four ways to measure team performance - TheFabricator.com

Four ways to measure team performance

November 25, 2013

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Most organizations assess their teams by looking at lagging indicators. But would it not be beneficial to diagnose a team’s potential and performance in real time? These four strategies can provide immediate feedback.

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The hidden costs in manufacturing

November 25, 2013

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Taken individually or in combination, hidden costs greatly affect a company’s financial and competitive performance.

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How one job shop retains skilled talent - TheFabricator.com

How one job shop retains skilled talent

November 25, 2013

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Southern Metalcraft Inc.’s average employee tenure is 20 years. Speaking on a shop tour during The FABRICATOR’s 2013 Technology Summit, the company founder described why employees rarely leave.

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Yellow Jacket

Case Study: Stretch wrapper helps steel fabricator reduce labor, time, film consumption

November 19, 2013

A fabricator looking for a more efficient, less labor-intensive means of wrapping found a system that it says improved productivity, reduced product damage and wrapping inconsistencies, and saved on film use, while also saving worker wear and tear.

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