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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.

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How 2016 Car of the Year Honda Civic maneuvered around AHSS obstructions

October 4, 2016

Honda used Gestamp’s in-die “softzone” hot stamping process to form strategic zones of the 2016 Civic sedan’s rear frame rails to 1,500-megapascal (MPa) (shown in red), while cooling other zones (shown in pink), at a different pace to render them to a lower tensile strength to satisfy crush mode and performance targets.

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Flat-rolled steel spot prices keep falling

September 27, 2016 | By John Packard

After peaking in June, steel prices continue to decrease. Metal fabricators should keep an eye out for price increases from the mills. When they are announced, service centers will begin increasing their own prices.

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Arc Welding 101: Understanding acceptable undercut

September 23, 2016 | By Paul Cameron

Q: I find myself rejecting a lot of welds. I don't want to fail them and find out that I misinterpreted something. When there are small amounts of undercut throughout the length of the weld, I'm still not clear on what AWS means by "... in 2 inches up to 12 inches" [AWS D1.1, Table 6.1(7)]. So I...

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Consumables Corner: Preventing porosity on weldable primer-coated joints

September 23, 2016 | By Nino Mascalco, Rob Koltz, Steve Sigler

Q: A majority of our welding is done on 1/4 to 5/8-in.-thick carbon steel that has a weldable primer. Most of the welding is done on basic partial joint penetration (PJP) T-joints without any joint prep. We use an E70T-1 0.052-in.-dia. flux-core wire with a 75 percent Ar/25 percent CO2 shielding...

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Aluminum Workshop: Know the Mg content of your 5XXX alloy

September 23, 2016 | By Frank Armao

This month’s topic doesn’t deal specifically with welding aluminum, but I think you will agree it has important implications in the design and fabrication of aluminum structures. This topic and its associated problems have come up in conversations twice in the past two months. It deals with...

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Servo press trends

September 21, 2016 | By Kate Bachman

Vehicular weight reductions that automakers have made largely have been attributed to the use of advanced high-strength (AHS) materials—and the stamping manufacturers forming them. Stampers have muscled the Olympian feat via many approaches, including using servo-driven mechanical presses. Servo presses have evolved and moved from the fringe into the mainstream. Four servo press manufacturers weigh in on how servo press technology has advanced to spot stampers in helping them meet the challenges inherent in forming superstrong metals with low formability and high work hardening.

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High-tech stamping in Amish country

September 21, 2016 | By Kate Bachman

The SUPERB™ factory in Sugarcreek, Ohio performs surprisingly high-tech operations in a traditional village in Amish country, including stamping components for next-generation power grid storage units for Alevo. To meet the demand to stamp and assemble 100 million battery components, the manufacturer installed automated assembly equipment.

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Miles ahead with design & welding

September 19, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

Fed up with waiting on his welding subcontractor, an owner of a landscape design company regained control and gets a creativity boost by learning how to weld.

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Evolving robotic welding fume extraction

September 19, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

RoboVent’s Spire filtration system for robotic welding applications endeavors to be the small, easy-to-use, and relatively hands-off version of its predecessor.

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When weld prep matters

September 19, 2016 | By Amanda Carlson

A welding and fabrication company specializing in large-diameter pipe found that a switch in its grinding consumables made all the difference in safety, productivity, and weld quality.

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Wire brushes, grinding wheels, and flap discs, oh my!

September 19, 2016 | By Rick Hopkins

Do you know the difference between a wire brush, a grinding wheel, and a flap disc? Knowing this can help ensure you are spending more time welding and less time cleaning and making repairs.

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Is this laser cutting lens damaged?

September 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Laser operators and maintenance technicians have a new diagnostic tool: a tiny crossed polarizer, which can detect lens stress. The crossed polarizer clips onto a smartphone and utilizes the phone’s polarized flat-panel display.

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Troubleshooting sheet metal forming: Determining the root causes of bending failure

September 15, 2016 | By Steve Benson

When determining the root causes of part failure, look to not just the forming method and tooling, but also the quality of material. Cheap material can be extremely costly over the long run.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Changing the hierarchy and file names within CAD assemblies

September 15, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis provides file organization and renaming guidance, so that the CAD operator doesn’t make a needless mistake that can boost frustration and reduce modeling efficiency.

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Moving additive manufacturing forward

September 14, 2016 | By Tim Heston

EWI’s Buffalo Manufacturing Works, which opened in 2015, has resources covering all seven major categories of additive manufacturing. But having access to the technology and equipment in-house is just half the story. The other half involves experts in design, materials, processes, and quality all working together to move additive technology forward.

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