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Metallurgy Matters: The science of welding metallurgy

March 9, 2015

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It’s time to narrow our focus and look at the science of welding metallurgy, a branch of metallurgy that addresses the behavior of a metal during welding and, just as important, the effects of welding on a metal’s properties. Think about what happens when you weld together two pieces of...

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Die Science: Step-by-step troubleshooting of stamping dies, Part I

March 6, 2015

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Opinions on how to troubleshoot a stamping operation are not in short supply at any production stamping or die-building shop. I’m not trying to stereotype diemakers, designers, or technicians, but their decisions often are made based on insufficient data. Statistically speaking, if I...

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Die Science: Step-by-step troubleshooting of stamping dies, Part II

March 6, 2015

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In Part I of this article, which appeared in the January/February 2015 issue, I discussed the first two basic steps in troubleshooting: Identify problems with the part and verify the die and press setup parameters. Following are the remaining seven steps in the process. Step 3—Reassess and...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: Stamping thin, hard stainless steel

March 6, 2015

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Q: We recently received an order for domed spring washers stamped from 0.0010-inch-thick 301 1/2 hard stainless steel. The parts are about 0.250 in. OD and have two 0.006-in.-diameter pierced holes on a 0.150-in.-dia. circle centered on the part. We usually do not stamp anything less than 0.010 in....

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3-D waterjet software ingredients are the right mix for easy operation

March 5, 2015

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Companies have been programming 5-axis waterjet heads for 2-D and 3-D tables for decades. The process has moved from being a time-consuming chore to a couple of clicks, and from requiring extensive process and software knowledge to being operator-friendly.

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Handling structural steel, one truckload at a time

March 5, 2015

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For structural fabrication-and-construction companies, efficiency in logistics is vital. A typical column, beam, truss or joist is handled three times—first to a storage yard, then to a staging area, and finally to the semitrailer. However, this isn’t the only way to do it. Reinicke Athens Inc. recently invested in a straddle carrier from Combilift Ltd. Instead of moving one part at a time, the truck lifts and moves an entire load a time, cutting its trailer-loading time from up to 8 man-hours to as little as 30 minutes.

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The Superior way to implement lean manufacturing

March 5, 2015

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Editor Eric Lundin interviews two individuals who were key in establishing product flow at Superior Tube Co. Inc., tracing the big steps the company took to go from a conventional push system to a lean pull system.

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How a punch press acts like a press brake

March 4, 2015

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Traditionally bending high flanges on a punch press just hasn’t been practical, but new machines and software are changing the situation. Today, flanges up to 3 inches high can be bent not by the press brake, but by special tooling on the punch press.

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4 ways to improve time per bend

March 4, 2015

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The time that a press brake operator spends walking to a control or maneuvering a part is time the customer is not paying for. Those seconds add up over the day and cut into a fab shop's profitability. New approaches to bending, however, can help to remedy that.

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Odessa, oil, and the welding arc

February 19, 2015

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Investors worry about how the drop in oil prices will affect the energy boom. The people on the front lines—including the fabricators and pipe welders—don’t seem to be terribly worried. Some even welcome a slight slowdown, because it will give everyone time to catch up.

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Metal fabrication meets a seller’s market

February 18, 2015

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Manufacturing is cool again, and fabricators wanting to sell their business are benefiting from a seller’s market. Nevertheless, high revenue concentration, a shallow talent pool, poor cash flow, reliance on sales from a single sector, and other factors still throw up red flags.

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Why buy new tooling for a sheet metal hand brake?

February 17, 2015

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When bending with a hand brake, you can use the tooling that came with the machine, but investing in a tool with a radius on the punch nose has its benefits.

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Are you imprisoned by your information technology?

February 17, 2015

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With rapid application deployment platforms, software can be tailored to an individual company's needs in a very short time frame.

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Teaching: A metal fabricator’s secret sauce

February 17, 2015

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Bob Moehlman has welded pipe for more than 50 years, including 30 years at Superior Pipe Fabricators, a Los Angeles-based shop he helped launch in 1984. The shop’s success hasn’t come by using the latest and greatest pipe welding technology, but instead through teaching—showing the inexperienced employees the ropes, developing their talent, and giving them a career.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Table-driven models

February 16, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis shows why using a design table makes sense for those models in which reasonably limited changes take place.

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