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Arc Welding 101: Put your finger on it

January 20, 2015

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Q: I'm a welding instructor at a steel mill in northwest Indiana. We attended the “Train the Trainer” class at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology 12 years ago to certify in all positions, limited and unlimited thickness plates with backing, using all shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)...

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Aluminum Workshop: Why it’s so hard to weld anodized aluminum

January 20, 2015

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Q: I bought some anodized 6061-T6 tubing to make a structural framework and I’m having trouble welding it. The welds are black and ugly. Can you help? A: I think I can help. First, it would be helpful to explain what anodizing is. Anodizing is a reverse plating operation of sorts in which the...

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Producing stainless steel tubing for the medical industry

January 20, 2015

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Industry veteran Michael Ferreri provides an overview of the common methods of producing small-diameter stainless steel tubing for medical applications

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Fabrication minus the relaxation

January 15, 2015

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No-niche southwest Florida fabricator grows big in small time frame

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Redefining shipbuilding and fabricating with new plasma cutting equipment

January 15, 2015

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Great Lakes Shipyard, Cleveland, added a plasma cutting machine to its fabricating operations, which helps it to make more of its own parts without relying on subcontractors that don't always meet delivery dates.

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Managing maintenance for laser cutting machines

January 15, 2015

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Unscheduled downtime is an incredible headache for a busy fabricating operation. An adherence to a smart maintenance schedule and empowering a maintenance team can eliminate these production surprises.

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Rethinking the production meeting

January 12, 2015

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Metal fabricators are better at manufacturing than holding meetings, but some sort of regularly occurring production meeting is needed to get everyone on the same page. Several fabricators offer their opinions as to what works best for them in their production powwow.

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Improving quality through good change: Metcam tackles kaizen

January 9, 2015

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All manufacturers seek to improve processes and ROI. Alpharetta, Ga.-based Metcam, a fabricator of sheet metal components and assemblies, has seen significant improvement since beginning its kaizen initiative in late 2013. What follows is the company’s blueprint for kaizen success.

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Pushing the solid-state laser speed limit

January 9, 2015

Solid-state lasers theoretically could cut through thin sheet at up to 1,000 meters per minute, though no machine in the world can drive a laser at that speed. But new approaches to laser cutting are bringing laser cutting speeds closer to the theoretical maximum.

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Safety and regulatory overview for powder coating

January 8, 2015

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Like any manufacturing process, powder coating has the potential to be dangerous if the right safety precautions haven’t been taken. By referencing a few key standards, a manufacturer can keep the powder coating line going and the operators safe.

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Flying high at FABTECH

January 8, 2015

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More than 30,000 visited the FABTECH 2014, a show that had several dominant themes: skilled labor, intuitive manufacturing technology, and supply chain collaboration.

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Aluminum Workshop: Welding 6061-T6 without filler metal; choosing shielding gas for GMAW

January 6, 2015

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Q: I’m trying to use gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) without filler metal to join 6061-T6, and almost every weld I make cracks. What’s going on? A: A common aluminum alloy, 6061-T6 is welded every day, so we assume it must be easy to weld. Unfortunately, it isn’t. In fact, 6061 and the other...

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Aluminum Workshop: Welding anodized 6061-T6 extruded tubing, 7075 series aluminum

January 6, 2015

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Q: I bought anodized 6061-T6 extruded tubing and have been trying to gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) if, but the results so far haven’t been satisfactory. The welds look black and porous. I’m an experienced welder, and I’ve welded aluminum before, but I’ve never run into this. Is there...

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Aluminum Workshop: Choosing an aluminum alloy

January 5, 2015

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Q: I have a project I want to build from aluminum sheet and extrusions. Some of my friends tell me to make it entirely from 6061-T6. Other tell me to use other alloys, mostly 5000 series. The project entails a lot of welding. Which alloy should I use? A: Without knowing more details about your...

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Aluminum Workshop: Defining cast and helix

January 5, 2015

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Q: What are cast and helix? I keep hearing about them, but no one seems to really know what they are. A: First of all, cast and helix are two separate attributes of spooled wires intended for gas metal arc welding (GMAW). The terms have no meaning for straight cut lengths of wire meant for gas...

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