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Bending and brewing

May 11, 2015

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Sheet metal worker Paul Ziegman puts in long days building stainless steel kitchen equipment for restaurants and other food-service businesses in and around Spokane, Wash. He recently opened his own such business using the same equipment and skill set.

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Trust, respect, and the skilled trades

May 11, 2015

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In 7 Success Skills for Apprentices and Skilled Trades Persons, James Sidney Harvey describes aspects of the skilled trades that you usually don’t learn in a classroom

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The unique characteristics of dual-phase steels

May 7, 2015

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The microstructure of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) can be tailored to produce specific properties that are engineered for each application. This is why usage of AHSS grades is growing in the automotive industry, and dual-phase (DP) steels are leading the way.

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Synchronized welding

May 7, 2015

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No one doubts that welding equipment has advanced to the point where it has greatly improved welding results and productivity when compared to the technology of previous decades. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. Fronius has attempted to address some of GMAW’s shortcomings with its LSC welding platform.

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Making lean manufacturing work in a job shop

May 7, 2015

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Lean principles apply to all manufacturing, not just OEM settings where a few types of products are made each and every day. These tips can help a job shop fabricator to eliminate waste in its assembly area.

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Flow, quality, and operational excellence in manufacturing

May 7, 2015

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A fabricator can’t achieve operational excellence without good flow, and good flow isn’t possible without good quality. Kevin Duggan, founder of the Institute for Operational Excellence, describes how quality assurance intertwines with every process in a business.

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Effectively controlling hazardous welding fumes and gases

May 6, 2015

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Effectively reducing hazardous welding fume and gas exposure requires much more than opening windows and running fans, which in most cases does little to alleviate the problem. Here are some options to make the welding workplace much safer.

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Troubleshooting CNC plasma cutting, Part II

May 6, 2015

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The four most common cut quality issues for fabricators are dross, edge angularity, material warpage, and metallurgy of the plasma-cut edge. Your ability to achieve the best results depends on the system, torch, and consumables you are using, as well as the accurate control of such highly critical parameters as pierce height, cut height, amperage, gas type and flow rate, and cut speed.

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Right resources + enough time = safe finishing

May 6, 2015

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A shop’s finishing team has the time and resources it needs to work safely. Time comes from proper scheduling and incentives that promote safe work practices. The resources come from five key areas: working environment, personal protection, fixturing and ergonomics, tools and abrasives, and power sources.

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Don't be afraid of skeleton handling

May 6, 2015

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Removing the skeleton from a machine tool is a time-consuming and potentially dangerous task. Machine tool builders recognize this and are taking steps to eliminate that manual effort.

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Heat it where you need it

May 5, 2015

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Before Thom Shelow founded Superior Joining Technologies Inc., he did quite a variety of welding, but his welding experience wasn’t the only asset he used to make the business a success. He keeps an open mind and is always ready to analyze new ideas, new concepts, and new technologies. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t prevail at SJTI.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design as a process

May 5, 2015

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Columnist Gerald Davis uses CAD to explore different means to design a metal widget.

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The 4 pillars of press brake tonnage limits

May 3, 2015

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To ensure you always work within the tonnage limits of your press brake and tooling, first calculate how much tonnage you need. Second, identify your tooling’s load limits. Third, calculate the sinking tonnage limit, which, if exceeded, can embed tooling into the ram or bed. Fourth, determine your press brakes’ centerline load limit.

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Best practices for welding aluminum

May 1, 2015

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Don’t wait for defects to appear in your aluminum welds. Be proactive by understanding how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

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How an air bend turns sharp

April 30, 2015

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Why do air bends in cold-rolled steel turn sharp at an inside radius that’s about 63 percent the material thickness? It has to do with the relationship between forming forces and a material’s tensile and yield strength.

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