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Lightweighting, downgauging bumpers without buckling

October 26, 2015

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The advantages of ultrahigh-strength steels are that they can absorb energy at thinner gauges than mild steels, so metal formers can reduce mass by up to 20 percent by using them. This article, converted from a presentation from the Great Designs in Steel 2015 conference, evaluates optimizing geometries for three different forming processes--hot-forming, hot-stamping, roll forming--to solve challenges to forming thin-gauge materials to achieve light-weighting.

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How managing by valuation is changing Farris Fab

October 26, 2015

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Farris Fab has grown to become a $24.5 million enterprise. Within the past year company leaders have started to manage by valuation. They have no intention to sell, but maximizing the value of the company also happens to improve the overall operation.

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How lubricant roller application systems reduce friction without the oil slick

October 22, 2015

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Applying the right amount blots waste, cost. Roller lubrication systems apply lubricants in a consistent film across the coil.

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Real job shops

October 22, 2015

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Some metal fabricating operations produce the same product day in and day out with little variation. Real job shops, which are becoming rarer, have a much tougher row to hoe, one that requires constant innovation and high skill levels.

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What comes after the fiber laser purchase?

October 19, 2015

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Fabricating metal parts today using the same approaches and technology from 10 years ago is a time-intensive exercise. New technology introduces efficiencies to the fabricating process shops need to embrace if they are to maximize profitability and stay ahead of the competition.

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A new spin on welding

October 19, 2015

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SpinArc, a kind of gas metal arc welding, rotates the wire at a controlled speed, diameter, and direction. This feature reportedly improves weld quality and productivity, and it makes more types of weld joints possible.

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Reassurance in purchasing raw materials

October 19, 2015

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Supply Dynamics, Loveland, Ohio, has just announced a secure, anonymous, and reliable way to accurately benchmark the prices you pay or have been quoted for many common ferrous and nonferrous metals.

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Why fabricators need to think about career paths

October 19, 2015

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A focus on a career path in fabricating typically might be centered around an individual’s perspective. Fabricating companies, however, are finding that by being up-front about skills development and career progression, they are building more engaged and productive organizations.

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Freeing space for metal fabrication

October 19, 2015

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In a few years Performance Stamping may well be a very different company. It recently cleared away inventory to free space not for more stamping, but for metal fabrication.

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Adjusting to a just-in-time manufacturing environment

October 19, 2015

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Design for manufacturability, just-in-time nesting, paperless order processing, and systems integration put a metal fabricator in a position to eliminate waste and reap the rewards of just-in-time manufacturing.

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ISO 9001 and ERP: A united approach

October 15, 2015

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Attaining ISO 9001 certification and selecting ERP software are not easy tasks. But companies can accomplish their desired objectives and even thrive as a result of ERP and ISO 9001 initiatives, when done thoughtfully and properly.

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Small batches, big-time automation

October 15, 2015

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Rapid-Line Inc., a contract manufacturer in Grand Rapids, Mich., has a long history of early technology adoption. Two years ago it became an early adopter again, this time with an entirely different kind of robot. Regardless of the technology, everyone keeps their eye on what truly matters when it comes to manufacturing efficiency: how long it takes for an order to make it to the shipping dock.

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Diversification: The true competitive advantage in metal fabrication

October 15, 2015

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According to recent benchmarking surveys from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, debt ratios remain manageable, EBITDA steady, yet revenue concentration remains high for some. The numbers show areas for opportunity as well as challenges.

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How to build loyalty in manufacturing workers? Go off-script

October 15, 2015

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Why do employees leave for a few cents more an hour? It goes back to culture—but what is culture, really? Rutland Walker of Atlanta-based The Academy of Marketing gives a relatively concrete explanation. It’s about connecting with employees with a shared purpose or belief.

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Analyzing the near miss

October 15, 2015

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If a company doesn’t record its near misses, it’s missing a wealth of predictive information that could help prevent serious safety problems. For this reason, employees should be trained to identify near misses, and reporting these instances should be as quick and simple as possible.

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