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Press brake bending and the notch: A deeper dive

March 28, 2016

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Bending guru Steve Benson continues his discussion of notching, which has a symbiotic relationship with bending. Nowadays CAD systems take care of the layout calculations. Nonetheless, manual notch layout is still used for one-off products or in prototype shops.

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New ideas spur success at Minnesota metal fabricator

March 21, 2016

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Bermo, a stamper and fabricator in Minnesota, takes idea generation seriously. Some of the company’s latest initiatives, including rapid prototyping and automated quoting, have come from employees starting a sentence with, “Wouldn’t it be great if …”

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Recruiting, retaining welders with dollars and sense

March 21, 2016

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While the Great Recession was a calamity for many businesses, some also had a bit of trouble recovering from the downturn. Trailer builder Featherlite had trouble retaining workers, but realized that it could compete against higher wages offered elsewhere by improving the way it went about recruiting, hiring, and training newly hired workers.

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Die coatings morph to help form AHS aluminum

March 21, 2016

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A new die coating has been developed to help alleviate complications of forming high-strength aluminum, such as sticking and abrasion.

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So you want to buy a metal fabricator

March 21, 2016

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Buying a company isn’t just about getting a certain multiple. A buyer needs to define a buying strategy, analyze a seller’s business model, and uncover what the seller’s company truly is worth.

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Best practices and troubleshooting tips to optimize robotic welding

March 21, 2016

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A robotic welding cell is a significant investment that improves productivity and weld quality and ultimately reduces costs. These best practices and troubleshooting tips can help you maximize your ROI.

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Tools for troubleshooting

March 17, 2016

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Trial and error is a difficult, time-consuming, and costly way to try out new parts or find the sources of problems in a stamping operation. Vision systems, “action” cameras, die design simulation, and spectroscopic metallurgy analyzers for material analysis can help stamping manufacturers make adjustments on the front end to save time and money by several magnitudes on the back end.

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Plasma provides pleasant parting process for pipeline project

March 17, 2016

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Oxyfuel has been the process of choice for cutting and gouging for field repairs for many years, but the crew on the Seaway 2 project found that a prototype model from Hypertherm provided a faster, quieter, more precise process.

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Can industrial fans and welding mix?

March 17, 2016

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How do large industrial fans affect shielding gas coverage in welding environments? The truth is it is tricky but not impossible. With the right testing and support, overhead HVLS fans can work in most welding facilities, while variable-speed column fans can take care of the rest.

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Ready, set, interview

March 17, 2016

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Yuba College welding instructor and Practical Welding Today Editorial Advisory Committee member Dan Turner has been on both sides of the interview process. In this first installment of Viewpoint, Turner shares advice for job-searching welders on the art of the job interview.

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Financial benchmarking in metal fabrication

March 16, 2016

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The world is full of surveys these days, and some really don’t have much purpose. Others, however, can be extremely valuable. Industry benchmarking surveys, for instance, can be a vital tool for any company looking to improve. This includes the “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from FMA.

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What’s inside your GTAW torch?

March 16, 2016

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Welders are judged by the appearance of their beads, the strength of their welds, and their ability to pass visual and technical inspection. So why shouldn’t you scrutinize your GTAW torch components in the same way that you or someone else would scrutinize your welds? If your GTAW torch doesn’t pass inspection, there’s a good chance that your welds won’t either.

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Two bending processes, two directions, four tooling sets, one machine

March 16, 2016

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As design software becomes more complex, and as engineers strive to differentiate their products from those of their competitors by developing increasingly complex, unique, and aesthetically pleasing products, manufacturers have to keep up. Superior Tube Products Inc., Davenport, Iowa, found that its conventional tube benders weren’t always up to the task, and invested in a twin-head servo-driven machine.

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Getting standard work instructions right for fabricating

March 16, 2016

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The goal of any fabricating operation is to discover the safest and most efficient method to produce quality parts. That goal can be achieved only with clear work directions for shop floor employees. Fabricators that follow some basic guidelines, or implement the right software, can make sure they are putting together work instructions that anyone can follow.

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Product development drives growth at Illinois metal fabricator

March 16, 2016

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The Great Recession nearly killed J-tec Industries, a cart manufacturer in East Peoria, Ill. But the company pulled through and, thanks to its product development efforts, is now experiencing record growth. During the past two years, its workforce has doubled in size.

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