Articles

thefabricator.com is the digital home of The FABRICATOR magazine, the metal fabricating industry’s foremost authority on manufacturing technology. Technical articles, case studies, and company profiles from The FABRICATOR and its sister publications, Practical Welding Today, The Tube & Pipe Journal, and STAMPING Journal can be found on this site. Additionally, thefabricator.com has a team of subject matter experts that write exclusively for the website, covering topics such as welding skills and metal forming basics.

Filter Content

The art and science of metals purchasing

August 31, 2016 | By Alan Bear, CPPM, CPP

Materials purchasing is both an art and a science. You need the knowledge and strategy to negotiate with intelligence. You need the art of relationship-building, including good ethics and solid integrity.

Continue Reading


Using dry filtration to capture plasma cutting fumes

August 31, 2016 | By Josh Delson

A dry filtration system for plasma cutting removes all potentially harmful contaminants from the shop air and helps to eliminate the threat of a dust explosion. It also might prove to be a much more effective plasma cutting approach when compared to plasma cutting on a water table.

Continue Reading


Order fulfillment velocity makes the difference

August 30, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Haydon Corp. was an early adopter of business software, and it continues to use its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform comprehensively. The software, along with standard business practices baked into the company’s DNA, has helped the roll former maintain an extremely short order fulfillment cycle.

Continue Reading


Tips for improving spray technician performance

August 30, 2016 | By Jeremiah Treloar

The desire to eliminate waste does not end after parts leave the metal fabrication area. Fabricators that run a paint line also have the opportunity to optimize the finishing operation as well. The first step is to invest in training of the spray technicians.

Continue Reading


Communication in custom metal fabrication: Good ideas, good stories, good community

August 30, 2016 | By Tim Heston

For years Jones Metal, a Mankato, Minn.-based custom fabricator, has published not an occasional employee newsletter, but a weekly digital paper, available at touchscreen kiosks throughout the front office and shop floor. The publication keeps everyone up-to-date on important metrics, spreads improvement ideas and, perhaps most important, builds community.

Continue Reading


Band saw basics: 5 keys to good cutting

August 29, 2016 | By Jim Larson

There are five keys to making a quality cut: coolant, the blade, downfeed, workpiece support, and machine maintenance. If you understand these critical factors, you should be able to achieve good cuts every time.

Continue Reading


Press brake bending: Forming long and skinny

August 29, 2016 | By Tim Heston

Phoenix Products has more than doubled its size during the past year, and much of that growth has to do with tackling an unusual niche: the bending of long, skinny parts.

Continue Reading


Where metal fabrication and history intersect

August 29, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

The members of Battery G, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery had two cannons, an old school bus, and a lot of miles to cover to stage mock battles. A team of Civil War reenactors, they had discarded their previous bus and needed to transform their new bus. They enlisted the help of the staff and students at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), Janesville, Wis.

Continue Reading


Small manufacturer, big output

August 29, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

James Steel & Tube isn’t the biggest, most high-profile tube producer, but because it is a small company, it is extremely versatile. It has gone through several transformations since it was founded in 1961, and under the guidance of current president Jim Petkus, it is going through another transition.

Continue Reading


5 things you need to know about modern stick welding

August 29, 2016 | By Dwight Myers, Jay Ginder

Shielded metal arc welding doesn't grab the headlines with regular announcements about technological advancements, but that doesn't mean it's not an important welding process for industry. Here are 5 things that will remind you why stick welding is a staple in heavy fabrication settings around the world.

Continue Reading


Forming a Marman bead

August 25, 2016

The Marman clamp, devised to secure two cylindrical surfaces end-to-end, has earned a unique place in tube fabrication. Although it’s not always easy to form, the Marman bead is a robust, airtight seal suitable for many applications, and is often used for diesel engine exhaust systems.

Continue Reading


So, you want to become an AWS CWI—Part II

August 24, 2016 | By Professor R. Carlisle "Carl" Smith

The letters and numbers used to classify electrodes all mean something. Understanding their meaning is important when choosing an electrode for your job. You also must be knowledgeable about these classifications to become an AWS CWI.

Continue Reading


Robot deposits welds in high gear with Tip TIG

August 17, 2016 | By Tim Heston

A new robot welding cell incorporates TIP TIG, a hot-wire welding process that feeds an oscillating wire under a tungsten electrode. In some applications, the method reportedly allows the robot to weld at speeds close to those of gas metal arc welding.

Continue Reading

Bending Basics: How to locate the press brake’s backgauge position

August 17, 2016 | By Steve Benson

When determining the backgauge position, you need to know the outside flange dimension and bend deduction, based on the actual radius you achieve.

Continue Reading


Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Product development modeling with fabrication as the end goal

August 16, 2016 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis reveals that delivering a straightforward CAD model might make sense for a project that will require alterations down the road.

Continue Reading