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Don’t underestimate MIG welding skills

October 29, 2014

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Plenty of welding training programs start with gas metal arc welding, or MIG welding, because it’s fairly easy to start laying a pretty consistent bead—under very simple and consistent conditions. As a result, most people look at gas tungsten arc welding, or TIG welding, with its need to use both hands while simultaneously operating a foot pedal, as a more complicated welding process. In a large-scale metal fabricating operation’s world, those people would be wrong.

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More than a metal warehouse—Behind the scenes at Pacesetter Steel

October 29, 2014

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Metal service centers are a vital part of the fabricating world, and their fortunes are closely aligned with their customers’. Here’s a look at how one center fared during the Great Recession and where it’s headed with its young CEO at the helm.

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Arc Welding 101: Determining correct gas ratios

October 29, 2014

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Q: For years we have used 75/25 argon/carbon dioxide during gas metal arc welding (GMAW). I was told by my supplier that I needed to change to 90/10. Will one gas mixture provide better welding penetration than the other? Most of our work is mild steel (A-36), 0.1875 to 0.25 in. thick, although we...

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Arc Welding 101: Finding the 'best buy'

October 28, 2014

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Q: I’m looking for a Consumer Reports-type study on gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) machines. As a small-business owner, I would like to know what would be the best buy. Have you done any reports on welding machines in terms of best makes and models? Glenn H. A: To answer your question, no, I...

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Arc Welding 101: Preweld cleaning tips for TIG

October 27, 2014

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Q: My primary function is to go into commercial kitchens and gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) stainless steel that is covered in grease, dirt, and dust. In open areas I can grind the grease off, but I have a problem in tight corners that I can’t get into with a grinder. Can you recommend any cleaning...

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Arc Welding 101: API 1104 qualifications

October 24, 2014

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Q: What is the procedure to qualify welding procedure specifications (WPS) as well as a welder to American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 1104, Welding Pipelines and Related Facilities? What tests are necessary to qualify? A: Your questions are good ones. I often receive similar questions...

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Arc Welding 101: A WPS lesson for beginners

October 23, 2014

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Q: Recently I was given a weld procedure specification (WPS) from a contractor to review. It’s still lying on my desk. Do you have any tips for a beginner like myself on how to review a WPS? Habeeb R. A: It’s time to pick up that WPS off your desk and give it a good, hard look. The first...

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Uncovering waste with an all-encompassing metric

October 22, 2014

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Manufacturing critical-path time, MCT, is a broad metric that encompasses the entire enterprise. The shorter an organization's MCT, the more adaptable and successful it can be.

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Plasma cutting or laser cutting? How about both?

October 22, 2014

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Not all parts need the tight-tolernace edge that laser cutting provides; now a fabricator canhave the fine touch of laser cutting and the poweful force of plasma cutting for thicker materials in one machine.

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Giving a welding robot some eyes

October 22, 2014

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Vision systems for a welding application usually are reserved for critical jobs associated with high costs of failure. New technology developments, however, may be introducing this technology to a new audience.

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Cut, bend, weld, paint, assemble—box—and ship

October 22, 2014

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Fabricators didn't join the profession because they love packaging and shipping. A custom-box-making machine may be just the thing to allow them to focus on the fun stuff.

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Arc Welding 101: Earning D1.1 compliance

October 22, 2014

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Q: The company I work for has welded steel to make web truss frames for steel buildings for 20 years but has never been certified in any way. Some bids that we see require certification from a national organization. Do you know what our best approach should be to becoming certified? Larry S....

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Fiberglass tape that has your [weld’s] back

October 22, 2014

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Aquasol’s Fiback line of fiberglass backing tape, now available in high- and low-amperage options, gives welders a simple, safe, and reliable way to protect the back side of their weldments, even those that have a complex shape.

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Staffing the comeback

October 22, 2014

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It’s no secret—this industry has a tough time finding people, and as demand has increased in recent years, the problem has gotten worse. Just how many people does this industry need to compete, what talents do they need to have, and how can a company attract the best? To address these questions requires realistic planning based not on perceptions, but on facts.

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Low-alloy filler metals: From A to W

October 22, 2014

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Low alloy steels gain their mechanical and chemical properties from the addition of alloying elements, including nickel, chromium, molybdenum, and manganese. They typically offer an ultimate tensile strength of 80,000 PSI or greater, and as with any material, they require a filler metal that matches their chemistry and provides the desired strength.

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