Tube and Pipe Fabrication Articles

The tube and pipe fabrication technology area covers sawing (band, circular, and friction) and other cutting processes, such as abrasive, flame, laser, oxyfuel, plasma, and waterjet. It also discusses forming processes, including bending and end forming. Finally, it includes a handful of miscellaneous processes, such as trimming, beveling, finning, grooving, threading, and spinning.

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Bridging the challenges

September 12, 2006

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A good design doesn't guarantee challenge-free fabrication in the bridge industry, as one fabricator found out. Despite material availability obstacles, stringent welding requirements, and massive pipe cutting needs, Stinger Welding and the design team it worked with pulled off a winning pipe bridge design in six months.

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FMA member custom-builds motorcycle for Foundation auction

August 8, 2006

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Medalist Laserfab Inc., Oshkosh, Wis., is building a custom motorcycle for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl.® (FMA) Foundation's charitable auction, which will help the Foundation encourage young people to pursue careers in manufacturing. This article explains how you can view the progress of the build, donate items for the auction, and participate in the bidding.

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Cutting tube saw costs

July 11, 2006

Today metal tube sawing technology is light-years ahead of where it was just five years ago. Sawing machine and saw blade advancements—Special-purpose CNC tube-sawing machines, Dynamic ball-screw feed systems, Automatic Blade-changing, Carbide-tipped blades, blade coatings, Thin-kerf Blades, segmented saw Blades, optimize tube cutting.

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Tube and pipe bending trends

July 11, 2006

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Interviews with several tube-bending equipment-makers reveal that tube bending is becoming more complex every day, for a number of reasons. Manufacturers try to decrease material usage and go to stronger, difficult-to-bend materials with thinner walls; many manufactured items are smaller than ever before; and bends have to be smoother, especially in exhaust systems. Meanwhile, fabricators are split into two camps: High-volume OEM that are increasingly dependent on advanced controls and flexible workcells, and job shops that still get by on less sophisticated, manually operated equipment.

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Flushing out four-letter words: rust, dirt, and wear (Part II)

June 13, 2006

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Rust, wear, and dirt cost tube fabricators and producers millions of dollars annually, and they can be the bane of tube processes. Analyzing the criteria for selecting the lubricant, cleaner, and rust preventative can help provide maximum protection.

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Not a one-stock shop

June 13, 2006

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After years of working in fabricating and machining, Shawn McFadden struck out on his own to start a fabrication shop, which later evolved into a custom motorcycle shop. He doesn’t use the latest CNC machines with digital readouts and other state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. He uses manually controlled machines and ingenuity.

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The wiper die's feathered edge

June 13, 2006

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The mechanical aspects of rotary draw tube bending haven't changed since modern tooling was developed 50 years ago. Likewise, the role of the tooling (mandrel, pressure die, bend die, and wiper die) hasn't changed. However, tube fabricators these days have many choices in regard to the tooling, especially wiper dies. Choices include material, rake angle, and whether the wiper die's feathered edge is fully machined or honed by hand.

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Hitting pay dirt -- in pipe

May 9, 2006

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Fabricating and repairing pipe in the oil-rich tar sands of Alberta, Canada, is an enormous, ongoing project that requires specialized equipment to meet a variety of challenges. John Page is a consultant in Canada who has been working on several of these projects and has learned what's needed to get the jobs done.

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When a good tube bends bad - Part II

April 11, 2006

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Have you ever started with what you thought was a good tube, ended with a bad bend, and wondered where you took a wrong turn?

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Home-court advantage

April 11, 2006

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A company bid and won a contract from a company who was previously sending its work to Mexico. The company bought a computer-controlled pipe cutting machine to automate the process and cut lead times.

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When a good tube bends bad

April 11, 2006

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Have you ever started with what you thought was a good tube, ended with a bad bend, and wondered where you took a wrong turn? Correcting for defects requires some detective work, and an understanding of the bending process. This article examines tube defects and offers fixes.

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When a good tube bends bad - Part I

March 7, 2006

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Have you ever started with what you thought was a good tube, ended with a bad bend, and wondered where you took a wrong turn?

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Understanding how rotary tube and pipe cutting works

March 7, 2006

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Innovations and new developments in rotary tube and pipe cutting, such as high-speed cutting, minimal heat generation, special holding collets, and automatic loading, trim and sorting have reduced or eliminated time required for secondary operation, improved efficiency, and reduced costs.

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6 steps to successful brazing

March 7, 2006

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Although capillary action basically is the magic behind ensuring proper filler metal distribution into a joint, six basic steps also are necessary to make sure that the design and engineering of the joint helps lead to a good brazed joint.

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Imagination fabrication

February 7, 2006

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BCI Burke, Fond du Lac, Wis., is the oldest playground and park and recreation equipment manufacturer in the country. As the company grew and its product offerings and colors multiplied, it found it needed to address problems with long leadtimes. Burke looked at every possibility for improvement, including processes improvements, inventory organization, manufacturing equipment purchases, and personnel productivity improvements, including crosstraining.

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