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TheFabricator.com provides metal fabrication professionals with market news, the industry's best articles, product news, and conference information from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.

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Fabricated spiral staircase

Old-school fabricator takes it one step at a time

February 25, 2011 | By Eric Lundin

Shortly after the company was founded as a welding and repair shop in 1949, Wells-Osborn Spiral Stairs found a niche in building spiral staircases. Founder Bill Osborn bought some equipment and made some of his own. Some of Osborn’s original ideas and equipment are still in use at the company 60 years later.

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Sheet metal designed part

The power of sheet metal design

February 25, 2011 | By Grant Hagedorn

Effective sheet metal design should not set out to eliminate welding, but instead uncover the most cost-effective ways to manufacture a part. The best designs exploit strengths of the welding process and minimize its weaknesses.

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Kuka Robot

A shear and a robot, together at last

February 25, 2011 | By Jon Creese, Wayne Swift

Lane Steel Co. marries a guillotine shear and a robot—and frees a major shop floor bottleneck as a result, leading to greater throughput, better quality, and more flexibility.

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Whitecastle building

Hamburgers, metal, and mettle

February 25, 2011 | By Tim Heston

White Castle’s metal fabrication subsidiary has abided by continuous improvement principles for decades—long before Toyota became a major player in the United States.

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Dust collection system

Designing a dust collection system for weld seam remetallizing

February 25, 2011 | By Scott McLaughlin

OHSA seems to be taking an increased interest in worker safety and, according to OMB Watch, has been citing an increasing number of workplace violations. Tube and pipe producers who remetallize their product pay particular attention to OSHA Directive Number CPL 03-00-008, which deals with a hazard specific to remetallizing operations: explosive dust.

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contact angle in deep drawing

The importance of the contact angle in deep drawing

February 25, 2011 | By Seijiro Oshima

In deep drawing, if the contact angle between drawing stages is too large, cracks can appear and swelling can occur, resulting in scoring, curving, and imbalanced flange-lip roundness. Keeping the contact angle between 15 and 45 degrees is key to quality drawn parts.

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Press brake maintenance

The fundamentals of press brake maintenance

February 25, 2011 | By Bernard Accou

By regularly checking the four key areas of a press brake—hydraulic circuits, mechanical systems, electrical systems, and tooling—the operator can help to ensure that the brake is always ready to tackle the next bending job.

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Aircraft bookings boost durable goods orders in January; excluding transportation, orders show largest decline in two years

February 24, 2011

New orders for manufactured durable goods in January increased $5.3 billion or 2.7 percent to $200.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase followed three consecutive monthly decreases including a 0.4 percent December decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased...

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5 ways to empower die designers for better die results - TheFabricator.com

5 ways to empower die designers for better die results

February 24, 2011 | By Mark Hansen

By improving communication, supplying critical requirements upfront, creating die standards, using advanced software, and powering up equipment, customers can get better dies, faster.

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Are small businesses optimistic enough to hire?

February 23, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

Do you own or work for a small business? How's your business faring these days? Are you hiring?  February 16, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing titled "Putting Americans Back to Work: the State of the Small Business Economy." Speaking before the meeting, Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez...

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You can’t manufacture human rights

February 22, 2011 | By Tim Heston

The news from North Africa and the Middle East has been truly amazing lately. It’s a little scary for business owners and everyone else who depends on oil (in other words, nearly everybody).  Recent unrest in oil-rich Libya has sent oil prices skyward. But over the long term, expensive oil may...

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RIA to present Engelberger Awards

February 22, 2011

The Engelberger Robotics Award, the industry's highest honor, will be presented to Åke Lindqvist and Henrik Christensen during a dinner ceremony on March 22 in Chicago. Each recipient will be presented a commemorative medallion and a $5,000 honorarium. The award, sponsored by Robotic Industries...

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Michigan Seamless Tube changes name, announces staff changes

February 22, 2011

Michigan Seamless Tube, South Lyon, Mich., has changed its name to MST Seamless Tube & Pipe and has launched a renovated Web site to coincide with its new name, logo, and tagline. The Web site, at www.mstube.com, features simplified navigation and a comprehensive overview of products and...

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4.5-kW cross-flow resonator introduced for 2-D lasers

February 22, 2011

Mitsubishi Laser has introduced a 4.5-kW resonator for all 2-D lasers, replacing the formerly standard 4.0-kW resonator. The cross-flow resonator technology reduces rise time/fall time of square-wave pulse, enabling more consistent beam power during the cutting process. The uniform, low-current...

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Ownership group purchases Precision Metal Processing 2005

February 22, 2011

A new ownership group has purchased the assets of Precision Metal Processing 2005 Inc., Cambridge, Ont., and opened the slitting toll processor under the new entity of Superior Metal Processing. The new company focuses on toll processing work in the Canadian market, with an interest in expanding...

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