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Selecting a tube cutting process

November 9, 2004

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Tube fabricators use a variety of methods—sawing, lathe cutting, rotary cutting, supported shear cutting, dual-blade shear cutting, and laser cutting—to cut tubing from mill lengths into shorter pieces for use in final fabrication. No single method is optimal for cutting the broad range of tubular materials and tubular shapes produced by this industry.

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Know when to fold 'em

November 9, 2004

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Folding machines aren't the fastest machines for bending sheet metal, but for low- to medium-volume production, they can provide an efficient bending process. Because the equipment operator does not support the weight of the material during the bending cycle, folding machines are well suited to large, bulky parts. Also, part quality is not dependent on an operator's skill.

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Launching a successful die protection program

November 9, 2004

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As I entered the clean, well-lit Midwest factory one day, I found several relatively new presses and feeder systems. The shop floor appeared to be well-organized, with material steadily flowing into and away from the presses. The employees seemed to know their jobs and were on task.But when I...

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Why use multiple-impulse resistance welding?

November 9, 2004

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Multiple-impulse welding isn't uncommon, but it's not usually the first choice for most resistance welding applications. However, experiments with this type of resistance welding demonstrate that it has a wider range of applications, especially when its modified heat balance is understood

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Successful stamping: It's a 'we' thing

November 9, 2004

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As a consultant and educator, I travel to numerous die shops and stamping plants, and almost all of them have the same basic request:"Can you show these tooling guys how to make the dies run better?"I hear comments like "We sure have a lot of downtime and scrap, not to mention the usual problems...

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Having a safe office party

November 8, 2004

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Editor's Note: Originally published on December 11, 2003.It's that time of year when companies celebrate the holidays. Whether the celebration involves a lavish holiday party held off-site or a casual get-together in the office, both party organizers and attendees should follow safe practices, not...

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337,000 jobs added in October, none in manufacturing

November 5, 2004

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 337,000 in October, double the number economists had predicted, and the unemployment rate was about unchanged at 5.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of...

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Productivity growth slows

November 5, 2004

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary productivity data for the third quarter of 2004 shows a 1.9 percent growth—down from the second quarter's 3.9 percent and...

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NAM: Election bodes well for pro-growth policy-making

November 3, 2004

According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Sen. John Kerry's concession to President Bush and final votes in congressional races bode well for a new era of pro-growth...

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Employee confidence near annual high

November 3, 2004

The Hudson Employment Index, a measurement of the U.S. workforce's confidence in the employment market, rebounded 1.6 points in October as hiring expectations among U.S. workers strengthened and...

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ISM: Orders, production, employment grew in October

November 1, 2004

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in October for the 17th consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 36th consecutive month, said the nation's supply executives in the...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 11

November 1, 2004

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Editor's Note: This is the eleventh episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." He has been advised to develop a feedback system and to become a master of metrology.My guru missed my joking attempt at yoda-speak. "Meteorology is the study of weather,...

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Durable-goods orders increase slightly in September

October 27, 2004

U.S. factory orders for durable goods—items meant to last at least three years—rose 0.2 percent in September. The gain was less than the 0.5 percent increase predicted by...

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President Bush signs American Jobs Creation Act of 2004

October 22, 2004

On October 22, 2004, President Bush signed into law H.R. 4520, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.The law repeals the extraterritorial income exclusion in the current tax law; provides domestic...

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Harris economist: U.S. moving toward full employment

October 21, 2004

According to the Outlook 2005 report released by Harris Bank's chief economist, the U.S. recovery train remains on track toward its destination of full employment, despite losing some steam amid...

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