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Not your average museum—a metal art mecca

September 14, 2004

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Editors Note: Bob Nichols, author of The Fire of Creation, a reader favorite on thefabricator.com, recently toured the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tenn. The following account of that tour display only a few of the many items on display at this amazing facility.Closed for exhibit...

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Skilled workers make new press brake technology even more valuable

September 14, 2004

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This article grew out of an FMA discussion board posting about new press brake controllers and software in which someone asked, "Do I really need all of these bells and whistles?" A profound fact of today's technology-intensive world is that skilled press brake operators are now unnecessary. After...

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Keep on stamping

September 14, 2004

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To be competitive in a global economy, U.S. stampers must provide defect-free parts, reduce waste, and eliminate downtime while contending with increasing raw material costs and limited availability of some metals. Because stampers have no control over the supply side of the market, they must focus...

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Winning with Lean

September 14, 2004

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Larry Martin hates the term lean manufacturing."When someone mentions lean manufacturing, it usually conjures up visions of layoffs and a stark, militarylike plant," said Larry Martin, vice president of Utah-based Martin Door Manufacturing Inc.He blames lean manufacturing's bad reputation on...

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Survival of the fastest

September 14, 2004

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Because metal fabricators and OEMs have increasingly strict requirements, many suppliers of sheets and blanks must provide high-quality metal stock in terms of flatness, finish, and dimensional accuracy. Competition for every bid is tight, making it easy to take the quality for granted. If every...

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Where abrasive waterjets shine

September 14, 2004

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Abrasive waterjet's cold-cutting and omni-directional capabilities make it especially well-suited to cutting unusual shapes out of exotic and heat-sensitive materials. Also, because abrasive waterjet is a cold-cutting process, it does not create a heat-affected zone (HAZ), which can make it more difficult to execute downstream processes, such as welding.

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Tube Hydroforming Design Flexibility—Part VI

September 14, 2004

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Tube hydroforming reshapes a tube from a normally round cross section to a desired shape. The final shape, usually rectangular, develops along the part length. The cross-sectional periphery may be consistent throughout the part and equal to the original tube, or it can be expanded in localized...

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Wise words from the mountaintop—Part 9

September 14, 2004

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Editor's Note: This is the ninth episode in a mountaintop dialogue that Gerald has been having with a "wise business guru." They have been talking about business network tiers, and the guru has asked Gerald to identify which tier his job shop is in.I sucked in my gums and tried to ape his sagacious...

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Chemical-free cleaning of HSP lubricants

September 14, 2004

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New requirements for clean, dry parts drive the need for efficient, flexible workcell parts cleaning.

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The growing versatility of turret punch presses

September 14, 2004

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Recent improvements in press drive technology, machine control design, tooling, and CAD/CAM programming software are increasing the throughput capability and the overall versatility of CNC turret punch press equipment.

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The case for open-book management

September 14, 2004

Editor's Note: This column was prepared by the staff of Winning Workplaces, a not-for-profit organization that helps small and midsized businesses create better work environments.Some companies' financial information is not exclusively in the realm of accountants and top management. Everyone from...

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AK Steel to increase Type 409 stainless steel price

September 10, 2004

Ak Steel has announced that it will increase the base price of its Type 409 hot-rolled and cold-rolled stainless steel sheet and strip products by approximately 5 percent, effective with shipments on...

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Health insurance premiums increase five times earnings, inflation growth rate

September 9, 2004

Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums increased an average of 11.2 percent in 2004, less than 2003's 13.9 percent increase, but still the fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth,...

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Manufacturing activity rises at slower rate in August

September 2, 2004

According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), manufacturing activity rose in August for the 15th consecutive month, but at a slower rate than in July. The August ISM index was 59 percent, 3...

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July mass layoffs highest since July 2001, but span longer period

September 1, 2004

In July 2004, U.S. employers took 2,094 mass layoff actions, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor's...

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