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The China-dominated manufacturing environment

March 7, 2006

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All manufacturers have to realize that what is going on in China will affect them in some way, no matter how small their business is. Protectionist policies from the U.S. government aren't on the horizon to help. Business owners and managers are negligent if they do not make an effort to understand the economic changes caused by China's movement to a market economy in some detail and then use that understanding to evaluate and likely modify their companies' business plans.

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Editorial Advisory Board Roundtable

March 7, 2006

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The FABRICATOR invited the members of its Editorial Advisory Board together to discuss the state of skilled labor in North America and what the future looks like for tomorrow's fabricating and forming employees and employers.

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Are you preparing for the worker skills gap?

March 7, 2006

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The skilled labor shortage many manufacturers already are experiencing is being joined by a skills gap as the aging work force retires and fewer young people pursue technical training. Manufacturers need to act now to cultivate and grow the future work force and bridge the gap.

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The heat is off

March 7, 2006

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To make a complex heat exchanger shell, a company produces a prototype model using the hydroforming process, analyzing fatigue, thinning, and cycle times to decide if the process will prove to be cost-effective.

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Staying grounded

March 7, 2006

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Because a typical arc welding setup may consist of several electrical circuits, it's critical to apply and maintain proper grounding methods within the welding area to promote electrical safety in the workplace.

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The need to feed aluminum

March 7, 2006

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While using aluminum can present challenges in any welding application, knowing the right questions to ask beforehand will help aid success. Issues include knowing what aluminum filler metal to use, how to store it, and what options are available to help eliminate feeding problems.

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How to avoid slit-in coil slitting problems

March 7, 2006

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Problems that can arise during metal slitting include poor edge quality, edge burr, edge wave, camber, crossbow, knife marks, and slit width that is out of specification. Some slitting problems can be attributed to poor metal quality; however, it is much more common for the problems to be caused by other variables and factors during the slitting process.

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Optimizing CO2 laser use: Part II

March 7, 2006

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As explained in Part I of this two-part series, many factors can affect laser processing efficiency. This article explains basic laser beam delivery requirements; discusses laser gases and supply methods; and lists common problems caused by using incorrect pressure, flow, and laser speed.

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Head of her class

March 7, 2006

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At a time when it's becoming more and more difficult to find skilled workers, it's encouraging to read about people like 18-year-old Jessica Jelinski who are studying and pursuing careers in metalworking. Jelinski is putting her welding training to good use winning competitions and working on interesting projects.

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Straightening mistakes

March 7, 2006

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As a consultant to the industry, the author has had the opportunity to discuss coil straightening and leveling with many people. In this article, he reviews 12 common misconceptions he has heard from those people.

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Stamping complex parts

March 7, 2006

By adding sophisticated hydraulic deep-draw press technology, Tools Inc. was able to greatly enhance its in-house forming and production capabilities.

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Anodizing aluminum

March 7, 2006

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Manufacturing deep-drawn aluminum containers requires various fabrication steps and provides many opportunities to pollute. Anomatic Corp. provides an overview of its fabricating and finishing steps and describes its efforts at environmentally responsible manufacturing.

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Plasma cutting with a robot

March 7, 2006

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Robotic plasma arc cutting can make cutting and weld preparation operations more flexible once you know which equipment, controls, and shielding gas will work best for your application.

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A new way to weld sheet metal

March 7, 2006

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Nu-Way Industries Inc., Des Plaines, Ill., learned that remote laser welding demonstrates impressive advantages over traditional resistance and arc welding for its applications.

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Taking the danger out of bottom bending

March 7, 2006

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It is all too easy to ruin a tool or upset a ram if bottom bending is done incorrectly, which is why many manufacturers do not recommend bottom bending when using their equipment or tooling. Understanding V-die selection and the effects of your decisions should be first and foremost in any bending operation, including bottom bending.

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