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Caring for your contact tips

September 14, 2004

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The contact tip is one of the smallest and relatively inexpensive components in a gas metal arc welding (GMAW) system, but it can cause catastrophic failure and production downtime, highly penalizing productivity.The basic function of the contact tip is to transfer welding current to the consumable...

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Getting your assets in order

September 14, 2004

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A new 4-kilowatt laser just hit the floor. The technician will arrive on Monday to install it. It's your responsibility to make sure the gases arrive. The preinstallation manual was faxed to your local gas supplier, and all is well.Not so fast. Other gas matters can affect cost and efficiency. The...

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A Great Combination

September 14, 2004

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Dwarfed by his largest sculpture to date, artist Gary Beals collaborated with K-zell Metals to create this piece for the University of New Mexico.The stainless steel centerpiece for a grouping of sculptures at the University of New Mexico is a first for its creators for several reasons.First, the...

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Thinking about an equipment upgrade?

September 14, 2004

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Products change, and so do manufacturing methods used to make products. In the tube and pipe industry, however, manufacturing changes have been few and infrequent over the past few decades.

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Lean times call for mean tactics—Part 1

September 14, 2004

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Ron Stange looks back on his 50 years in the tube-bending industry and provides his insight on the one thing tube bender operators must know to be successful: Ironclad rules for successful bending do not exist. Tube bender operators must start with guidelines and incorporate their own experience to be successful.

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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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