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Arc Welding 101: Don't underestimate welding vocab

September 11, 2007

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Q: I was recently involved in a discussion about a joint discontinuity. We were trying to determine whether it could be considered undercut or underfill. The weld did not fill the butt joint for the entire V-groove length. Some guys classified the melted-away edge of the joint as undercut; I...

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Aluminum Workshop: Minimizing weld cleaning stripes

September 11, 2007

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Q:I'm fabricating toolboxes for pickup trucks using gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and polished aluminum tread plate. The cleaning stripes along each side of the weld are wide and detract from the appearance of the toolbox. Please don't tell me to wire-brush the weld because this stands out even...

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Speedglas with Adflo system from 3M

Examining respiratory safety

September 11, 2007

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In the wake of the implementation of OSHA's hexavalent chromium standard, read three fab shops' efforts to provide safe breathing conditions for its welders.

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CNC Plasma

Improvements to CNC plasma technology

September 11, 2007

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Continued improvements to CNC plasma cutting technology have made these units much more adaptable and user friendly. They have also helped improve consistency and cut quality.

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Non-destructive Testing

Seeing the light with NDT

September 11, 2007

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A welding shop specializing in aerospace systems and parts adds nondestructive testing to its in-house capabilities to keep pace with inspection requirements and speed up part turnaround.

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GMAW welder

The tipping point

September 11, 2007

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Incorrect contact tip recess can cause excessive spatter, burn-through and warping, insufficient penetration, and porosity. Welders who become familiar with correct tip recess can avoid these problems as well as unnecessary equipment upgrades yet still improve GMAW quality.

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FEA

Achieving aluminum's mass at steel's cost

September 11, 2007

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Tube traditionally is produced with a constant wall thickness, leaving design engineers stuck with designing tubular parts and unable to optimize them. A tube with variable wall thickness changes all that. This technology allows design engineers to specify the wall thickness in various areas of a tubular component—increasing the wall thickness in bend regions to prevent splitting and decreasing wall thickness elsewhere to reduce part weight.

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Copper tube mill

Reducing conversion cost in a copper tube mill

September 11, 2007

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Sorting through the myriad quality programs and manufacturing trends—total quality management, Six Sigma, lean manufacturing—can be a daunting challenge. Knowing which strategies to use and how to use them can deliver big results in a copper tube production facility.

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Welder image

Giving the nod

September 11, 2007

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Autodarkening helmets do more than just protect welders from infrared and ultraviolet light the second the arc is struck. By allowing users to keep the helmet down over the face, the helmets help to prevent unnecessary neck strain, which can lead to long-term repetitive stress injury.

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Automatic lubrication application

Better lubricant control leads to better mandrel bends

September 11, 2007

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In an effort to reduce the need for cleaning bent tube, fabricator R & B Wagner analyzed its operations and decided to change from manual lubricant application to an automated system. The result was that its lubricant consumption dropped 70 percent. So little lubricant was left on the bent parts that the company eliminated the cleaning step.

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airplane image

A high-flying metal fabricator

September 11, 2007

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From its beginning in 1986 as a machine shop, Custom Tube Products has changed to a fabrication shop. Along the way it has adapted to the skilled worker shortage, mainly by trading in its manual processes for automation.

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Deep draw part

Stamping aluminum

September 11, 2007

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The reality is that aluminum is not steel. It doesn't behave like steel, it doesn't flow like steel, and it certainly doesn't stretch like steel. So does this make aluminum hard to form? No, not if you think like aluminum.

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Plasma cutting components

Improving plasma cut quality

September 11, 2007

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By optimizing the performance of each of the plasma cutting system's components, a fabricator can quickly and consistently create high quality parts. The plasma power supply, torch, and lead assembly comprise a plasma cutting system. Robust cutting applications require a mechanized system with an integrated computer numerical control (CNC) and a three-axis configuration with the plasma torch and a torch height control.

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Arc welding shielding gases

Choosing shielding gases for arc welding

September 11, 2007

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Proper selection of the shielding gas for gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) processes can dramatically improve speed, quality, and deposition rate of a given weldment.

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Toro turf maintenance equipment

Toro trims waste with press brake tooling upgrade

September 11, 2007

Outdoor equipment manufacturer Toro Co. regularly sends out bids for parts, forcing its own manufacturing plants to compete with outside vendors. Toro's manufacturing plants face the same competitive pressures as any other manufacturer, so its plant in Shakopee, Minn., analyzed its forming operations and decided to replace its press brakes and upgrade its tooling.

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