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Learning to say “no”

October 15, 2015

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The customer is not always right if it means a shop has no chance of earning money--even with a long-term perspective--while trying to meet the customer's expectations. In these cases, it's easier to have a difficult conversation with the customer before venturing down the path of future unprofitability.

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Metal fabrication management: Voices from the shop

October 15, 2015

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Listening to people on the shop floor is one thing, but really hearing what they’re saying is something else entirely.

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6 ways to boost press brake productivity

October 12, 2015

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Improved tool storage at the press brake, easier tool identification, fast tool loading/unloading (including heavy tools), and proper positioning of tooling in the press brake can make life easier for any press brake operator--experienced or not.

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The new era of welding data collection

October 12, 2015

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Welding technology developers have moved beyond simply collecting welding information for later review to creating software that allows fabricators to control production and assembly processes.

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Wisconsin metal fabricator thrives on complexity

October 12, 2015

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Advanced Laser Machining Inc. launched in 1996, just when laser cutting was becoming a metal fabrication mainstay and software was changing everything. Today managers are hoping to put a structure in place to grow the company even more. In 10 years ALM may be a $75 million enterprise

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Zigzagging your way to material savings

October 8, 2015

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Zigzag feeds are being used increasingly for some applications. Stampers can achieve multi-out results using a one-out die.

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When imagination meets craftsmanship

October 8, 2015

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The fleur de lis is a well-known symbol with deeps roots in Louisiana culture. However, the massive 14-ft., three-sided stainless steel version of the fleur de lis that sits atop a water fountain at the UL Lafayette Quadrangle is a larger-than-life representation of what can happen when you mix imagination with talent along with some good old-fashioned craftsmanship

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R&D Update: Determining flow stress data by combining uniaxial tensile and biaxial bulge tests

October 8, 2015

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In the sheet metal forming industry, finite element (FE) simulation is an important tool for fabricators predicting metal flow, optimizing geometry, and selecting process variables before developing new dies. The accuracy of the simulation results depends highly on the accuracy of the input...

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Venturing into fiber laser cutting

October 7, 2015

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Fabricating metal parts for price-sensitive customers means that Lynam Industries Inc., Fontana, Calif., has to make the right investments in technology at the right time. The investment has to contribute to the reduction in production costs. The metal fabricator's purchase of a fiber laser cutting machine in late 2013 is a recent example of this strategy.

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Why automate your press brakes?

October 7, 2015

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Automated bending technology has changed significantly in recent years. Knowing which works best for your operation starts with a simple question: Why do you want to automate?

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Streamlining diverse part flow in metal fabrication

October 7, 2015

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The people at Prince Precision Products may be fabricating thin sheet one hour and thick plate the next hour. Managers at PPP call their operation a hybrid—part job shop focusing on small runs, part production operation. Juggling it all requires focus on good communication and minimizing rework.

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Die Science: The top 5 drawing die violations

October 6, 2015

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Deep-drawing failures—from splitting to scoring to shock lines—often are a result of common engineering mistakes. These problems can occur whether you are using a single-station drawing die, multiple drawing stations, or drawing reductions. Let’s take a look at the five most common...

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Ask the Stamping Expert: What is the best method for selectively removing burrs from stamped holes?

October 5, 2015

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Q: We receive high-volume, high-precision, low-cost stamped parts from a vendor. The oval-shaped parts come with burrs that we need to remove from the inner holes, but we cannot round the outside part edges. The cold-rolled steel parts have two sets of holes with different diameters stamped through...

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Arc Welding 101: Qualified versus certified—What’s the difference?

September 28, 2015

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Q: While browsing the AWS website I found listings for accredited test facilities. After a little more digging, I found AWS QC4-89, the standard for accreditation of test facilities. I was of the understanding that my endorsement as a certified welding inspector (CWI) permitted me to certify...

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Consumables Corner: Welding medium-carbon to high-strength steel

September 28, 2015

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Q: We need to weld a 1-in.-thick AISI 1050 carbon steel plate to a 2-in.-dia. A514 steel shaft. The AISI 1050 has a yield and tensile strength of 95 KSI and 115 KSI, respectively. We know we should preheat, but we're unsure of what temperatures to use or what filler metal to select. Could you...

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