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Fanning production rates

November 7, 2002

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Editor's Note: This article is Part II of a four-part series covering flatness and stability in cut-to-length, slitting, and tension leveling operations. This article discusses flattening solutions and the anatomy of a bend. Part I, which appeared in the October issue of The FABRICATOR®, discussed how flat-rolled metal gets unflat; Part III in the December issue will address how coil processors can make metal flat so it stays that way; and Part IV in the January 2003 issue will discuss new applications and options in leveling equipment.

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Tube cutting laser

Focusing on tube cutting lasers

November 7, 2002

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State-of-the-art laser technology for cutting metal tubes includes capabilities for cutoff, beveling, and cutting an infinite variety of shapes such as holes, slots, and notches. In this article, manufacturers of laser cutting equipment discuss the state of advancements such as automated loading and unloading of parts; simplified programming; automatedinspection of finished parts; and lights-out operation.

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Precision Blanking System

Everything you need to know about flatteners and levelers for coil processing—Part 2

November 7, 2002

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Editor's Note: This article is Part II of a four-part series covering flatness and stability in cut-to-length, slitting, and tension leveling operations. This article discusses flattening solutions and the anatomy of a bend. Part I, which appeared in the October issue of The FABRICATOR®, discussed how flat-rolled metal gets unflat; Part III in the December issue will address how coil processors can make metal flat so it stays that way; and Part IV in the January 2003 issue will discuss new applications and options in leveling equipment.

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Exterior view of aluminum-framed structure Scienceland, Shanghai, China.

Aluminum stands tall as a structural metal—Part 1

November 7, 2002

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Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a two-part article. Part 1 covers the properties, characteristics, and applications of aluminum as a structural metal. Part II explores the use of structural aluminum in the design of the U.S. Botanic Garden's conservatory in Washington, D.C.

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Hot Cold Thermometers

Sweltering heat, bone-chilling cold

November 7, 2002

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The weather affects welders no matter what climate they live in, and even more so out in the field. The key is to learn how to cope with extreme temperatures.

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person welding

Considering the benefits of pulse spray transfer GMAW

October 25, 2002

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Pulse spray gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is a versatile welding process. Sometimes welding suppliers and welding managers don't want to try it, because they don't want to change the process they're using, train users, adjust welding processes, or spend money on new equipment.While any pulse spray...

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Evaluating the Danger of Loud Noises in Tube and Pipe Shops

October 24, 2002

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In work environments that generate noise that exceed 85 dB or with impact noises exceeding 140dB, such as found in tube and pipe, OSHA requires a hearing conservation program.

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Quality as Part of the Contract

October 24, 2002

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Leaders who oversee weld designs, materials, methods, personnel training, and manufacturing teams should promote welding performance by addressing quality and testing issues in contracts for any work. Total quality systems and weld acceptance criteria must be specific--specified for each contract--and adherence must be enforced without wavering. Acceptance criteria for welding should be agreed to in a face-to-face meeting before fabrication begins. Before a project begins, all parties should agree on the retention time for inspection and test records—including X-rays, personnel qualifications and other project data--and the contract should state the location and description of the records storage facility.

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Mazak super turbo

Remote control fabrication

October 24, 2002

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Caterpillar's Technical Center relentlessly pursues a manufacturing vision for the "world's largest welding shop." Its combination of laser machines for cutting, press brakes for bending, and robots for material handling provide some insight as to how one of the world's largest metal fabricators envisions its future.

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Automobile fuel tanks

Hydroforming of passenger car fuel tanks

October 24, 2002

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Passenger car fuel tanks have for many years been made out of plastic. To reduce MTBE leaks in the groundwater, the Department of Energy, The State of California, and the Western States Petroleum Association are studying material alternatives such as high-strength steel, stainless steel and aluminum gas tanks.

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One step forming simulation

Taking advantage of simulation technology

October 24, 2002

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One of the most valuable high-tech tools introduced in the last decade has been finite element analysis (FEA) simulation software that stamping tool makers can use to test forming conditions and design dies in the virtual world. This reduces tooling and product design time and saves costs of prototyping and experimentation to find the right design. Training the tool designer or process engineer how to use simulation software can provide a quick ROI and improve the bottom line.

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Shop employee image

What the? This can't be done!

October 24, 2002

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Carefully planning the forming order can make even the most daunting project less complicated and problematic.

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Job Seeker experience level pie chart

Death, taxes, and the skilled labor shortage

October 24, 2002

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It's an issue that refuses to go away—the difficulty in finding, hiring, and keeping skilled labor. Four out of five employers who responded to thefabricator.com's recent job skills survey reported that they have been searching for skilled workers from three to 20 years. They are looking for high school graduates or GED recipients with five-years on-the-job experience.

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Sanding Machine Finishes the Job

October 12, 2002

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AAMS needed a way to polish aluminum and stainless steel handrails in two separate construction projects. To get the job done, they turned to a dedicated tube and pipe sander, which allowed them to accomplish the necessary finish in half the time manual polishing would have taken.

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Material property variations in tubes used for hydroforming

October 10, 2002

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As tubular hydroforming becomes a competitive process for the mass production of automotive parts, a tube's material properties must be consistent. To predict variations in material properties, many tube producers use the uniaxial tensile test. Because the specimens for the tensile test are collected before a tube is bent and welded, they are not always accurate. To predict variations in tube property accurately, it should be tested under a biaxial state of stress.

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