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The Fabricator provides metal fabrication professionals with market news, the industry's best articles, product news, and conference information from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.

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Automatic orbital welding simplified - TheFabricator

Automatic orbital welding simplified

August 4, 2010 | By John Glessman

Automatic orbital gas tungsten arc welding is used in a variety of industries in which maximum leak integrity, high performance, or ultra-cleanliness is important. Automatic orbital welding provides enhanced precision and reliability compared to manual techniques. Small, portable inverter power supplies, advanced control systems, and other advancements have made orbital welding systems practical for a range of applications.

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Making the case for robotic welding - TheFabricator

Making the case for robotic welding

August 4, 2010 | By Mike Jacobsen

Looking at labor savings is only one factor to consider if a fabricator is going to prepare a formal cost justification case for a robotic welding cell.

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Ask the Stamping Expert: How can I stop die wrecks that occur even with sensors in use?

August 4, 2010 | By Thomas Vacca

Even with many styles of sensors on a progressive die, die wrecks continue to occur. Addressing potential miss hits during the design stage, and using proximity sensors in careful, deliberate ways, can help control the problem.

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Rethinking weld shielding gas selection - TheFabricator

Rethinking weld shielding gas selection

August 4, 2010 | By Dan Davis, Nathan Moyer

When it comes to selecting shielding gases for certain welding processes, welders need to challenge their old-school thinking.

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Can lean manufacturing work in the job shop? - TheFabricator

Can lean manufacturing work in the job shop?

August 4, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Lean manufacturing has origins in the low-mix, high-volume world. But many job shops have successfully adapted the methodology to the high-mix, low-volume world. The key is to focus on operational commonalities.

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The world needs customers

August 2, 2010 | By Tim Heston

“What the world lacks is willing customers, not willing workers.” That statement in this week’s The Economist magazine may be one of the most insightful among all the worried economic chatter in the media these days. The magazine’s cover story this week covers the woes of the Chinese...

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ISM July ROB: New orders, production, employment, and inventories growing; supplier deliveries slowing

August 2, 2010

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in July for the 12th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 15th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The report was issued August 2 by Norbert J. Ore,...

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Caterpillar to build factory in Winston-Salem, N.C., add 392 jobs

August 2, 2010

As reported on, Caterpillar is building a $426 million manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem, N.C., to assemble parts for large mining trucks. The new plant is expected to create 392 jobs over the next five years. State officials have voted to award Caterpillar incentives worth up...

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Lights, camera, lean - TheFabricator

Lights, camera, lean--recording manufacturing efficiency

July 30, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Nexteer Automotive uses sports video software to track machine, part, and worker movement. During the past few years, the technology has been integral to Nexteer's lean-manufacturing initiatives.

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Streamlining press brake setups help transform a business - TheFabricator

Streamlining press brake setups help transform a business

July 30, 2010 | By Tim Heston

Streamlining bending operations at a Chicago area fabricator was instrumental in the company's lean manufacturing efforts. Batch sizes and lead-times both have plummeted in recent years.

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Progress in punching - TheFabricator

Progress in punching

July 30, 2010 | By Mike Kroll

Today's turret punch presses do more than simply punch holes. They can form shapes beneath the sheet, perform shear-quality cuts, and actually deburr edges. And that's just scratching the surface of the equipment's capabilities.

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Is it time for the small-business initiative?

July 29, 2010 | By Eric Lundin

A small-business initiative working its way through Congress has been making headlines lately. It has the potential to provide $30 billion in new capital for community banks, which would use it as a foundation for lending to small and medium-sized businesses. Whether lawmakers will pass the bill is...

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Time's a wastin

July 28, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

As noted in a speech by John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers — posted on YouTube July 26 — NAM appreciates the fact that the House is spending the last week of July talking about the manufacturing economy, "but it's not enough … it's simply not enough."...

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HRB prices down 5.5 percent in U.S., up elsewhere

July 28, 2010

The bi-monthly SteelBenchmarker™ United States HRB spot price for July 26 fell 5.5 percent to $637 per metric ton, FOB the mill, for the fifth consecutive decrease. The Western European HRB price was up 0.4 percent to $678 per ton (on a Euro basis, it fell 3.2 percent), ex-works, after four...

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Cost-cutting here to stay

July 26, 2010 | By Tim Heston

“Caterpillar flaunts its muscle.” You’ve got to admit, that’s a great headline. After reading the story in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, I thought back to a blog I wrote while sitting in the Las Vegas expo center’s coffee shop (which happened to have good Internet access), about 200...

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