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Siege planning or strategic planning

April 24, 2003

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"Globalization isn't news," said Lawrence J. Kendzior, a partner at Gleeson Sklar Sawyers & Cumpata LLP (GSSC), a privately held accounting firm that focuses on what it calls "middle-market manufacturers." "The news is that it's suddenly impacting companies that have never before been affected."

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Welding cold-rolled steel to cast iron

April 24, 2003

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Dear Elmer:Is there a way to weld 1018 cold-rolled steel to cast iron? If so, how?JamesOwings Mills, Md.Dear James:You can weld 1018 low-carbon steel to cast iron using shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and a nickel-based ENiFe electrode.Clean the surfaces before you start. If the joint is highly...

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The structure of metal

April 24, 2003

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Let's start with the obvious: Molten metals have no particular structure. The atoms that make up that metal are just whipping around helter-skelter—at a high rate of speed—with no real orderly, defined pattern.

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Boatmaker finds new saw for trailer production

April 24, 2003

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At its factory in Vonore, Tenn., MasterCraft builds boats and trailers in adjacent bays. It offers the option of a trailer with every ski boat it sells.

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The anatomy of a monster truck

April 24, 2003

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It drives right over nearly every obstacle in its path and splits nearly every eardrum in its vicinity. It's supercharged, oversized, and extraordinary. It stands more than 10 feet tall, develops more than 1,500 horsepower, and can leap over a 727 jet airliner in a single bound.

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Hydraulic forming takes a front seat

April 24, 2003

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For about 50 years roll forming was the process of choice for making seat track channels at Dura Automotive Seat Systems, Stockton, Ill. While the process was high-speed, low-maintenance, and flexible, it also caused channel end flare, twist, and bow.

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Applying and handling die lubricants

April 24, 2003

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The two main reasons for applying die lubricant are to reduce friction and dissipate heat. Heat can build up between the tool surface and metal, causing the lubricant to break down. This results in metal-to-metal contact and galling.

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Truckin' along through a stamping plant

April 24, 2003

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International Truck and Engine Corporation's Springfield, Ohio, plant recently undertook the challenge of building a high-performance truck with the dimensional tolerances that meet today's quality standards within a cost structure that would allow it to remain competitive. This new product launch was the first of its kind for the company in more than 20 years.

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Improving the bottom line in automotive applications

April 24, 2003

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The automotive industry is under extreme pressure to improve the productivity and quality of its operations. Tier 1 suppliers especially are being squeezed by a combination of very competitive upfront bidding for contracts and yearly price reductions. One area ripe for savings in most automotive companies is the total cost associated with welding quality.

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Cutting exotic alloys

April 24, 2003

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Cutting tubing with a circular cutoff saw is a common metal fabrication operation. This type of saw can produce a smooth finish that requires little secondary finishing.

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Coating fabricating tooling

April 24, 2003

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Tube fabricators all over the country are starting to see some major benefits from new coating technology. Many coatings-both those that are time-proven and new ones just hitting the market-can provide many benefits for many tube fabrication processes, including extended tooling life, better finished parts, and less stress on machinery.

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Slash maintenance inventory costs

April 10, 2003

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The quickest boost for most organizations' bottom line is finding opportunities for decreasing costs without sacrificing quality. An area frequently overlooked is the inventory of parts kept for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO).

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Establishing a die setup recipe for progressive dies

April 10, 2003

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Setting up a stamping die is one of the most critical steps in a successful stamping process. It's a fact: More damage is done to a die, especially a progressive die, in the first 10 hits than in the next 10,000 hits. Most die damage happens during initial setup, when the material is being fed into the die. Mistakes such as misfeeds, pilot piercing, double metal, sheared cutting sections, and stock hang-ups often occur.

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Superior Service—Why you need it

April 10, 2003

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Service can make or break a business. Of the top nine reasons consumers give for buying a specific product, eight pertain to the abilities of the customer service system, for example, responsiveness, technical skill, and professional attitude.1

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How to recognize, minimize weld smut

April 10, 2003

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When I weld any aluminum alloy, I see a covering, light gray to black in color, over the weld. I see it when I gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW), but it's worse when I gas metal arc weld (GMAW). What is it? Does it affect the mechanical properties of the weld? How do I get rid of it?A common occurrence...

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