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Ensuring a plant's electrical system safety

November 29, 2001

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This article takes a look at using infrared thermography in the plant setting to detect potential fire hazards. It discusses who can provide the service, what sorts of problems it can detect, and generally explains how the problems discovered when using this technology should be handled. It also uses an actual inspection as a basis for the discussion.

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Mobilizing equipment-saving time and talent

November 29, 2001

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It's hard to believe that machines such as press brakes and hardware-setting equipment can move around on wheels or be moved by forklift and still function correctly. But I can tell you from experience that it is true and can be done.

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Hydroforming Y-shaped stainless steel exhaust components

November 29, 2001

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T-shapes and Y-shapes are the most commonly hydroformed exhaust system components for automobiles. This article reports on the investigation into the metal flow in Y-shape hydroforming by the Engineering Research Center for Net Shape Manufacturing (ERC/NSM) at The Ohio State University, which conducted several experiments using the tooling available at the SPS research center in Aalen, Germany.

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Maximizing your scrap's value

November 29, 2001

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The more uniform and contaminant-free that scrap is when fabricators provide it to recyclers, the more fabricators can benefit. This article addresses the two principles for selling scrap to recyclers: know what you're selling vs. what you're getting paid for, and incorporate sorting & cleaning into your production stream.

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Tooling, the key for mill production

November 29, 2001

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This article discusses three main criteria that govern tube mill tooling—design, materials used in their construction, and alignment of tooling on the mill. Discusses advancements in design due to CAD technology; experimental use of ceramic and plastic materials for making tooling; and the use of subplates and interchangeable components to ease tube mill alignment.

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Automotive assembly line

Preventative maintenance as a way of life

November 29, 2001

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The author relates his experience as preventive maintenance (PM) coordinator at a Big 3 automaker. The purpose of preventative maintenance is to gain control of the processes. This begins with data collection on die sets, die failure and material handling damage that will identify weak areas in the stamping process. The author's team began with one set of dies and eventually its PM program was so successful that it was implemented throughout the entire plant.

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A breath of fresh air — an overview of in-plant filtration systems

November 15, 2001

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The article explains how to carry out a facility and process evaluation and discusses the basics of in-plant air filtration system selection.

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Adaptive bending

November 15, 2001

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Adaptive bending allows press brake operators to measure a bend angle during the forming process and feed the information to the numerical control. The article discusses springback and how to determine it and the fact that when air bending, 90 percent of problems result during initial setup, and only 10 percent result from springback. It also discusses using an angle control system, methods of measuring angles, and requirements for angle measurement systems.

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Is robotic welding right for you?

November 15, 2001

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This article examines robotic welding and discusses the considerations behind choosing to use (or not use) welding robots. It answers the questions what comprises a robotic welding installation, what costs are associated, and what industries are best suited for robotic welding.

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Gun Control: GTAW torch design innovations enhance productivity, quality

November 15, 2001

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This article discusses improvements to the GTAW torch that should enhance the productivity and quality of welding operations. It specifically discusses the welding gun's affect on ergonomics and cooling capacity.

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Using hydroforming aluminum components versus steel stampings

November 15, 2001

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This article examines two transitions that are occurring in the automotive industry—the change from stamping to hydroforming, and the substitution of aluminum where steel was used previously.

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Assessing cutting and forming machine tool safety

November 15, 2001

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The expanded breadth of recent standards typically includes the entire life expectancy of machines, the full scope of possible risks, the frequency and severity of risks, and the possibility of harm.

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Mac's Muse: One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes ... gone! As U.S. steel industry gets its lunch eaten, many parties can share blame

November 15, 2001

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A lot of parties can share the blame for what's happened to the North American steel industry, and its going to take effort from them all to pull the industry out of its quagmire. Can it be done? Time will tell.

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Setting realistic goals for robotic welding projects

November 15, 2001

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Expecting a robot to solve all of your production problems can inflict the cruel irony of ceating more. If you want your robots to speed up your operation, know what they can and can't do from the start.

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Part nesting and die design tips for reducing and utilizing scrap in stamping operations

November 15, 2001

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You might be able to gain a competitive edge by learning how to reduce the amount of engineered scrap, or that material that was inteded to be scrap rather than scrap created because of defective piece parts.

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