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New tool helps fabricator accelerate part making for small runs

August 14, 2003

Custom metal fabricator Total Metal Products, Dallas, had a need for part marking that would be both accurate and cost-effective for small quantities. The company supplies punched parts in single and small-lot quantities of 200, 300, and 400 on a just-in-time (JIT) basis. Its customers include manufacturers in the telecommunications, aerospace, mass transit, and oil refining industries.

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Keep it clean

August 14, 2003

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Are you having problems with wastewater discharges from your metalworking facility? Have you received a violation notice from your sewer use authority? Do your environmental experts speak a language you don't understand or continually reject new fluids you would like to use? Or perhaps you would like to use new or improved lubricants, cleaners, rust preventives, or detergents, but the products you've tried have failed the waste treatment tests.

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Virtual tryout

August 14, 2003

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In this era of global warp speed and virtual reality, calculating the deep draws of progressive dies or the springback of metal is performed by simulation software instead of the earlier trial-and-error method. These software programs essentially replace the artistic methods of diemaking with...

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Does any welding shield manufacturer make a hood with earmuffs?

August 14, 2003

Does any welding shield manufacturer make a hood with earmuffs? The reason I ask is that I wear hearing aids. I teach welding and it's too hard to keep removing the hearing aids.

- K. Stevens

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Workplace stress—Part 1

July 24, 2003

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Stress is a fact of life. It's here to stay, and even if we could abolish it, we wouldn't want to. At its best, stress can be the catalyst that moves us to make changes and achieve great things in life. At its worst, it can create all kinds of emotional and physical problems. What determines whether stress is a friend or foe? Whether it precipitates changes that improve our lives or whether it greatly diminishes the quality of our lives? One determining factor is how we handle or manage stress. We can be our own best friend or our own worst enemy.

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The Perfect Economic Storm and The 100-Year Flood in Manufacturing—Part 2

July 24, 2003

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Editor's note: This article discusses the final three of six factors contributing to the current state of manufacturing — technology investment, the elimination of industrial arts programs, and the lack of industry leadership — with a focus on California manufacturing. Part I, which appeared...

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Tuning a piano—making the most of your best resources

July 24, 2003

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Editor's Note: Is your company in survival mode? There are questions you should be asking and steps you can take to improve your company's position—instead of shooting the pianist.Ever listen to someone playing a piano that's out of tune? Remember the sound? Completely sour. Even hitting a...

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Die width selection

July 24, 2003

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Most designers and engineers usually place very little importance on achieving the correct inside radius of a formed part. Why? Because the functionality of the part is unaffected if the specified inside radius is 0.062 in. and actual measured inside radius is 0.078 in. So why do we care about...

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Which wire do you require?

July 24, 2003

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Are you looking for ways to improve quality, raise productivity, and save costs in your current welding operations? If you haven't examined the various electrode choices, you could be missing an opportunity to take your production welding to the next level.

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Improving blank edge conditions

July 24, 2003

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A blank, stamped in the first station of a progressive stamping operation, usually is subject to subsequent forming processes to form a designated part. If the blank is subject to straining, deformation, bending, stretching, or lateral expansion in later stations, its edge condition should be carefully examined.

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Taking the heat, keeping the current

July 24, 2003

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A DaimlerChrysler powertrain control module cover/heat sink assembly needed to be thermally conductive yet electrically isolated. The populated circuit board—one with all components in place—had to be bonded to the heat sink and postcured in a vacuum laminating press. The entire module...

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Maximizing a coil fed press

July 24, 2003

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Coil-fed stamping presses are nothing new, but coil feeding processes have changed a lot since the days when press feeders were driven mechanically by crank motion. Influencing these processes are differences between transfer and progressive tooling.

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Tier 1 supplier builds four-stage competitive strategy

July 24, 2003

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F & P Manufacturing Inc., a tier-one automotive components supplier, focused on four areas when it developed a hydroforming line for manufacturing Honda Accord engine cradles. These areas were eliminating end scrap, decoupling the bending machines from the manufacturing line, reducing cycle time, and palletizing parts.

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The business of lasers

July 24, 2003

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As we all know, the laser industry has seen easier times. Economic and market pressures have changed the competitive landscape for laser cutting equipment, and the changes are likely to continue. Both lasermakers and laser users need to adapt to the changes in the laser market, and the companies that recognize and adapt first are likely to be those that succeed.

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Advancements in waterjet technology

July 24, 2003

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When Jack Budd, president of Precision Waterjet, Orange, Calif., purchased his first waterjet system seven years ago, he expected most of the company's work to come from the aerospace industry, which was robust at the time. When business from that industry tapered off, he searched for new customers in the architectural, signage, and automotive aftermarket industries.

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