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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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Welding aluminum with inverter-based power supplies

July 24, 2003

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It's easy to look at such a long-established technology as welding and believe that little or no technology development is taking place. In truth, however, the capabilities of welding power supplies are changing constantly and rapidly, especially in the area of inverter technology. These power supplies are suitable for welding aluminum alloys, including thin aluminum alloys.

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Using inverter technology

July 24, 2003

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Businesses feel a constant pressure to gain an advantage and control their processes better. However, the decision to embrace new technology often leaves them feeling vulnerable. In the realm of hand-held metal cutting operations, one such decision is choosing between traditional technology and an inverter-based plasma cutting system.

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The Perfect Economic Storm and The 100-Year Flood in Manufacturing—Part 1

July 10, 2003

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Editor's note: This article discusses three of six contributing factors to the current state of manufacturing—global competition, high business costs, and supply chain management and consolidation—with a focus on California manufacturing. Part II discusses technology investment, the...

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What price workers' compensation insurance?

July 10, 2003

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It's a Catch-22 for many manufacturers. Not having workers' compensation insurance can put them out of business. Paying for workers' compensation insurance can put them out of business. How is a company to survive?

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JD Power problem ratings

The problem with quality

July 10, 2003

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In May, automotive quality gurus J.D. Power & Associates released the results of its 2003 Initial Quality Study (IQS). As is the case every year, the winners will trumpet their scores while the losers will promise improvement. A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals some interesting observations.

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Examining the effects of push assist on the formability of aluminum tubes

July 10, 2003

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It is well-known that tube has become an important material for hydroforming hollow components. The increasing complexity of product structures, particularly in the automotive industry, often requires one or more forming operations before a tube actually is hydroformed. Prebending is one of these forming processes used to prepare tubes for the so-called prebent tube hydroforming.

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Do you use checking jigs and fixtures?

July 10, 2003

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How do you check tube fabrications to ensure they meet quality standards? Do you ship parts without checking them and hope that the next time the phone rings it isn't a prelude to a tirade from a disgruntled customer? Or do you check finished parts only to realize that your scrap rate is too high and wish you had checked them at earlier stages of the manufacturing process?

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