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Toolmaker tricks

August 14, 2003

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It is not unusual for me to perform a few magic tricks when holding a conference on stamping die drawing, troubleshooting, or processing. Later on, I may disclose the magicbehind the trick. I do this for a couple of reasons: first, to entertain the conference attendees, and second, to show them that there is no such thing as magic, only physics.

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Mastering the art of welding—it's all about proper technique

August 14, 2003

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One of the stupidest things I ever did as a parent was to buy my son a book about kyusho-waza (pressure point attack) written by master martial artist, George A. Dillman. I then became the recipient of painful ambushes in the hall, kitchen, and even driving down the road in my truck. I...

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Selecting equipment for a robotic welding workcell

August 14, 2003

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So you've decided to automate your welding process. Now it's time to select the equipment that performs the robotic welding. It's critical to take care choosing the appropriate equipment and an integration partner.

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Stamping out bad parts

August 14, 2003

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Sheet metal manufacturers are under constant pressure to improve and document quality while reducing costs. Furthermore, original equipment manufacturers are shifting responsibility for quality inspections to suppliers, adding extra burdens. New, complex product designs and rigorous processes, such as deep drawing and the growing use of exotic materials, are placing greater demands on both quality assurance and development departments.

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What's driving your press?

August 14, 2003

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Mechanical presses are challenged to provide high-speed production with a greater number of hits per minute, smaller batch runs, and quicker die changes.

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Selecting the right abrasives for your operation

August 14, 2003

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When it comes to weld preparation, choosing the right abrasive wheel for your grinder can make your job easier. Just grabbing your grinder and cleaning up the weld area can result in poorly prepared joints, cross-contaminated welds, and more wear and tear on the tool and the operator.

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Notching tube and pipe

August 14, 2003

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Tube and pipe can be notched with a variety of tools and machines, from saws to plasma cutters. For the hobbyist, the job shop, and the manufacturer, the most common machine tools used for making weld joints are the hole saw, the abrasive-belt notcher, and the end mill notcher.

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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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