The FABRICATOR

The FABRICATOR is North America's leading magazine for the metal forming and fabricating industry. The magazine delivers the news, technical articles, and case histories that enable fabricators to do their jobs more efficiently. The FABRICATOR has served the industry since 1971.

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Technological advances in powder coating spray and recovery

February 24, 2017 | By Jeff Hale

Gone are the days of the large monolithic powder coatings systems that snaked around a shop floor and the need to have multiple booths for color changes. Technology advances now make more compact, one-booth systems capable of quick and easy color changes a reality.

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Punch up your production

February 24, 2017

Automation and software have helped streamline punching significantly—and not just by scrutinizing the machine cycle time and total green-light time, but by looking at the overall punching cycle time, from sheet loading until a punched part reaches the next operation.

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Ensuring quality bent parts—from sheet to ship

February 24, 2017 | By Kate Bachman

Weaver Fabrication & Finishing gauges its bent parts' quality before they're even formed--from ensuring that its material is to spec to measuring that the dimensions, thickness, stiffness, and edge quality of the parts it bends on its new press brake machine are to its customers' specs. Here is how the manufacturer does it.

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In defense of diversification in metal fabrication

February 24, 2017 | By Tim Heston

In 2008 a Shelby, N.C., fabricator cranked out armored plate like there was no tomorrow. Then the defense contracts ended, and tough times ensued. But after almost shutting its doors, the plant has since been transformed into a diversified metal manufacturer.

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Technology Spotlight: Reading the laser cutting beam—there’s an app for that

February 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Precitec’s cutting head senses trouble in real time, and communicates via Bluetooth directly to an operator’s phone or tablet.

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Following the roll forming road map

February 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Many people call roll forming a black art, but David Rostocil isn’t one of them. If an operator is given the print, follows documented operating procedures, and maintains good records—and has consistent material thickness and properties to work with—the process becomes a science, one that over time can be tweaked and perfected.

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6 ways to optimize a waterjet for your shop

January 31, 2017 | By Chip Burnham

A waterjet can be outfitted to fit your shop's unique needs. Knowing how they work, benefits and how to make them more productive will help you get the most out of your waterjet, from art to part.

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Lean manufacturing and a tale of two sandboxes

January 30, 2017 | By Gary Conner, Logan O’Hara

Change can cause an emotional roller coaster. One often-missed component of continuous improvement is empathizing with those who must change what they do every day. Without empathy, understanding, and describing what the change means for the whole organization, emotions can run high.

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A new way to automate sheet metal bending

January 30, 2017 | By Tim Heston

At Minneapolis-based Atlas Manufacturing, a collaborative robot has taken over the mundane task of forming long runs of simple parts.

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Fabricating a new sales approach

January 30, 2017 | By Dan Davis

More job shops are looking to formalize their sales efforts, and that often means eschewing contract sales reps and hiring a full-time employee to go out and chase business.

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Press brake bending basics: Tooling choice when forming aluminum

January 30, 2017 | By Steve Benson

When choosing tools to bend aluminum, as always, you need to consider the naturally floated radius as well as where the bend turns sharp. You also may consider forming certain aluminum grades in the annealed condition.

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A trophy fit for Titletown

January 27, 2017 | By Amanda Carlson

A Wisconsin metal fabricator created a 10-ft. replica of the Lombardi Trophy and mounted it in the yard outside of its Green Bay-based tailgate house. Why? Because Packer freedom is a way of life.

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Managing the three legs of the custom metal fabrication stool

January 27, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Technology has become the ticket to entry for metal fabrication. But when a fabricator buys a new machine, it doesn’t stay secret for long. So what really sets a company apart from its competitors? Past speakers at FMA events give some insights.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Design changes involve changes to CAD hierarchy

January 27, 2017 | By Gerald Davis

To assist with smooth transitions during design changes, columnist Gerald Davis shows a work flow for changing a part into an assembly.

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Continuous improvement in metal fabrication: Role changes in a lean transformation

January 27, 2017 | By Jeff Sipes

This month, columnist Jeff Sipes walks through the typical day of a production supervisor before and after a lean transformation.

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