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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Developing the value network map

March 21, 2017 | By Shahrukh Irani, Ph.D.

Dr. Shahrukh Irani offers an alternative to the value stream map in lean manufacturing. He calls it the value network map, and it’s tailored for the high-product-mix, low-volume world of the job shop.

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Generous spirit forms essence of welder/fabricator/artist

March 3, 2017 | By Eric Lundin

Having grown up on a farm, John Eckbold learned a lot about fixing machinery and raising animals. Both have a place in his venture, Flying J Metal Arts & Fabrication, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

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Technology Spotlight: Modular design meets the press brake

March 3, 2017 | By Tim Heston

A press brake manufacturer uncovers an alternative to the conventional C-frame design. According to the company, the modular design eliminates the need for a conventional crowning system and makes machine installation easier.

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Technology Spotlight: Managing manufacturing information overload

March 2, 2017 | By Dan Davis

IGear has developed what it is calling an Industrial Internet of Things messaging platform to help decision-makers cope with the voluminous amount of machine information and human conversation involved with running a modern manufacturing facility

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Do precision fabrication rules apply to me?

March 2, 2017 | By Steve Benson

Do the rules of precision bending apply to heavy plate fabrication? Of course they do. After all, it’s really just a matter of scale.

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Advancement challenges in metal fabrication

March 2, 2017 | By Tim Heston

As technology and globalization force manufacturers to produce more with fewer people and more productive machines, the manufacturing career ladder has fewer rungs. This has changed how people learn (or fail to learn) the ins and outs of metal fabrication.

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How to make office work flow

March 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Rework runs rampant in the office, although few notice it or work to eliminate it. A conversation with Kevin Duggan, president of Duggan Associates, reveals how operational excellence helps eliminate this rework and other inefficiencies, including those long email exchanges and overlooked work buried in email and desktop inboxes. He does this by introducing office workers to the concepts of flow and operational excellence.

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Role changes in lean manufacturing

March 1, 2017 | By Jeff Sipes

Columnist Jeff Sipes describes how front-line employees’ roles change with a lean transformation. The workday changes, and they must adapt. But as long as the changes are made with employees (and not to them), front-line workers should thrive.

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New GTAW variant boosts aluminum welding throughput

March 1, 2017 | By Erwan Siewert, Nakhleh Hussary

A new gas tungsten arc welding variant uses two gas streams, an outer shielding gas and an inner focusing gas, to constrict and stabilize the arc. It is designed to increase throughput and quality and reduce heat input.

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How to build a rep with reps in custom metal fabrication

March 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturers’ representatives can help a shop grow and diversify. But finding the right rep isn’t straightforward. The rep and fabricator need to be a good fit, and both need to scrutinize the other’s relationships and reputation.

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Reducing thermal spray hazards with proper dust collection

March 1, 2017 | By Taylor Morgan

The fine dust particles generated during powder spraying can contain a variety of metals with potential health risks. The proper dust collection system can keep workers safe and a manufacturer in compliance with regulations.

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A square deal on continuous improvement in custom manufacturing

March 1, 2017 | By Tim Heston

After adopting quick-response manufacturing, Square Deal Machining Inc. (SDMI) in Marathon, N.Y., cut lead times and inventory levels in half. The change required focus on the new manufacturing method, technology, and company culture.

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Choosing a gas for oxyfuel cutting

February 27, 2017 | By Phil Evans

Fuel gases have been used in manufacturing for decades, but how much do fabricators know about what has become such a common part of the manufacturing process? Phil Evans, a certified welding inspector and educator, discusses the basics.

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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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