August 18, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Painting and powder coating come at the end of the line, but that doesn't mean it should be the last thing that fabricators think of if they are interested in running an efficient fabricating operation.
July 27, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Three welders embrace all aspects of digital communication as they share welding tips and tricks.
July 11, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Most manufacturers associate coil processing with the metal forming industry. They also likely assume the punching and laser cutting combination machines consume sheet metal. Elleci S.p.A., a metal fabricator in northern Italy, has a new line in place that will require many manufacturers to alter their preconceived notions about coil consumption in a fabricating facility.
July 8, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Everyone knows that moving is not easy, especially when you are talking about moving a business. Dennis Donovan, a site selection consultant, provides an overview of the main considerations that a metal fabricator should keep in mind as it looks to make a major move.
July 7, 2016 | By Dan Davis
If you tour Plymouth Tube's Streator, Ill., facility, you can't help but notice all of the yellow caution areas. They mark potential trip hazards and pinch point areas. The focus on safety, both visually and in daily communications, has helped the facility stay injury-free for three years now. It's also enabled the tube production facility to be named the recipient of FMA’s Rusty Demeules Award for Safety Excellence.
July 5, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Metal fabricators don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the costs associated with grinding. It’s necessary in many shops, so company management just throws labor at it. They don’t realize, however, that new ceramic alumina developments have the potential to save them money when it comes to grinding operations. The Norton Quantum 3 abrasive wheel is one such example.
June 29, 2016 | By Dan Davis
A welding instructor at a Wisconsin vocational school hits the shop floor in the summer to see what matters to manufacturers.
June 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Because shipping spent waterjet abrasive off to the landfill usually is easy, not too much thought is given to attempting to recycle it. However, in today's manufacturing world, all aspects of the operation are scrutinized for possible cost savings. That includes looking at abrasive recycling.
May 23, 2016 | By Dan Davis
The goal of forward-thinking fabrication shops is to be closely involved in a customer's supply chain, where perhaps it participates in part designs and design for manufacturability activities. If a shop is to be an active supply chain partner, it needs to be able to stay on top of engineering change orders and part design discussion. Cloud-based product life cycle management software can help.
This year’s FMA Annual Meeting, held in San Diego in February, celebrated the technology companies need to compete and the worker skill shops need to sustain that success through the generations.
April 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis
In the past, lighting manufacturers introduced product designs that might last 10 years. Because of the lengthy product lifetime and volumes, these manufacturers didn't think twice about relying on hard tooling. Today product designs change regularly, and the constant evolution of LED technology means a manufacturer has to react quickly. For TAMCO, Port St. Lucie, Fla., that meant it needed its own laser cutting capability.
March 31, 2016 | By Dan Davis
DeWys Manufacturing, Marne, Mich., used to rely on quality personnel running all over the plant to check parts, but that caused downtime as people waited for the quality check. As the company explored lean manufacturing and refined its training process, it sought to make quality the job of everyone, not just a select few. The results of this thinking are particularly evident in the press brake department.
March 30, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Gorilla Fabrication in South Carolina has made a name for itself in fabricating food trucks. A request for a mobile bar, however, forced it to expand its building skills.
March 17, 2016 | By Dan Davis
Keeping your nose to the grindstone could prevent you from noticing the rapid changes occurring in the world around you.
March 1, 2016 | By Dan Davis
A 70-year-old metal fabricating business in Buffalo, N. Y., came under new ownership in 2012 and in the ensuing years, the shop worked hard to get any business it could to build cash flow and a positive reputation. Two years later, the shop emerged with a maker of food trucks and custom hot and cold food stations for grocery stores. The fabricating business hasn't been the same since.