March 14, 2013
Can you expand capacity to the point where you can keep up with OEM customers? If not, you better start pulling together a formal plan. OEM customers aren't going to wait around. "It's getting to the point where we can't work with companies that don't have long-term capacity plans," said Warren...
March 8, 2013
Last week more than 100 metal fabricators gathered for The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit in Palm Harbor, Fla. The conference attendees seemed optimistic as most are in the midst of coping with expanding business opportunities. But with such pressures come concerns. Everyone apparently is looking...
February 28, 2013
The days of 1 million unit orders for simple metal blanks are over. But this doesn't mean that stamping can't survive in today's manufacturing environment. A.T. Wall Co. believes it can successfully position stamping as a go-to manufacturing process for parts that were at one time exclusively made through machining.
February 15, 2013
Metal fabricating companies that seek to provide the safest work environments for their employees might be interested to know that the job might get a little harder in the welding department. The leading industrial health and safety organization that regularly issues guidance for certain toxic...
February 8, 2013
I have a 14-year-old who's a freshman in high school this year. He's already 4 inches taller than I am and possesses more knowledge about Civil War history than I have after 44 years on this earth—with all of my schooling taking place in the South where the Civil War is still recalled almost...
February 1, 2013
Having survived a bankruptcy in the 1990s and the Great Recession, A&E Custom Manufcturing isn't about to embark on an aggressive growth path just to chase more business. It wants to grow intelligently, balancing investment with real opportunity. With that in mind, the company has made some very wise decisions that has allowed it to grow in the face of ongoing uncertainty.
February 1, 2013
Penn Stainless Products, Quakertown, Pa., wanted to upgrade its plasma cutting operations so that it could cut thicker stainless steel plate. It found that plasma technology advancements could deliver the thicker cut and additional benefits as well.
January 25, 2013
A&E Custom Manufacturing, Kansas City, Kan., isn't much different from other metal fabricators today. It is looking for the right skilled employees. "If we could find the people, we would probably add four to five employees," said John Jaixen, A&E's general manager, in December....
January 11, 2013
It used to be just labor cost, but apparently Mexico has another secret weapon in trying to expand its role as the world's manufacturing partner: It can churn out engineering and manufacturing talent for the large multinational manufacturers looking to locate in North America. Don't believe it?...
January 7, 2013
Machine tool developers have done a great job of automating many of the operations associated with structural steel processing over the years. Automated cutting, drilling, and marking are widely adopted in the industry. The same, however, can't be said for assembly and welding, but that could be changing.
December 13, 2012
"They've tried for two years to find my replacement, but they didn't find one yet," said 67-year-old Gil Smith, a second-shift welding technician for Rose City Manufacturing, Springfield, Ohio. He shared that fact with me after saying that he had read the December edition of the Fabricating Update...
December 3, 2012
Helium has been hard to get for some, and certainly the consumable gas is more expensive for welders than it used to be. The bad news is that this may be the case for some time. The good news is that alternatives are under development to help welders out as they tackle aluminum and stainless steel welding.
December 3, 2012
A terrible economy has forced European metal fabricators to focus on shortening turnaround time on jobs. If they attended EuroBLECH 2012 in Hannover, Germany, in late October, those fabricators probably discovered some tools that could help them accomplish their goals.