June 3, 2013
When John Force Racing took most of its manufacturing operations in-house in the early 2000s, the focus was on controlling quality and lead time. However, it didn't have a quick-response fabricating tool for 2-D cutting. It has since found that tool with its new waterjet
May 31, 2013
As I was walking in from the parking lot this week after giving blood, the driver of the bus that is used as a mobile blood collection center asked if he could walk in with me so he could use the restroom. He knew he needed someone to buzz him into the building, and I did just that. As I showed...
May 23, 2013
With every conversation I have with a metal fabricator, I become more convinced that the companies left standing after two recessions within a 10-year span are primed to survive in this very competitive global economy. In essence, they have survived because they are the fittest. In the wake of the...
May 10, 2013
My wife works with some pretty smart people. She's a math teacher, which puts her in day-to-day contact with talented teachers and highly intelligent students in her advanced placement courses. On her staff is a former engineer who recently had received constructive criticism about his teaching...
May 3, 2013
Can we write enough about safety in the pages of The FABRICATOR, its sister magazines, and thefabricator.com? Absolutely not. Do we actually execute that strategy in the media wepublish? No, we do not. And that's a shame. Fabricators might argue that safety is a given in their facilities, much...
May 2, 2013
Alto-Shaam, Menomonee Falls, Wis., needed to find a way to reduce setup times for its low-volume, high-mix work associated with fabricating parts for food service equipment. The company found its answer with a panel bender that management had seen in action at a FABTECH tradeshow several years before.
April 26, 2013
Fabricating shop owners—and business owners in general—have voiced concern about increased regulations that their companies have had to face since the election of President Obama, but that may be nothing compared to the trouble they might find if they run into trouble involving the Occupational...
April 25, 2013
Virtual weld training tools have emerged in recent years, and some organizations have looked to them to help beginners learn welding basics before firing up the arc. Meanwhile, others are looking for a training device that better reflects the real-world activities associated with welding in a manufacturing environment. A new training device has emerged to bridge that virtual world with the real world.
April 24, 2013
Hurricane Sandy wasn't kind to Architectural Grille, Brooklyn, N.Y., in late October 2012. Waters from a nearby canal flooded the shop and ultimately destroyed all fabricating equipment, which was paid for. The insurance companies and local officials didn't offer much help either. The Giumenta family didn't throw in the towel, however. They are determined to rebuild and do it with the latest technology available.
April 17, 2013
The speed of fabricating is increasing at a rapid pace, but the press brake remains a bottleneck for many companies. Laser cutting and punching machines can run unattended if necessary without the need to program a robot, but the same can't be said for a press brake. Human operators still are pretty much a necessity. Advancements in bending software, however, can help to streamline the bending process. Fabricators only need to give it a try.
April 12, 2013
Is current economic news making you unenthusiastic about the rest of this year and 2014? The editors at The Kiplinger Letter say not to fret. Manufacturing's future in the U.S. appears to be pretty good in the near term. In the early April newsletter, editors suggested that, even though...
April 8, 2013
After selling his metal fabricating business in 2006, Jim Lee is back in the game with North Topeka Fabrication. But even in the short time that he was gone, metal fabricating technology has advanced and forced him to ask how the shop could apply new technology to grow the business. That led the company to invest in a fiber laser cutting machine, and the decision has thrown the shop into the thick of new business opportunities.
April 5, 2013
How could the U.S. Congress screw up funding job training programs? Manufacturers need specialized workers, and the unemployed need training for those unfilled positions in manufacturing. Sounds simple, right? Nothing is simple nowadays. In mid-March Republicans in the House of Representatives...
March 22, 2013
'Tis the time of year when people might be secretly paying more attention to NCAA basketball tournament games than work and, in some cases, actually leaving work early to watch the afternoon first-round games. Even though March Madness might sap worker productivity, it still might hold meaning for...
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...