FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Tube fabrication equipment manufacturer takes a holistic view of sustainability

July 7, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Sustainability and green technology are no longer buzzwords, but comprise a host of enduring manufacturing practices. Equipment manufacturer Schwarze-Robitec has rolled out numerous developments to conserve energy, consumables, material, and other resources.

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Tube and Pipe Production | Articles

Building bridges for the 21st century and beyond

July 7, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Fabricator and bridge erector used oxyfuel for years, but changed to plasma and benefitted from faster, more precise cuts.

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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Great gates!

July 5, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

After learning to weld on the family farm and honing his skill during his college years, Josh Foster decided to augment his steady, part-time job with a fabrication business. Big Creek Metal Works makes all sort of items, from large ranch gates to small art items, specializing in custom work.

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Shop Management | Articles

Growth strategies for fabricators

May 26, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Many small businesses grow quickly in the early years, but eventually growth hits a plateau. Big gains in additional growth come from gaining new customers or acquiring another company. In Going to Market, a presentation at The FABRICATOR®’s Leadership Summit, Lisa Wertzbaugher, sales and marketing manager for fabricator Superior Tube Products, discussed a four-part strategy for expanding the company’s sales, revenue, and profitability.

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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

What’s new in the tube and pipe industry?

May 26, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Eric Lundin provides an overview of many of the technologies displayed at the 2016 Tube Düsseldorf expo.

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Arc Welding | Articles

Salesman turns entrepreneur, artist, welder

May 9, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Working for a steady paycheck isn’t for everyone. Welding artist Kirk Yazel did that for nearly 20 years, but eventually his entrepreneurial spirit took over. He had been making steel garden decorations for some time, and he managed to turn his hobby into a full-time job.

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Finishing | Articles

Plater-fabricator partnership thrives on three key strategies

April 18, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Establishing an effective plating process for demanding applications is one thing; running a successful plating business is something else altogether. The former requires technical know-how; the latter requires soft skills and business acumen. Gatto Industrial Platers has established itself as adept at both of these endeavors.

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Laser Cutting | Articles

Best practices for laser cutting tube, pipe, profiles

April 18, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Interviews with BLM, LVD Strippit, Mazak, and TRUMPF reveal tips and tactics for buying, handling, cleaning, cutting tube. Other topics include machine maintenance, software upgrades, and operator training.

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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Heartthrob finds a less exhausting way to clean parts

April 18, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Cleaning the inside of long, bent tubes is a chore, especially when it has to be done outdoors in inclement weather. Nobody knew this better than the staff at Heartthrob Exhaust Accessories, Litchfield, Minn., when they had to use a pressure washer outside during winter months. An ultrasonic cleaning machine brought the process indoors while making it faster and less labor intensive.

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Shop Management | Articles

The industry shifts gears

March 29, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

The staff at Messe Düsseldorf provides an overview of the steel tube and pipe market. The recent drop in the crude oil price has taken much of the attention off of the energy industry, and automotive has pulled ahead. The article contains quite a bit of information on the latest research into alloys for the automotive industry, specifically from three Tube® Düsseldorf exhibitors.

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Arc Welding | Articles

Recruiting, retaining welders with dollars and sense

March 21, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

While the Great Recession was a calamity for many businesses, some also had a bit of trouble recovering from the downturn. Trailer builder Featherlite had trouble retaining workers, but realized that it could compete against higher wages offered elsewhere by improving the way it went about recruiting, hiring, and training newly hired workers.

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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Plasma provides pleasant parting process for pipeline project

March 17, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Oxyfuel has been the process of choice for cutting and gouging for field repairs for many years, but the crew on the Seaway 2 project found that a prototype model from Hypertherm provided a faster, quieter, more precise process.

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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Two bending processes, two directions, four tooling sets, one machine

March 16, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

As design software becomes more complex, and as engineers strive to differentiate their products from those of their competitors by developing increasingly complex, unique, and aesthetically pleasing products, manufacturers have to keep up. Superior Tube Products Inc., Davenport, Iowa, found that its conventional tube benders weren’t always up to the task, and invested in a twin-head servo-driven machine.

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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Swaging a war on piping system leaks

March 16, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

While welding and threading have their place in pipeline systems, mechanical connectors can be a good alternative, especially in applications subject to shock loading, constant vibration, and thermal cycling. Bolt-on flanges are one example; for small diameters, radially swaged connectors can be even better.

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Tube and Pipe Production | Articles

Pros and cons of commercial specifications for tubular products

February 10, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

Modern, mass-produced tube and pipe products come in three main varieties: extruded, welded, and drawn over mandrel. The standard specifications that apply to the most common type, welded, occasionally come under scrutiny. Are commercial tolerances tight enough? Editor Eric Lundin captured a discussion on this topic at TPA’s 2015 conference, Pipe & Tube Lincoln (Sept. 23, Lincoln, Neb.)

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