FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

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

Salesman turns entrepreneur, artist, welder

May 9, 2016

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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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Plater-fabricator partnership thrives on three key strategies

April 18, 2016

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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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Best practices for laser cutting tube, pipe, profiles

April 18, 2016

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Interviews with BLM, 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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Heartthrob finds a less exhausting way to clean parts

April 18, 2016

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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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The industry shifts gears

March 29, 2016

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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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Recruiting, retaining welders with dollars and sense

March 21, 2016

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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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Plasma provides pleasant parting process for pipeline project

March 17, 2016

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

March 16, 2016

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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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Swaging a war on piping system leaks

March 16, 2016

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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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Pros and cons of commercial specifications for tubular products

February 10, 2016

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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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Refueling, repairing, refurbishing, redeploying a supercarrier

February 10, 2016

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Every aircraft carrier is built to last, and the nuclear propulsion systems mean they don’t need port calls to fuel up, but even the most well-built and durable carriers need an overhaul after 25 years at sea. Editor Eric Lundin visited the USS Abraham Lincoln, CVN 72, to learn about the refueling and complex overhaul process from contractor Newport News Shipbuilding.

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Industry 4.0 arrives in Düsseldorf and in the manufacturing sector

January 27, 2016

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The term Industry 4.0 has been a frequently used buzzword for several years, but these days it’s more than a buzzword: It’s a reality, and it has begun to make inroads in the tube and pipe industry.

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Cutting processes displayed and debuted at FABTECH®

January 27, 2016

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A tour of FABTECH revealed that many changes are afoot regarding cutting, especially among laser manufacturers. Editor Eric Lundin provides an overview of some of the technologies that were display at the 2015 expo.

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Degree or pedigree? That is the question.

January 6, 2016

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Metal artist Stephen Christena left Flint, Michigan, but Flint didn’t leave Christena. He has the eye of an artist, backed up by a degree, but the sturdy, industrial look he favors is testimony to his roots.

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Not just for analyzing metals anymore

December 17, 2015

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Used for many years to analyze metals, XRF analyzers have been improving over the years. The latest models can detect elements at less than 10 parts per million and are equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, and built-in digital cameras, providing many additional capabilities compared to the analyzers of years ago.

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