FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

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

Warm forming titanium parts

June 13, 2006

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Senior Editor Eric Lundin visited a fabricator that specializes in aircraft components, M-DOT Aerospace, to learn how the company uses warm-forming of titanium to manufacture a cradle for an auxiliary power unit, or APU. Understanding titanium's characteristics is the key in forming this durable, corrosion-resistant, tough material.

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Not a one-stock shop

June 13, 2006

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After years of working in fabricating and machining, Shawn McFadden struck out on his own to start a fabrication shop, which later evolved into a custom motorcycle shop. He doesn’t use the latest CNC machines with digital readouts and other state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. He uses manually controlled machines and ingenuity.

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Stamper, prototyper, assembler, or fabricator

April 11, 2006

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Newspapers and business magazines are filled with stories about offshoring, layoffs, and plant closings. Quasar Industries, a prototyping and low-volume production shop near Detroit, has bucked this trend and recently increased its manufacturing capability when it purchased a new building. A diverse fabricator, the company provides tooling development and also does stamping, laser cutting and welding, robotic welding, tube fabrication, and machining. The company's client base includes the automotive, appliance, and aerospace industries, among others. But all the equipment it has and processes it performs don't make it successful. Its success is a result of its employees' expertise and its corporate culture.

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Selecting equipment for maximum productivity

February 7, 2006

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H. Meeuwsen B.V., a fabricator in Yerseke, Netherlands, found that purchasing a laser that could handle parts up to 12 m long greatly enhanced its capabilities. It augmented this purchase with a tandem press brake. One side of the brake has an 8-m capacity; the other has a 4-m capacity. This gives the company the ability to bend 12-m parts, if necessary, or to run the two brakes simultaneously for smaller items. Subsequent growth in customer demand led the company to consider purchasing a second laser. A careful analysis revealed that the company could do just fine with a smaller laser, so it purchased a laser with a 3-m capacity.

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Wading through the world of welding

January 10, 2006

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Two big tradeshows, Schweissen & Schneiden (Essen, Germany) and the FABTECH® International/AWS Welding Show (Chicago) highlighted several of the trends that have emerged in the welding industry during the last couple of years. Senior Editor Eric Lundin reviews many of the recent developments in arc and laser welding, and the growing use of another joining technology, adhesive bonding.

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Want a firsthand look at manufacturing in China?

September 13, 2005

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China has been in the news extensively during the past couple of years, and developments in 2005 have intensified the focus on the world's most populous country. Chinese companies Hair and China National Offshore Oil Co. put in bids on U.S. companies (Maytag and Unocal); meanwhile, the People's Bank of China unhooked the yuan from the dollar in favor of linking the yuan to a basket of foreign currencies. This is the perfect time to embark on a tour to get a better understanding of the country's manfacturing capabilities, so FMA, TPA, and Thermatool Corp. teamued up to organize the tube- and pipe-oriented tour of the country.

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To buy or not to buy?

July 11, 2005

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Metalen Verhoestraete, a metal service center in Roeselare, Belgium, needed a laser, but not just any laser would do. Because many of the company's clients had 3- and 4-meter lasers, Metalen sought a laser that had a much longer bed so it would not compete with its customers.

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Is this Round 2?

May 10, 2005

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Forty years ago Ford and Ferrari were engaged in a fight-to-the-finish struggle to take top racing honors. Ford used its GT40 to snap Ferrari's six-time winning streak at the 24 Hours of LeMans, one of racing's most prestigious events. In 2003 the rivalry was back as Ford unveiled the high-performance GT, a niche car rich in aluminum and developed with the help of modern technologies such as superplastic forming (a.k.a. hot stamping) and friction stir welding.

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A growing force in Washington, D.C.

October 12, 2004

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If you take a thorough look at federal bureaus and agencies, you'll see quite an array of departments intended to promote a variety of industries and business-related activities. Many of them have been around for decades, and some are more than a century old. The United States Department of...

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Is your bend good enough?

July 13, 2004

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Bending tube or pipe so the finished product conforms to one of two bending standards can help to reduce rejects and improve relations between fabricators and their customers. The standards can facilitate the use of bending terms, and promote an understanding of bending tolerances and acceptable defects before starting a bending project.

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Competing in the global arena

March 25, 2004

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Less than 40 seconds to go. The home team is down by 2 points. Tension grows as the clock counts down. The players and referees dart back and forth, and the action never slows. This isn't some staid, gentlemanly game like chess or golf. This is a full-contact sport, a sport in which the difference...

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Hydroforming heats up

January 13, 2004

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Hydroforming was one of the fastest-growing metal forming technologies during the 1990s. Most of U.S. industry cooled down during and after the recession of 2001, but things have been heating up lately, and the world of hydroforming is no exception. The North American Hydroforming Conference and Exhibition (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 in Dayton, Ohio), which was sponsored by the Tube & Pipe Association, International® (TPA), and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), showcased new techniques, equipment, and applications that are moving the industry forward.

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Zero to sixty in the blink of an eye

November 20, 2003

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The engine roars to life, and Bruce Van Sant inches the motorcycle forward, stopping about 25 feet from the starting line. Alan Geetings, crew member of the Van Sant racing team, sprays the asphalt with water. Bruce revs up the engine. The engine's torque breaks the rear tire's grip on the asphalt and it spins furiously. The air is suddenly filled with a cloud of smoke and the smell of burning rubber. After heating the tire, Bruce approaches the starting line.

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Designing an off-road sport truck

August 28, 2003

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The main component in any off-road sport vehicle is the frame. Frames for mass-produced vehicles usually are stamped and welded. These are suitable for most drivers' needs, but for intense off-road driving and competitions, a sturdier frame is necessary.

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Tier 1 supplier builds four-stage competitive strategy

July 24, 2003

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F & P Manufacturing Inc., a tier-one automotive components supplier, focused on four areas when it developed a hydroforming line for manufacturing Honda Accord engine cradles. These areas were eliminating end scrap, decoupling the bending machines from the manufacturing line, reducing cycle time, and palletizing parts.

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