FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

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

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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Looking out from the inside

November 9, 2015

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Artist and furniture-maker Louie Tozser has enjoyed a rich and varied career, working in metal, stone, glass, and polycarbonate, and does everything from one-off pieces to contract manufacturing. It’s much more than a business, though. Tozser’s latest plan it to introduce local children to art and perhaps inspire some to pursue a career in art as well.

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Using a purge dam to cut welding time for UHP applications

November 4, 2015

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In welding high-purity and ultrahigh-purity piping systems, quite a bit of the welder’s time is idle, time spent waiting for the purge system to remove the oxygen from the system. Most purge dams mark or scratch the pipe’s ID, neither of which is acceptable on HP and UHP systems. This led to the development of a purge dam specifically for these applications.

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Custom-made tube bender handles challenging shapes, eliminates scrap

November 2, 2015

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Exercise equipment manufacturer Cybex International makes workout machines with tubular frames from parts it bends in-house. The company has quite a bit of bending expertise, but one problem it couldn’t resolve was the bending of short lengths. A custom-made bender from Unison provided Cybex with the capability it needed.

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Small-scale laser cutting for stent, tube fabrication

October 27, 2015

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Metal fabricators have been using CO2 lasers for decades and fiber lasers for years, but these technologies aren’t optimal for making the ultrafine features needed for medical devices such as catheters and stents. Femtosecond disk lasers recently have emerged as a viable technology for such applications.

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A little fabricator grows up

September 2, 2015

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Under the stewardship of founders Larry and Gloria Dlouhy, Superior Tube Products grew from a small proprietorship into a midsized fabricator. It is entering its 25th year in business with a new management style, a new strategy, and a new outlook on the future.

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Bending one bumper at a time

August 25, 2015

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When Grant Mallicote’s father had a bumper-crumpling collision on the family’s ranch, Grant figured he could save his dad a few dollars by fabricating a replacement bumper. He used some tube, plate, a welding torch, and some ingenuity to make a bumper, and eventually it became a bumper business, Bodyguard Truck Accessories.

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Harvesting a bumper crop of bumpers

August 24, 2015

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When Grant Mallicote’s father had a bumper-crumpling collision on the family’s ranch, Grant figured he could save his dad a few dollars by fabricating a replacement bumper. He used some tube, plate, a welding torch, and some ingenuity to make a bumper, and eventually it became a bumper business, Bodyguard Truck Accessories.

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Oilfield components fabricator finds success in sawing heavy-wall tube

August 24, 2015

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When oilfield components and systems supplier Tri-Alta used an old manual band saw for cutting tube to length, it experienced no shortage of difficulties in blade failures, inaccurate cuts, and part misalignment. The company invested in a modern band saw from Behringer with automated downfeed pressure sensing, blade tension monitoring, and a material handling system.

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Minimizing effort, maximizing distance

July 21, 2015

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A golf club shaft looks like an ordinary tube, but it’s not. Quite a bit of engineering goes into manufacturing the tube and drawing it so it has the optimal characteristics—lightweight without being flimsy and elastic enough to pack a wallop. Editor Eric Lundin interviewed Scott Cokeing, director of engineering and global quality True Temper Sports, about one of the company’s manufacturing processes, variable wall technology.

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Orion Drilling Co. has rigs, will travel

July 16, 2015

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Before purchasing a 3-D CNC cutting system from HGG, oil rig builder Orion outsource quite a bit of its work. In addition to being at the mercy of its subcontractors’ lead times, Orion had to deal with their quality, which often wasn’t sufficient. The machine has been such a productivity enhance that Orion estimates the ROI period to be one year.

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