FMA Communications Inc.

Eric Lundin

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

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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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Refueling, repairing, refurbishing, redeploying a supercarrier

February 10, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

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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Shop Management | Articles

Industry 4.0 arrives in Düsseldorf and in the manufacturing sector

January 27, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

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 and Weld Prep | Articles

Cutting processes displayed and debuted at FABTECH®

January 27, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

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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Arc Welding | Articles

Degree or pedigree? That is the question.

January 6, 2016 | By Eric Lundin

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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Shop Management | Articles

Not just for analyzing metals anymore

December 17, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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Shop Management | Articles

Looking out from the inside

November 9, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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Arc Welding | Articles

Using a purge dam to cut welding time for UHP applications

November 4, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Custom-made tube bender handles challenging shapes, eliminates scrap

November 2, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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Laser Cutting | Articles

Small-scale laser cutting for stent, tube fabrication

October 27, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

A little fabricator grows up

September 2, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Bending one bumper at a time

August 25, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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Tube and Pipe Fabrication | Articles

Harvesting a bumper crop of bumpers

August 24, 2015 | By Eric Lundin

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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