August 24, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
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.
July 21, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
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.
July 16, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
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.
July 15, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Horsch Maschinen GmbH, an agriculture implements manufacturer, experienced corrosion problems related to the tubular couplers used for its hydraulic systems. It switched to couplers manufactured by Voss Fluid GmbH, which are much better at standing up to the corrosive effects of common fertilizers.
July 9, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Laser welding on a tube or pipe mill wouldn’t be very effective without a good control system. Eric Lundin interviewed TRUMPF to learn about the capabilities of the company’s SeamLine and SeamLine Pro systems.
June 29, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Top Fuel races are a dazzling sight, covering 1,000 feet in little more than 3 seconds. The drivers get the glory and the engines get the attention—they develop approximately 10,000 horsepower—but underneath the car’s exterior is a marvel of modern engineering: a tubular chassis that somehow holds together through 4G of acceleration during the race and the even harsher 5G of deceleration when it’s over.
June 24, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Most people who own ultralight aircraft buy them fully assembled, but this isn't the only option. U-Fly-It, DeLand, Fla., lets the buyer be the builder if he's handy and has about two weeks to spare.
June 23, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
After the sign for his auto repair business fell off the building, Dominick Alia tried his hand at fashioning his own sign. One thing led to another, and metal sculpture became a hobby.
June 1, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
When A.O. Smith, the company known for developing the glass-lined residential water heater, had a bottleneck at its resistance welding station and sought an alternate welding method. It had been making a lap welding on galvanized steel by resistance welding, but this trapped vaporized zinc; escaping vapors weakened the weld. A new method, a butt weld performed by laser welding, doesn’t trap the vapors, leaving a visually appealing weld that is essentially free of defects.
May 26, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Preparing tube or pipe ends for welding with a portable tool is one way to get the job done, but for complex end forms and high-volume work, a stationary beveling machine is the way to go.
May 11, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Sheet metal worker Paul Ziegman puts in long days building stainless steel kitchen equipment for restaurants and other food-service businesses in and around Spokane, Wash. He recently opened his own such business using the same equipment and skill set.
May 5, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Before Thom Shelow founded Superior Joining Technologies Inc., he did quite a variety of welding, but his welding experience wasn’t the only asset he used to make the business a success. He keeps an open mind and is always ready to analyze new ideas, new concepts, and new technologies. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t prevail at SJTI.
April 8, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
In 1973 full-time farmer Mike Van Mill tried his hand at building a grain wagon for a neighboring farmer, and he has been at it full-time since incorporating Brent Industries a few years later. Now the operations manager for Unverferth Mfg., Shell Rock, Iowa, Van Mill is part of a team that manufactures implements under the Brent brand name. The staff runs the facility like a savvy farmer runs a farm, always looking for a better way but proceeding cautiously. A sheet laser purchased in the early 2000s led to a tube laser purchased in 2014.
March 12, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
Former toolmaker Toolspec Manufacturing Co. has transitioned over the years to become a fabricator, and over the years acquired 14 hydraulic benders. The machines are capable but require lengthy tool changeovers, hours of programming time, and substantial expertise to maintain bend consistency. It recently invested in two all-electric machines, benders that don’t have these issues.
March 5, 2015 | By Eric Lundin
For structural fabrication-and-construction companies, efficiency in logistics is vital. A typical column, beam, truss or joist is handled three times—first to a storage yard, then to a staging area, and finally to the semitrailer. However, this isn’t the only way to do it. Reinicke Athens Inc. recently invested in a straddle carrier from Combilift Ltd. Instead of moving one part at a time, the truck lifts and moves an entire load a time, cutting its trailer-loading time from up to 8 man-hours to as little as 30 minutes.