August 22, 2013
If you try to keep up with all of the experts, seers, and mad scribblers who try to predict which way the economy is heading at any particular time, you’re well aware that consensus in this field is about as rare as dinosaur eggs. The reasons are many, but to simplify: some...
August 13, 2013
The prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, made headlines this week with a bold campaign strategy: he took a shift as a taxi driver. No, not a gun-toting, bent-on-vengeance sort of Travis Bickle, Robert De Niro’s role as the vigilante cabbie in Taxi Driver, but a mild-mannered taxi driver...
August 9, 2013
An automobile enthusiast since he has a youngster, Ariel Banco started developing custom-made air intakes after he graduated from college. Eventually he had such a backlog that he quit his professional career to become a full-time fabricator, making air intakes for automobiles, motorcycles, and occasionally airplanes and personal watercraft.
August 7, 2013
If you heard champagne corks popping on August 6, it was for a good reason. That was the staff at NASA celebrating the first birthday of the Curiosity mission. The rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012, and has been sending data back to Earth ever since. The mission is an enormous (and ongoing)...
July 18, 2013
If you follow Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules, restrictions, and proposals, you’re already aware that it has mandated a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Carmakers have been moving in this direction for many years, reducing weight where possible,...
July 10, 2013
Most people have never heard of Eugene Ely, although aviation buffs probably recognize the name. An American test pilot in the early days of aviation, he was the first pilot to take off from a ship (November 14, 1910) and the first to land on one (January 18, 1911). On May 9, 1912, Air Commodore...
July 8, 2013
After decades of using an old manual tube bender with no features, Kress Corp. took a huge leap in technology when it purchased a new bender with CNC, full-color interface, and stacked tooling capability. The result is a 10-fold productivity improvement.
June 28, 2013
After his yacht-building business dried up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, entrepreneur Scott Gerber decided to build a simple sculpture from tubing. Based on a basic stick figure, the first one was a fisherman. Gerber placed a few around town, encountered some interest, and suddenly a new business was born.
June 3, 2013
Copper is extremely useful in the HVAC industry, but the high and volatile price can wreak havoc on profit margins. Some fabricators have found that they can substitute a couple of aluminum alloys with good results. However, aluminum isn’t as easy to work with as copper. This article tells how Harco Metal Products developed forming and brazing processes for this not-so-forgiving material.
June 3, 2013
When Industrial Laser Systems was asked to fabricate a tubular frame for a military vehicle, it rose to the challenge to cut, makes some holes, bend, and swage the tube ends. The result is a tubular frame that is affixed to the outside of patrol vehicles; combined with Kevlar® netting, the system prevents explosive projectiles from hitting the vehicle, with great success.
May 31, 2013
Some of the latest headlines seem to tell a gloomy story about the state of the economy. On My 31 the Dept. of Commerce released the latest data on consumer spending, and it told of the first decrease in the last 12 months. To quote an article posted at www.nbcnews.com, “Consumer spending fell in...
May 21, 2013
Much of a town flattened. Entire neighborhoods reduced to piles of debris. Hundreds injured. More than two dozen killed. It’s a grim reminder that the confluence of weather systems in the central U.S., specifically masses of cold, dry air from the north and fronts of warm, moist air from the...
May 13, 2013
Fake Rolex® watches, knock-off Armani® handbags, counterfeit Nike® shoes, pirated movies of all sorts—if you’ve traveled to any countries that have lax trademark, patent, and copyright protection, you’ve seen plenty of faked goods. It’s pathetic, to say the least. The companies that make...
April 19, 2013
When Oddello Industries, a supplier of fabricated assemblies to OEMs in a variety of markets, was invited to bid on a contract for a high-end adjustable mattress foundation, it searched for a piercing machine and a cutting machine that could handle the tubular portion of the project. It combined the two machines into a single integrated unit that processes more than 15 miles of tube per day.
April 17, 2013
Industrial Laser Solutions, Atlanta, has carved out a niche as a firm that engineers and develops its own products. During the downturn that followed the financial crisis of 2008, the company decided to take on some additional work, and it found itself in the fabrication business. This article tells the story of its first fabrication project, including some problems and practical solutions.