December 21, 2011
The main topic at the 2011 EDTR Roundtable conference in Wilmington, NC, was safety. Many of the issues involve high forces, metals in motion, and red-hot parts—in other words, topics relevant to any and all tube and pipe producers and fabricators. Editor Eric Lundin summarizes the main hazards and recommended practices for mitigating them.
December 12, 2011
It has been nearly two years since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico. For most of us, the story slipped off our radar a few weeks after the rig exploded (April 20, 2010); the story made headlines again when the well was capped temporarily nearly three months later... Continue Reading
November 7, 2011
The worst of the financial crisis of the 2008-2009 time frame is history, and as the recovery progresses, I think it’s fair to say that we’re all wondering when everything will get back to the way it was … when will we have a low unemployment rate, a thriving manufacturing sector, a healthy... Continue Reading
September 28, 2011
Two stories of management-labor relations came to my attention in the past few days, and the two stories couldn’t be more different from each other. They’re so opposite that Charles Dickens’ well-known introduction to A Tale of Two Cities accurately describes them. “It was the best of... Continue Reading
September 13, 2011
Invest, invest, invest. The modern world has no shortage of ways to invest money if you have a little extra cash sitting around: real estate, commodities, stocks, corporate bonds, government bonds, and so on. Some specialized firms even invest in money, writing forward contracts to buy or sell... Continue Reading
September 9, 2011
Mobile phone systems are mainly electronic, but a fabricated tube plays a critical role—known as a waveguide, this rectangular tube connects the transmitter to the antenna. Precise bending and forming are critical to manufacturing a waveguide that provides a strong, clear signal.
August 31, 2011
I saw a bold headline a few days ago: “Why McDonald’s wins in any economy.” As far as I am concerned, this is more of an advertisement for an article than a headline, and I am wary of flashy advertising, but it lured me in anyway. I figured a small investment, a few minutes of my time, might... Continue Reading
July 27, 2011
The story is a heartbreaker. Two teenagers, 14-year-old girls on the threshold of attending high school, were detasseling corn on a farm in northwestern Illinois when they were electrocuted after coming into contact with an irrigator. Detasseling is practically a rite of passage where corn is... Continue Reading
July 20, 2011
It wasn't that long ago that Joe Fabiani decided to make a custom exhaust system for his Porsche. A member of the Porsche Club of America (PCA) and racing enthusiast, he soon found himself making exhaust systems for fellow PCA members. That led to founding a company, FabSpeed Motorsports Inc., which initially relied on outsourcing for nearly all of the fabricating. Fabiani recently opened a new division, FabSpeed Precision Services, and invested nearly $1 million in equipment in the new division to eliminate outsourcing.
July 19, 2011
It seems like everyone is wondering when, or if, the U.S. economy is going to shake off the doldrums. Believe it or not, a headline from the Los Angeles Times, “What recession? It’s boom time again in Silicon Valley,” made it clear that a recovery is well under way in northern California.... Continue Reading
June 28, 2011
An Indiana man was arrested June 22 for sending lewd messages to a minor via cell phone. Considering all the recent publicity surrounding former Rep. Anthony Weiner and the photo he broadcast via Twitter, it’s not a big surprise that a man used a phone for such a purpose. However, the story about... Continue Reading
June 9, 2011
Mankind has been making tools and gadgets from metals for millennia. The discovery of copper and tin ushered in the Bronze Age about 5,000 years ago, and new metal tools swept aside stone tools in a hurry. Iron and steel have been used widely for about 3,000 years, but these days it appears that... Continue Reading
June 2, 2011
Custom guitar-maker Gordon Branch started making guitars from wood, the traditional material, about 25 years ago. He went in a different direction when he created a design based on an aluminum billet, relying on the metal’s acoustic characteristics for a unique sound. Recently he decided to try combining an aluminum billet with aluminum tubing, with stunning results.
May 5, 2011
The unthinkable has happened: Gasoline prices have crossed the $5.00-per-gallon threshold. Forget the official data. The Energy Information Administration says that the average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.96, but that’s not accurate for two reasons. First, it... Continue Reading