October 9, 2012
Dore Capitani cut right to the chase: "My wife says the art is just a front." Maybe so. The former industrial mechanic, who worked his way up to master mechanic, spent the early part of his career working for a packaging manufacturer, and later for a glass container manufacturer, and learned how...
October 8, 2012
Founded in 2003, American Hydoformers Inc. arrived on the scene a little too late to catch the first big wave of interest in hydroforming. A few automobile manufacturers had been oversold on the technology and were cautious to continue to convert parts to hydroforming, but AHI didn’t stumble and fall. Wise investments in equipment gave the company a unique and thriving position in the industry.
September 7, 2012
SF Tube Inc., a fabricator that does a substantial amount of bending, found itself facing a perfect storm—it had quite a bit of manual equipment, it often had to use two or three benders to make a single component, its bend-splice-weld-grind-polish-blend process for many components was too time-consuming, its shop floor was crowded with machines, and its niche as a specialty bending house meant it was positioned for future growth. A new bender, one that provides both rotary bending and roll bending, eliminated these hassles and has positioned the company to take advantage of growth opportunities.
August 3, 2012
After working for a few years making leather belts and belt buckles, Anthony “AJ” Patti moved on to designing and manufacturing leather goods for Harley-Davidson, then went on to pewter casting to make jewelry for the venerable motorcycle manufacturer. An artist always striving for efficiency and mass production, Patti’s latest venture is making sculptures and adornments for gardens.
July 16, 2012
Hautau Tube Cutoff Systems LLC turned the lathe concept on its head when it developed a machine that holds tube steady and uses tooling that orbits the workpiece. This concept, coupled with a handful of other innovations developed over the Hautau brothers’ professional careers, make these machines unique in how the perform recut operations.
July 16, 2012
Ross Liberty, founder of Factory Pipe, has been making exhaust systems for two-stroke engines since he was a teenager. He recently brought his decades of manufacturing experience and his substantial product knowledge to bear on an exhaust pipe that had been produced at Factory Pipe and subsequently sourced from a competitor in China. Liberty developed a new design, cutting the weight and cost substantially, thereby getting the contract back from the Chinese company.
July 16, 2012
Years ago tube and pipe producers relied mainly on eddy current testing and ultrasonic testing for detecting short- and long-duration weld faults, respectively. These testing systems are still useful and in many cases required, but the spread of electronic technology has provided many more types of testing equipment for use on tube and pipe mills.
July 2, 2012
A fluid-carrying line usually consists of a length of tube or pipe that has a fitting that is either attached at the end of the tube by a conventional swaging method or attached to the tube by welding. A little-known process, elastomeric swaging, bulge-forms the tube or pipe ends. Its niche is in small-diameter, heavy-wall applications that carry fluid under substantial pressure.
June 13, 2012
Interviews with several TUBE exhibitors revealed that the energy industry remains the biggest driver in the tube and pipe industry. The opportunities aren’t just in oil and gas, but also wind and even nuclear, despite the Fukushima incident. Meanwhile, a few vendors have come up with machines and processes that reduce tube and pipe consumption and waste, helping the industry deal with fluctuating metals prices.
June 13, 2012
Editor Eric Lundin visited Gordon Branch, the guitarmaker featured on the cover of the June 2011 issue of TPJ, to see what Branch had come up with in the last few months. In addition to a new model, 33 1/3 Degree, made with round tube, Branch had developed a similar model made with tube shaped like an airfoil.
June 8, 2012
Artist and fabricator Philip Dees, who holds a bachelor’s degree in art and a master’s degree in fine art, has worked in metal fabrication and roll forming for nearly 30 years while pursuing a career as an artist. In addition to his drawings, paintings, and sculptures, Dees sees other opportunities for artistic expression, such as refurbishing an old house.
June 8, 2012
The essential tube and pipe production processes on a weld mill haven't changed much since the 1920s. Some new processes are available, such as laser welding, and the line speeds are faster, but much else hasn't changed. One factor that has undergone some change is how the weld bead, also known as scarf and a stringer, is handled. The conventional method was to wind it up as it came off the tube, but OD scarf choppers reduced operator exposure to this strand of red-hot, razor-sharp metal. Similcut has taken safety a step further by introducing a self-feeding OD chopper and wheelless, cantilevered ID chopper.
May 10, 2012
It wasn’t that long ago that Alessandro Volta built the first battery. In 1800 he made a stack of metal plates, alternating zinc and copper, with each pair separated by layers of cloth soaked in brine. Today’s batteries are more sophisticated but use the same principle to create electromotive...
May 9, 2012
Manuel Sarmiento went to a vocational school to learn to be a fender-and-body technician and to learn to paint cars. Fooling around with a plasma cutter one day, he cut out the shape of a hand and took it home to his wife. She loved it and encouraged him to experiment more. Years later he was successful enough as an artist that he quit his full-time job, and today his artwork supports him and his family.