Sue Roberts

Contributing Editor
833 Featherstone Rd
Rockford, IL 61107

Bending | Articles

Reggin Industries Reinvents Procedures to Create a Whale of a Sculpture

February 1, 2016 | By Sue Roberts

The beauty and grace of a baleen whale were the inspiration of the Sei sculpture designed by Michael Yahgulanaas and fabricated by Reggin Industries, Calgary, Alberta, for the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Mall at the Vancouver Airport. Fabricating the smooth, curved lines of the sculpture with a mirrored stainless steel exterior within a tight time frame required a disciplined, revised production flow and innovation.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | News Releases

Collaboration is key to training next generation

December 17, 2015 | By Sue Roberts

Chicago Mayor Emanuel says training should be easy, simple, relevant

Continue Reading

Automation and Robotics | Articles

Modula uses automation to produce automated storage units

August 4, 2015 | By Sue Roberts

The Modula U.S.A. plant in Lewiston, Maine, is the result of a $6 million investment in new equipment, a new focus on manufacturing automated vertical storage (AVS) units, and a renaming by Italian parent company System Logistics. Cost-competitive production resulting from integrated, automatic sheet metal fabricating equipment from Salvagnini was key in the company’s decision to locate in the United States.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Articles

FMA $500,000 grant supports Harper College manufacturing education

May 26, 2015 | By Sue Roberts

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA) partnered with Harper College, Palatine, Ill., with a $500,000 sponsored gift to support Harper College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology program and the Harper College Promise Scholarship program.

Continue Reading

Aluminum Welding | Articles

EBE Reduced Raw Material and Tightened the Production Belt for Fat-zapping Device

May 14, 2015 | By Sue Roberts

Production difficulties due to the complex design of a heat exchanger for ZELTIQ® Aesthetic Inc.’s CoolSculpting® equipment designed to selectively reduce fat caused the company to fall behind on shipments. A redesign by Electron Beam Engineering Inc., Anaheim, Calif., reduced the amount of 5052 aluminum needed by about 15 percent, simplified production for a 20 percent time savings, and upped quality to over 99 percent. The 15-in.-long electron beam welds are pressure-tight, narrow, and do not require postweld finishing.

Continue Reading

Shop Management | Blog Posts

The Woz predicts technology with more understanding

April 17, 2015 | By Sue Roberts

Contributing Editor Sue Roberts visited Automate 2015 and ProMat 2015 in Chicago in March and had the opportunity to listen to one of the founders of Apple Inc. Needless to say, Steve Wozniak had some interesting thoughts about the future. Roberts shares some of the highlights.

Continue Reading

CAD/CAM Software | Articles

3-D waterjet software ingredients are the right mix for easy operation

March 5, 2015 | By Sue Roberts

Companies have been programming 5-axis waterjet heads for 2-D and 3-D tables for decades. The process has moved from being a time-consuming chore to a couple of clicks, and from requiring extensive process and software knowledge to being operator-friendly.

Continue Reading

Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

Automation relieves punching bottleneck

February 28, 2014 | By Sue Roberts

Experience plus planning get more out of automation at Overlanders Manufacturing

Continue Reading

Punching up forms on a turret press -

Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

Punching up forms on a turret press

October 7, 2013 | By Sue Roberts

From producing fairly simple tapping extrusions to bends to tabs to tall louvers to complex special shapes, upforming can enhance a turret’s multitasking capabilities and reduce multiple processes to one pass.

Continue Reading

Tooling changeove can be a pressing issue -

Bending | Articles

Tooling changeover can be a pressing issue

March 7, 2013 | By Sue Roberts

Press brake manufacturers have responded to industry’s need to produce small batches of parts that require frequent tooling changes by designing options and systems to reduce setup time by managing, storing, and automatically changing upper and lower tools. Operators can spend less time physically involved with setup and more time with the profit-making bending process. Reduced margin for error and less scrap are added benefits. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce setup time without investing in new press brake equipment.

Continue Reading

Succeed at welding thick aluminum with the right material preparation, filler choice, and equipment -

Aluminum Welding | Articles

Succeed at welding thick aluminum with the right material preparation, filler choice, and equipment

December 3, 2012 | By Sue Roberts

Aluminum is tough to weld, but its advantages of high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, excellent mechanical properties at low temperatures, and recyclability put it at the top of the materials list for fabrications, including many with substantial bulk. Two industry experts shared tips on how to produce good welds in thick aluminum.

Continue Reading

Rolling, rolling, and rolling complex profiles -

Roll Forming | Articles

Rolling, rolling, and rolling complex profiles

September 3, 2012 | By Sue Roberts

Commercial Roll Formed Products uses a 60-station, modular Dreistern roll forming line to produce highly complex profiles. A focus on producing custom parts has helped the Canadian family-run business grow to include over 30 roll form lines.

Continue Reading

Piecing together a growing business -

Punching and Other Holemaking | Articles

Piecing together a growing business

August 3, 2012 | By Sue Roberts

The ironworker at RJ Industries keeps modular aluminum components flowing. At this shop, the tried-and-true machine is the center of cutting and punching production.

Continue Reading