FMA Communications Inc.

Tim Heston

Senior Editor
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Measuring the manufacturing cycle in metal fabrication

September 15, 2015

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Many fabricators scrutinize how fast a laser cuts: How quickly can a machine finish a nest, how many blanks per minute can a press brake form. But how do these processing speeds correlate to a custom fabricator’s profitability?

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How small batches simplify metal fabrication

September 14, 2015

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When order quantities shrink, things can get really complicated on the job shop floor--unless the order-to-ship cycle shrinks as well.

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Plasma cutting meets biochemistry

September 8, 2015

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A fluid for plasma cutting tables is designed to coat workpieces to prevent rust and corrosion. The fluid effectively biodegrades bacteria on contact. The company also reports that the fluid is safe enough to send down the sewer.

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Parts identification for extreme environments

September 8, 2015

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A marking technology—which involves the interaction between a laser, coating, and metal substrate—is designed to withstand harsh processing environments, including blast cleaning and hot-dipped galvanizing.

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Metal fabrication, automation, and the big picture

September 8, 2015

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Ludlow Manufacturing Inc.’s managers are big believers in automation, but they’re not just interested in shortening machine cycle times. They look at the big picture, from the first order to the final shipment.

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Will this stainless steel weld rust?

September 3, 2015

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Is a stainless weld truly passivated, or will some unexpected rust emerge down the road? New testing technology, used in-house by fabricators, helps answer this question

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Are workers really less productive?

September 2, 2015

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According to the Labor Department, American workers aren’t as productive as they once were. But how do we measure productivity? Perhaps most important, do customers value it?

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Metal fabrication basics: 5 insights on the humble hand tool

September 1, 2015

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Career metalworker Tom Lipton shares his insights on something that’s often taken for granted in the fab shop: hand tools.

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Better testing leads to better roll forming

August 25, 2015

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A new testing device uncovers the range of yield stresses in specific materials and thus helps roll forming technicians better predict how certain materials will perform.

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Oxyfuel cutting thick, fast—and safely

August 11, 2015

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An oxyfuel cutting gas from MagneGas Corp. cuts thick plate with a highly concentrated flame. The gas—created from liquid biomass via plasma gasification—has in a mechanized setup cut 3.5-in.-thick plate at 18 IPM. The company also says that the gas is especially safe because it’s lighter than air.

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Custom metal fabricator grows beyond sheet metal

August 4, 2015

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Nu-Way Industries, a fabricator near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, launched a new touchscreen display business, combining expertise in metal fabrication, assembly, and supply chain management.

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4 tips on avoiding property tax sticker shock

August 4, 2015

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Planning for your next commercial property tax assessment boils down to having the right information at the right time, and using the right strategy.

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8 questions for efficient bending on the press brake

July 27, 2015

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At S&B Machine in Mobile, Ala., Head Programmer Danny Brown streamlines bending by making sure the right operators have the right information at the right time.

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CB Fabricating finds success giving people second chances

July 20, 2015

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Indiana fabricator continues to grow thanks to technology and a small, dedicated staff. The small shop may prove the merits of giving people a second chance. It’s not just moral. For CB Fabricating, it’s not just moral; it’s good business.

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Knowing and appreciating the craft of metal fabrication

July 15, 2015

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The recipe for precision metal fabrication includes technology and craft. We hear a lot about the technology, but not so much about the craft.

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