From the Web: Fabricators in the thick of battle; how to be a preferred stamper; gearhead photos

June 3, 2014
By: Vicki Bell

Highlights for fabricators from the past week’s Web articles— How fabricators support warfighters on location; what it takes to be the stamping company of choice; rebuilding a chassis in 29 photos; how to foster innovation; and new fabricating jobs heading to South Carolina.

  1. Nowhere is fabricating more critical than on a military base in a war zone. Soldiers assigned to 2nd Platoon, 514th Support Maintenance Company, 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, provide fabrication and metal work at Bargram Air Field, Afghanistan, to meet the needs and enhance the safety of the soldiers who put their lives on the line every time they roll out on a mission.

    Job satisfaction? Pfc. Toney Chambers, an allied trade specialist from Atlanta, was quoted in an article on as saying “Back in the states, we really don’t get to do our job because there isn’t a big demand for it. But here, we are constantly busy doing our job. I like that.”

  2. Stamping companies that want to be among the best should note the information in the article “Minding your business: What to expect from a metal stamping provider.” Geared toward those who are looking for metal stamping suppliers, the article highlights the most important characteristics to look for in a supplier—qualities stampers must have to win bids. Among these are: advanced capabilities; being a solutions provider rather than simply a parts provider; a superlative quality management system; and capabilities that go beyond just stamping.

    Also listed are the secondary operations a stamping provider should handle in-house or via a network:

    • Preplating and postplating processes
    • Precious and nonprecious metalwork
    • Heat treatment
    • Tooling and trimming
    • Painting and electrocoating (e-coating)
    • Forming and welding
    • Specialty edge cleaning and deburring
    • Passivation and sterilization
    • Assembly and packaging

  3. Gearheads, this one’s for you. Rod & Custom offers an article about fabricating an early Ford chassis that has 29 photos showing each step of the process, which began with a swap of Stewart-Warner gauges for a pair of 1932 framerails and a front crossmember. (True gearheads will know exactly what these are.)

    The idea was to build a 1929 roadster on the rails and use a Flathead V-8 engine from a previous project. Scroll through the photos and see how it’s done.

  4. Want to foster and advance innovation in your business? Then expect and embrace the unexpected. That’s the advice from the fourth annual Innovation Leadership Summit hosted by NineSigma.

    According to NineSigma, examples that illustrate this paradigm are PepsiCo converting orange peels into biofuel, General Electric transforming its factories and taking new approaches to 3-D printing, and Eaton Corp., whose microgrids enable military bases to use energy efficiently.

    Apparently these “nonintuitive” opportunities result from crowdsourcing as a repeatable business practice, developing a sustainable innovation portfolio, the innovation team of the future, and creative and advanced manufacturing. Outside the box thinking.

  5. Finally, Palmetto Aero has announced that it is expanding in Colleton County, S.C., by building a 77,000-sq.-ft. hangar at the Lowcountry Regional Airport in Walterboro to make its products, which include sheet metal fasteners, airframe components, and the air truck, a single-engine, utility-type aircraft.

    The expansion will create 44 jobs and, hopefully, more business as the company endeavors to supply Boeing and Gulfstream facilities in the area. When you want to supply OEMs, it helps if you are closeby.

Vicki Bell

Vicki Bell

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8209