Selected articles from August 2005 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Kvaerner Power Inc.'s Fairmont, W.V., metal fabricating operation needed new market opportunities and someone to take over plasma cutting chores after its business partner went out of business. They found a Pennsylvania job shop to help with metal cutting and eventually learned that a 3-D laser could help them bring their outsourced jobs back in-house and that the laser could lead to new business.
In the 1990s, Polaris Industries Inc. realized it needed to rethink the way tube fabricating was done at its Osceola, Wis., facility. Laser tube cutting proved to be the answer.
Overseas competition, high material costs, just-in-time schedules, demanding quality requirements, stringent safety standards, and industry consolidation are the forces driving trends in the quick die change industry, industry experts say. These forces have intensified the need for quick-die-change equipment and processes, as well as for larger quick die change equipment, equipment that will not damage sensors, and more efficient die storage that can be integrated with quick die change equipment.
Given the range of advanced high-strength steels to be introduced into automotive bodies over the next decade, automakers must recognize the implication of non-traditional resistance spot weld failure modes.
New types of punch press tooling make it possible to perform many secondary fabricating operations on the turret press as well as standard punching—in some cases eliminating additional equipment and part handling, and reducing machine downtime. Not only are new part features possible on the turret press using these new tools, the reduced costs fabricators may achieve by using these tools to may make the tools a variable in DFM.
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