Selected articles from April 2006 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
How do you get to Hollywood? Ride a motorcycle when you're 3 years old, start welding at 8, and rebuild a car engine at 9—if you want to be the lead fabricator on American Chopper, that is, one of the most popular metal fabrication-as-entertainment reality cable TV shows airing on the Discovery Channel. Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. Teutul are the highly visible father-son pair usually featured in the media. But it is Vincent DiMartino who is the fabricator behind the bikes, the muscle behind the biceps, the grin behind the guns. Vinnie surmised that the automated waterjet from Flow Intl., Kent, Wash., is probably the most sophisticated equipment he uses, and that much of what he fabricates for the choppers is cut on OCC's waterjet.
A company bid and won a contract from a company who was previously sending its work to Mexico. The company bought a computer-controlled pipe cutting machine to automate the process and cut lead times.
Now that you've written your proposal, it's time to submit it to the government. Before you send it off, make sure, one last time, that everything necessary in your bid proposal is there.
Although it takes effort and time, procedure qualification testing can help you standardize your welding procedures and know what to expect when it comes to the quality of your manufactured parts.
Coil handling equipment can take up a lot of space, so it's important to consider different equipment configurations and options that may deliver much-needed floor space.
Technological advances have turned simple press brakes and punch presses into productivie systems, now accepted as the norm for keeping fabricators competitive. Fastener-insertion machines are now incorporating many of those same advances to provide better quality and productivity and to eliminate bottlenecks as they work with the other technologically advanced fabricating machines in the shop.
Lights. Camera. Fabricate?! You get home from work after fabricating all day, kick back with a cool one, and turn on the tube just to see more metal fabrication, on-screen, as entertainment. If it's not "American Chopper" or "Monster Garage," it's "Biker Build-Off," "Monster House" or "American Hot Rod." What's the fascination with fabrication? Do shows like these put a new spin on the image of metal forming and fabricating? Have they inspired younger generations to consider metal fabricating as a profession? Why have TV producers zoned in on these types of shows?
Jay Leno's car collection, housed at the Big Dog Garage in Burbank, Calif., is not meant to collect dust. These cars are to be driven. Bernard Juchli is in charge of that, and now he has a waterjet to help him fabricate hard-to-find or non-existent parts and to keep the cars on the road.
Newspapers and business magazines are filled with stories about offshoring, layoffs, and plant closings. Quasar Industries, a prototyping and low-volume production shop near Detroit, has bucked this trend and recently increased its manufacturing capability when it purchased a new building. A diverse fabricator, the company provides tooling development and also does stamping, laser cutting and welding, robotic welding, tube fabrication, and machining. The company's client base includes the automotive, appliance, and aerospace industries, among others. But all the equipment it has and processes it performs don't make it successful. Its success is a result of its employees' expertise and its corporate culture.
Three-roll bending with a variable axis offers an advantage over four-roll bending for bending conical sections in that it allows for a good leading edge and rolling without having to lift the plate to pivot it with a bridge crant.
Volkswagen's automobile manufacturing facility in Saxony, Germany, was spending more time and effort on post-weld finishing operations than it wanted to, but because of the requirements the company was dedicated to meeting, not much automation was possible. Through its research, Volkswagen decided to invest in cold metal transfer welding, which helped the company save time and effort while keeping up its product quality.
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