Selected articles from September 2006 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
TREK Bicycles uses new CAM software to laser-cut high-performance bicycle frame tubing.
Wing Enterprises started out with a product and a patent -- for its Little Giant brand ladders. However, in time its sales lagged, and the company needed to figure out a new marketing strategy. With an infomercial and automated welding, Wing Enterprises was on its way to successfully growing its company and its sales.
Since starting with just one warehouse in 1989, J G Kelly Supplies has grown along with Ireland's booming construction industry. Limiting factors such as the warehouse's doorway width, narrow aisles, and 90-degree turns meant the company had to rely on manual labor to handle the long, cumbersome items in its inventory. A standard forklift was out of the question. The company eventually purchased a multidirectional side-loading lift truck from Combilift for moving inventory in this challenging environment.
Many welders think of GMAW guns as just a commodity. However, all of the parts in a GMAW gun have a direct impact on the time it takes to make a weld and its quality.
Press brake tooling can play a significant role in minimizing setup, reducing WIP, increasing throughput, and minimizing waste—the goals of lean manufacturing. Some new developments are staged bending, push-button loading, sectionalized tooling, and precision-ground tools.
Knowing the basics of plasma cutting, as well as some fundamental operator guidelines can lead to quality cuts and extended consumable life. The more operators know about the process, the more readily they can identify and address problems that may occur.
Stampers and roll formers can look at edge trim, heads, tails, skeletons, and coil damage for ways they can reduce scrap to hold the line on metal costs.
Watson Engineering didn't have to add any laser operators during its most recent expansion effort. The reason was technology advancements associated with material handling and modern laser cutting devices.
Radius Track, a fabricator specializing in its patented curved metal studs, replaced many of the heavy-gauge beams in the a church's dome frame with light-gauge steel studs. As a result, the dome was light enough to be supported without view-obstructing columns.
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