Selected articles from November 2006 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Production Cutting Services was founded in 1985 as a machine shop to supply parts to agricultural equipment manufacturers in and around East Moline, Ill. It used saws and CNC machining centers to provide tubular parts, but later realized it needed to add more value. It purchased two lasers from Mazak Optonics Corp. It hasn't abandoned CNC machining, though. It uses the lasers to complement its other processes.
One job led Keller & Son Industrial Contractors Inc., Spartanburg, S.C., to buy a new plasma cutting table in 2001. The need for extra capacity required it to purchase another in 2006. Now the company feels it is in the perfect position to take on all types of metal fabricating jobs.
One form of hybrid welding combines both GMAW with a GTAW process in a welding torch. An electronic interface unit containing a plasma power supply controls the hybrid process. Research has indicated that such an approach to welding leads to faster welding times, deep penetration, and cleaner welds when compared with conventional GMAW technology.
Unlike get-rich-quick schemes that promise to double your money in days or weeks, lean manufacturing is an ongoing improvement program that will be in place for as long as your company is in business. Learn about common misconceptions of lean in Part II of this two-part series.
Steel wire brushes are essential finishing tools in most metal fabrication shops. Fabricators can take five actions to help improve the performance and life span of these brushes: use the highest safe speed, periodically reverse direction; know when to use crimped or knot wire brushes; keep stainless steel brushes clean; and purchase heat-treated, oil-tempered steel wire.
A waterjet systems comprises an ultra-high-pressure pump, CNC machine, and one or more cutting heads. How these components are set up and optimized determines the waterjet system's performance.
Senior Editor Eric Lundin looks at changes in supply and demand for energy, and how they have affected the prices for crude oil, gasoline, natural gas, and electricity. He also digests a few predictions to see what fabricators can expect for future energy prices.
Manufacturers often believe at least one of three common lean manufacturing misconceptions. Knowing about these misconceptions and understanding why they're not true will help set you on a path to incorporating lean tools into your manufacturing structure.
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