Selected articles from October 2011 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
These days the ironworker can play a role in production, thanks in part to the custom tooling available, as well as positioning and gauging systems that add accuracy, repeatability, and efficiency to the operation.
Getzen Co. uses 200-year-old technology to make its high-end trumpets and trombones. Walking into the company’s Elkhorn, Wis., facility is a bit like walking into a metalworking museum. Here, worker experience and skill reign supreme.
Drill lines must be robust enough to properly support the aggressive speeds and feeds of modern tooling. At the same time, shop layout and material handling strategies must ensure no drill line sits idle for excessive periods, just waiting for that next piece of material.
Automated welding of heavy fabrications presents a whole new challenge when compared to robotic welding of thin-gauge components. The weldments, of course, are much larger. The joints in these types of fabrications are deeper and require multiple passes of the welding torch. The fabrications are likely to absorb more heat because of those multiple passes. Luckily, robotic sensors and advanced computing power can take some of this complexity out of the process.
Anderson Dahlen is a precision sheet metal job shop. It’s an industrial contractor that designs and fabricates entire systems for the processing sector, everything from mixing systems for the chemical industry to holding tanks for dairy plants. It also fabricates architectural metal for commercial construction. In other words, the company doesn’t fit neatly into one category. Managers know this, which is why they’ve developed a unique approach to job management that centers on teams
Stamping companies are striving to stay relevant to their customers with intelligent manufacturing approaches that other fabricators can't match. Here are two companies that have followed that path successfully.
Quick-response manufacturing (QRM) focuses on what’s called the “manufacturing critical path time,” or MCT. In manufacturing, time is money--in fact, it’s a lot more money than many realize. Rajan Suri uncovers why in his new book
A defense contract drove Systems Engineering & Manufacturing, Forest, Va., to seek out a flexible fabricating tool that could handle bent tube and structural shapes, and the fabricator found its answer in a laser cutting machine that could accommodate 2-D and 3-D parts.
Metal manufacturers use wet filter systems for two reasons: to collect combustible metal dust and to filter particulate in heavy-sparking applications. Applications like deburring and grinding can involve both combustible metal particulate and heavy sparking--and for these applications wet dust collection systems can help mitigate inherent health and safety risks.
Phoenix Products Co.--a high-mix, low-volume lighting products manufacturer--has implemented an improvement methodology called quick-response manufacturing, and realized dramatic improvements in lead-times. One light fixture that used to take eight weeks to manufacture now only takes two.
The evolution of the smartphone has provided the opportunity to improve notification systems to include vital information along with the standard message. Imagine having real-time access to machine and production status from home or the cabin. But like an iceberg, there is more to it than meets the eye, and what you don’t see is far more important than what you do.
After demonstrating how a 3-D concept model can be turned into a production model, which is useful for as long as the project has the green light, columnist Gerald Davis takes a look at how you can take a concept model and turn it into a simple flat layout for CNC fabricating equipment.
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