Selected articles from February 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
The management team at Airtronics, San Jose, Calif., has seen the manufacturing landscape change greatly over the last 25 years. Plenty of computer and seminconductor work has gone overseas, and the fabrication work that remains is much lower in complex. That's why the company moved away from a contract manufacturer mentality to one of a shop that can provide expert design and value-added services. The results are paying off with new customers and hope for a bright future.
Just over two years ago, Steel Fabrication Inc. was like many other metal fabricators that relied on its own blend of different cost calculators and spreadsheets to job quotes. This type of manual effort often led to incorrect and late quotes. That's changed, however, with the company's adoption of product cost management software.
For Great Lakes Shipyard, a division of the Great Lakes Towing Co., located on the Cuyahoga River’s Old River Channel just off of Lake Erie, one order posed the ship designer and fabricator’s biggest challenge in recent history: designing and fabricating not one but two aluminum ships, something the company had yet to do.
A Wisconsin tube bending shop takes an untraditional approach to the traditional job schedule--and thrives because of it.
Fabricators want to process metal parts with the least amount of handling as possible. As a result, they are always looking to maximize the capabilities of their equipment. One example is the use of laser cutting equipment to produce high-tolerance holes in a speedy manner, instead of taking metal blanks to a secondary station for additional holemaking activities. Advancements in drive system and piercing technology have given fabricators a chance to raise their hole-cutting capabilities while the sheet remains in the laser cutting bed.
They represent several different areas of metal fabricating, but all members of The FABRICATOR's Advisory Board share the same observation: In today' manufacturing world, working lean is OK, but only if you are working effectively.
Between 2007 and 2011 sales at Eugene, Ore.-based Mohawk Metal Co. grew 700 percent. During normal times such growth would be seen as uncontrollable, but the past few years haven’t been normal times.
Everyone knows that dynamic nesting by itself can translate into improved material utilization. What happens when the nesting software is fully integrated with an organization's material resource planning software? The metal fabricator can take material optimization to a new level.
Columnist Gerald Davis explores the world of exploded views as he prepares the 3-D model to be much more than just a graphical representation of the part to be fabricated.
When photography lost its luster, a happy coincidence sent Dick Roberts on a quest to learn everything he could about metalworking. The result has led him to appreciate how new technology and an old processes can work in unison for his newfound method of artistic expression.
Looking for more issues of The Fabricator®? Click Here!