Selected articles from March 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Welding poles indoors during an summer is not an easy task. New air-cooling technology incorporated into a welding helmet can help.
Ben endured the same frustrations many press brake department supervisors face. Operators get a print that doesn’t take the proper bend deductions into account. They fudge it, performing test bend after test bend. Productivity suffers, and the bottleneck ensues. At Ben’s shop, this all was about to change.
Eliminating secondary processes in a fabricating operation is a way to reduce labor costs, which is good news for both the metal fabricator and, potentially, the customer. Modern punch tooling can duplicate some of those secondary processes while the material remains in the punching press, which reduces excess material handling and those downstream fabricating activities. Fabricators, however, have to realize just what is possible, so that they can take advantage of the tooling advancements.
An Alabama contract fabricator uses innovative robotic weld fixtures and an unusual quick-change system that allows operators to switch out jobs in mere seconds. The innovations have been critical for the shop’s high-mix, low-volume work.
From electric arc wire spray to HVOF technology, various thermal spray process options provide durability and protection against wear and corrosion in myriad applications.
Siemens Industry Automation Division, West Chicago, Ill., is now living up to its own name in a big way. The organization is better able to execute its build-to-order thanks to a multimillion dollar investment in an automated material storage and retrieval system with bending, punch, and laser/punch combination machines attached to it.
Metcam reduces inventory and reorganizes the shop floor, placing press brakes and hardware insertion presses next to blanking centers--all during one of the company’s busiest Decembers ever.
Owsley “Oz” Cheek--a tool and die engineer who recently launched his own fixture company--shows how he reduces fixture build costs. For instance, who says fixtures need to be made out of machined components?
Manufacturing companies aren’t all the same, and neither is worker pay. Reality is subtler than that. Despite all the complexities, though, the massive U.S. contract manufacturing base can’t grow if multinationals continually choose to build plants elsewhere.
A migration from an older software package to a new enterprise resource planning software system is almost assured to test even the most forward-thinking metal fabricating organization. Every part of the organization is touched in this move, and everyone has to work together to ensure that initial business objectives are achieved once the software is rolled out. Luckily, preparation before actual software implementation can make a big difference.
Columnist Gerald Davis reveals the most convenient way to set up a bills of material and related title blocks.
The town of Clear Lake, Iowa, is synonymous with the names Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. Those three music legends died in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, right after performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. To help the town honor those legendary musicians, a metal fabricator stepped forward to create a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork that is the centerpiece for the town's newest park—Three Stars Plaza.
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