Selected articles from April 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Metal-cored wire typically costs more than solid wire, but the benefits often offset the per-unit price. In reality, any consumable comprises a relatively small portion of overall welding costs; in fact, material and labor make up the lion’s share of welding expenditures. But in the right application, an increase in filler metal costs may lead to greater savings elsewhere.
More fabricators haved jumped into flat waterjet cutting, so to attract new customers and carve out a niche around 3-D design and manufacturing, Maximum Industries, Irving, Texas, started five-axis cutting in 2011.
Robotic press brakes may offer higher productivity and better profitability--much of which is achieved by running the press brake lights-out at top speed. In some cases, robotic press brakes can reduce per-piece costs by almost half. Still, robotic press brakes aren’t for every application.
In a 2010 survey from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, respondents cited welding as the most sought-after, difficult-to-find technical skill. But at Mitchell's Specialized Fabrication, managers don't look for that experience. They look for someone with a good attitude, eager to learn.
Air movement is a cost-effective way to reduce condensation, create a more uniform temperature from floor to ceiling, and increase employee comfort and productivity. Large-diameter, low-speed fans, up to 24 feet in diameter, provide efficient air movement while using less energy than smaller fans running at faster speeds.
Considering the demands from OEMs, stellar on-time delivery now is just as important as quality, and manufacturing cells may help a fabricator attain that stellar on-time delivery.
A career in code-level welding involves an odd concoction of hands-on work, excellent hand-eye coordination, on-the-job focus, and a dash of lawyerlike thinking. Some can be loud extroverts who get the most attention, but others can be quiet introverts. Many share a dedication to the welding craft, and the best strive to do the job right the first time.
Designing and integrating an effective dust collection system for thermal cutting is not a one-size-fits-all exercise. Balancing all the factors will help a shop ensure it gets the most out of it.
Metal fabricating companies that rely on a seasoned worker who knows all of the production processes like the back of his hand and transfers that experience into the job estimating function are common. Fabricating operations that run that department smoothly and efficiently with no fears of inaccurate or inconsistent quotes while still relying on that one person's experience are pretty uncommon. The fact is that a majority of shops are taking huge risks by estimating jobs based on tribal knowledge and paper and pencil. Software can help change that.
Columnist Gerald Davis takes a look at the appropriate way to construct a bill of materials as he continues his cutting table project.
Manuel Sarmiento went to a vocational school to learn to be a fender-and-body technician and to learn to paint cars. Fooling around with a plasma cutter one day, he cut out the shape of a hand and took it home to his wife. She loved it and encouraged him to experiment more. Years later he was successful enough as an artist that he quit his full-time job, and today his artwork supports him and his family.
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