Selected articles from May 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
When a fabricating operation serves customers in the defense, heavy equipment, mining, and power generation industries, you know they are working with really thick and high- strength material. It's a big job and requires big equipment. It's also the main reason that Merrill Fabricators purchased a 2,000-ton, 38-foot press brake.
Odds are people laughed at the idea of a cordless hand tool ever replacing a corded tool on an assembly line, but the sight of a bank of charging stations at a major manufacturing plant is increasingly common. With that in mind, could more cordless tools be found on the fabricating shop floor in the future?
When hiring, Jay Manufacturing Oshkosh managers don't look for technical skills first. Instead, they concentrate on elements that are difficult to teach--that is, the soft skills.
Minnesota-based E.J. Ajax has been recognized as one of the safest metal stamping plants in North America. It has received this recognition in part by developing good safety practices, requiring PPE, and installing machine safeguards. But most important, both managers and employees have fostered a sustainable safety culture.
Rob Howell, a 38-year-old fabricating veteran in Phoenix, Ariz., opened his fab shop more than a year ago and has experienced a lifetime's worth of lessons in the months since. The biggest lesson: Just because you own a business doesn't mean you know how to run a business.
Integrating the right automated deburring system requires a comprehensive look at application requirements, including part sizes and profiles, material grades, thicknesses, and required finishes. But once a shop has examined all of the variables of automated deburring, it can reap the benefits and, perhaps most important, make the primary cutting operation much more consistent.
ETM Manufacturing invests in continuous improvement training. Since initiating these efforts in 2007, the company has less than doubled its headcount, but tripled annual sales.
No one would argue that at least some elements of lean manufacturing apply to most operations, but Horton Emergency Vehicles is a made-to-order vehicle manufacturer. Certainly, Horton’s highly custom approach didn’t fit a assembly-line model--right? As it turned out, the people at Horton didn't follow the conventional wisdom--and that decision paid off.
Customer relationship management, or CRM, software has a bad reputation. Many consider CRM to be simply a burden on salespeople. Nex Solutions’ CRM doesn’t fit the software implementation stereotype. The platform isn’t all-encompassing; for example, it doesn’t link sales reports to quoting systems, accounting, scheduling, or other modules that might go into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing execution system (MES). Instead, it simply helps salespeople be more responsive and build relationships with existing and potential customers.
Columnist Gerald Davis has populated the bills of material with data and now focuses on the model that will accompany the BOM to the manufacturing floor.
Kay Minto has a lot in common with the lava that she welds to make sculptures. The rocks, after all, are a product of a Mother Nature temper tantrum. Minto has been through her fair share of natural disasters, too, but all roads have led to a life that she says she wouldn’t change, and an art career that is as unique as the rocks she welds on.
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