Selected articles from August 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
After working for a few years making leather belts and belt buckles, Anthony “AJ” Patti moved on to designing and manufacturing leather goods for Harley-Davidson, then went on to pewter casting to make jewelry for the venerable motorcycle manufacturer. An artist always striving for efficiency and mass production, Patti’s latest venture is making sculptures and adornments for gardens.
A Broadway and TV set fabricator mixes set-building tradition with advanced manufacturing technologies, from welding and cutting to abrasive waterjet cutting. Complicating matters are the demands of modern performance media--especially high-definition broadcasts.
The ironworker at RJ Industries keeps modular aluminum components flowing. At this shop, the tried-and-true machine is the center of cutting and punching production.
Roll forming isn’t just for simple gutters or panels, but also for custom welded tubes. Components begin as metal coil and are formed in the rolling mill; prenotching adds the desired slots and holes; then, they are finally seam-welded. All this can be accomplished in one production process.
A poorly packaged pallet of parts damaged in transit turns all that value-adding upstream activity--cutting, deburring, bending, welding, grinding, heat treating, plating, powder coating, hardware insertion, and assembly--into waste
Structural steel fabricators now realize what their sheet metal counterparts have known for several years: It doesn't make sense to pay people for the non-value-added activity of handling beams. That's why these shops are investigating automated material handling, but before they do that, they need to answer some important questions.
Going almost 11 years with only one injury isn't luck. That fabricating operation has taken steps to ensure that safety is considered before anyone undertakes a task on the shop floor. This is how ADM Mechanical, Decatur, Ill., created that environment.
Micron Metalworks is a classic precision sheet metal job shop, with short runs and numerous job changeovers. To optimize part flow and overall efficiency, it’s the little things that really matter--including a simple label on a drawer.
The days of a trailer being loaded with metal products before it leaves the shipping deck are over. Because customers want their parts delivered as soon as possible, lighter-than-truckload shipments are a normal part of shipping operations. This, however, requires additional attention to detail to keep both products and people safe.
Even as the June 2012 survey numbers suggest that manufacturing activity has retreated from robust highs in early 2012, manufacturers can't afford to start cutting back. They are in a race to reinvent themselves to be more responsive to cost-sensitive customers, and for many, that means investment in new technology. That's why shows such as the International Manufacturing Technology Show, Sept. 10-15, in Chicago, remain important.
Columnist Gerald Davis begins his exploration on how cost management tools in 3-D modeling software can be used to deliver cost-efficient and functional part designs.
Looking for more issues of The Fabricator®? Click Here!