Selected articles from September 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Kohler High School’s Engineering Club captured the attention of the Milwaukee Brewers, the MLB Network, and thousands of others with its Miller Park replica grill.
Radius Steel-SOO Tractor, Sioux City, Iowa, is looking beyond its agricultural roots as it reaches out to various other industries, such as heavy equipment and oil and gas.
Commercial Roll Formed Products uses a 60-station, modular Dreistern roll forming line to produce highly complex profiles. A focus on producing custom parts has helped the Canadian family-run business grow to include over 30 roll form lines.
Changing the die opening can dramatically change results during air forming. In precision sheet metal fabrication, choosing the correct die opening should not be a guessing game.
The results are in from FMA's 2012 Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey and the message is clear: Raw material and work-in-process inventory eats cash. Successful fabricating shops have figured out a way to avoid excess inventory scenarios.
CR Metal Products Inc., St. Louis, follows the lessons of quick-response manufacturing, which preaches decreased capacity utilization of equipment and increased attention on just how jobs can be turned around in the quickest manner possible.
It sounds like a no-brainer in electronically connected world, but shops don't have the ability to integrate their 3-D modeling capabilities with nest creation. As more shops jump into 3-D modeling with the goal of decreasing turnaround time for jobs, they are looking at a more formal connection between the design and production world.
Can automated welding be a useful tool in the random world of fabricating, where material make-up is inconsistent and weld-prep results in non-aligned edges? With a vision system, automated welding indeed can be the right tool for the right application.
How can a fab shop use customers' sales forecasts effectively for in-house production planning, but at the same time not rely on them too much? It's a balancing act, but if done effectively, it can prove to be highly beneficial for a fabricator.
SF Tube Inc., a fabricator that does a substantial amount of bending, found itself facing a perfect storm—it had quite a bit of manual equipment, it often had to use two or three benders to make a single component, its bend-splice-weld-grind-polish-blend process for many components was too time-consuming, its shop floor was crowded with machines, and its niche as a specialty bending house meant it was positioned for future growth. A new bender, one that provides both rotary bending and roll bending, eliminated these hassles and has positioned the company to take advantage of growth opportunities.
Cost analysis within 3-D modeling software won't replace cost estimating, but it still can be a helpful tool.
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