Selected articles from October 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Free-machining steels shouldn’t be welded. If a fabricator has a job requiring a free-machining steel, engineers and fabricators should get together to determine the best action. Can welding be avoided by using fasteners? If not, which weldable materials exhibit acceptable machining characteristics, and do these materials meet design requirements?
Mid-West Metal Products Co. Inc., Muncie, Ind., needed a new punching press for a large-volume order and soon found out just how fast production flow can change on a shop floor with new technology.
How many fabricating shops run a less-than-optimized cutting head just to avoid the downtime of switching out the head? S&B Metal Products, Lakeland, Fla., used to do like that until it got a laser cutting machine that was a better fit for its low-volume, high-mix fabricating jobs.
Applied correctly, safeguarding can add to a company’s bottom line by preventing injury, improving the manufacturing process, and optimizing the overall shop environment.
All things being equal, it stands to reason that a single separating cut is always preferable where possible. But all things are not equal, and there are times when common-line cutting is not the best option.
Freeing a bending bottleneck can backfire if it simply creates a severe bottleneck downstream. Bending throughput may increase, but overall throughput--the metric that really matters--may not. That’s why the best bending automation considers not only the bending department but also the throughput of the entire plant.
The FABRICATOR talks with Jeff Visser, production managers at Avon, Mass.-based BEPeterson, about the basics of plate rolling operation. Plate rolling is part art, part science. It requires skill, and not just anyone can do the job right.
As the skilled labor crisis continued unabated, Schuette Metals launched a unique in-house training program. Sources said that more than anything else, good training will be key to the fabricator’s future success.
In September 2011, thanks to changing weather patterns and unintended consequences of water management, GT Fabrication was flooded yet again. The family business has been through this before. Why stay in the game? Because the metal fabrication community was there to help.
Preparing a plan to develop the next-generation leader requires a comprehensive, objective analysis. It should cover where the business should go over the next several years, and what skills the next leader will need to take the company in that direction.
Columnist Gerald Davis is ready to rip into the process of converting imported 3-D parts to flattened parts.
Quick-response manufacturing takes a time-based approach that looks at the entire process from start to finish. This includes one vital element: restructuring the organization away from a job-function approach and toward lead-time reduction. To reduce lead-times, you need to restructure your organization so that people shepherd projects through multiple steps.
A truly remote-controlled foot pedal for TIG welding sounds like the perfect tool for job site fabricators, but welders that work in a small cell are also finding advantages associated with cutting the welding control cord.
The ability to move from one job to the next quickly is essential to a shop’s ability to produce more parts in less time. An important part of this involves shortening changeover time at the punch press.
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