Selected articles from December 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Trust is something that’s earned not only through hard work, but also by treating employees not as “direct labor hours,” but as, well, people.
Hard tooling for traditional fixtures often depends on costly milling and other non-sheet metal processes. So how can these costs be minimized? The simple answer is to marry the processes and machinery you already have--including laser cutting, waterjet cutting, and punching--to the appropriate CAD system.
Helium has been hard to get for some, and certainly the consumable gas is more expensive for welders than it used to be. The bad news is that this may be the case for some time. The good news is that alternatives are under development to help welders out as they tackle aluminum and stainless steel welding.
How does an operator avoid distortion and burrs? For the ironworker’s common cutting stations--the punch, angle cutter, notcher, and plate shear--it boils down to matching the job at hand with some basic variables.
Aluminum is tough to weld, but its advantages of high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, excellent mechanical properties at low temperatures, and recyclability put it at the top of the materials list for fabrications, including many with substantial bulk. Two industry experts shared tips on how to produce good welds in thick aluminum.
Consumer spending is up. Even housing is up. Yes, pundits preach global uncertainty, even gloom and doom. But as owners of small or medium-sized businesses, metal fabricators have orders to fill, and next year many expect the volume of orders to continue or even increase a bit.
A terrible economy has forced European metal fabricators to focus on shortening turnaround time on jobs. If they attended EuroBLECH 2012 in Hannover, Germany, in late October, those fabricators probably discovered some tools that could help them accomplish their goals.
To remain competitive, a shop must be willing to embrace both innovation and change together. To get the most out of that commitment, a shop needs to understand just how the introduction of any new technology will affect the entire process chain, not just one part.
Columnist Gerald Davis walks a CAD operator through the steps to set up an efficient way to apply part marking to any design.
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