Selected articles from October 2013 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Manufacturing boils down to three principal services: design and engineering, prototyping, and production. One Georgia fabricator has evolved to offer all three.
Plate rolling is not as simple as using a press brake to make a 90-degree bend on a small piece of metal. With the right equipment, however, a fabricator can learn to become a very good plate roller in a short amount of time.
From producing fairly simple tapping extrusions to bends to tabs to tall louvers to complex special shapes, upforming can enhance a turret’s multitasking capabilities and reduce multiple processes to one pass.
Solar Sculptures™, which comprises an artist, a public spaces planner, and an electrical engineer, designs sculptures that use motion sensors and LEDs to come alive at night.
This Minnesota fabricator took a pragmatic approach to lean manufacturing, one that takes the challenges of the job shop into account. Employees focused on communication, organization, and simplicity. The result was an operational and, most important, cultural transformation.
SHoP Construction Services sought out a nesting program to help it create exact-sized panels for the huge Barclays Center project in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the effort resulted in an award-winning architectural and fabricating effort.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has established compliance standards for the use of permanent and electric-rated lifting magnets and the operators of those magnets. Familiarizing shop floor personnel with these guidelines builds a solid foundation for keeping employees safe as they move sheet metal and plate.
Having someone deburr parts as they come off a punching press can be a timely and costly endeavor. Some suggestions, however, might help fabricators reduce or eliminate this step altogether.
Most fabricators that do their own screen printing have no plans for the process to be a focal point of the business. It’s an additional technology that puts the fabricator one step closer to becoming a one-stop shop.
Laitram Machinery, Harahan, La., has been battling inconsistent edge preparation for years. It was simply a case of having no universally accepted standard to model a quality edge and having mutiple individuals deburr edges as they saw fit. New part finishing equipment has changed all of that, however.
As revenue tumbled nearly 80 percent during the downturn, OMCO’s sales team searched for new markets that could carry them through the tough times and beyond. Ultimately, they found a sector that grew faster than anyone expected. They found solar.
Shop floors are filled with advanced technology, and this includes the press brake department. As bending guru Steve Benson explains, you still need skilled technicians to make the best use of that technology.
FMA’s recently released Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey digs deep into the numbers. The results give a realistic view of the industry and reveal how successful its top performers can be.
There’s nothing wrong with tackling the low-hanging fruit, unless it kills the big improvement initiatives that can really make you better.
For business owners, one of the most dramatic changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act will be what has come to be known as the “pay or play” provision, under which many employers will need to provide employee health care coverage or pay a tax.
Columnist Gerald Davis explains how the presentation of the estimate to the customer will require some preparation.
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