The Fabricator®

April 2007
The FABRICATOR® is North America's leading magazine for the metal forming and fabricating industry. The magazine delivers the news, technical articles, and case histories that enable fabricators to do their jobs more efficiently. The FABRICATOR has served the industry since 1971. Print subscriptions are free to qualified persons in North America involved in metal forming and fabricating.

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Selected articles from the April 2007 issue available online:

Multicut blanking line

Reducing scrap, inventory costs with coil optimization software

April 10, 2007

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Coil optimization software is a valuable tool that fabricators can use to attack the problems of high scrap and high inventory. It offers the ability to quickly and easily make sound decisions regarding the purchase and use of master coil sizes. By using computers and specialized optimization algorithms, fabricators can minimize manual selection of coil sizes.

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Hand spinning lathe

A new spin on metal forming

April 10, 2007

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Glenn Metalcraft Inc. started out as a tool and die shop in Minneapolis in 1947. Today it is an $8-million-a-year contract manufacturer that has created a niche in spin-forming circular and conical components up to 0.750 in. thick. Glenn has found a high-volume niche, producing wheels, brakes, and other components, using a process that traditionally was used almost exclusively for prototype and low-volume work.

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Tig welder steel

Welding austenitic stainless steel

April 10, 2007

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Joining austenitic stainless steel with GTAW can be tricky, but with a little preparation and care, it can be done successfully. The three main factors are having the right amount of heat input, travel speed, and a shielding gas.

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Bad weld image

First line of defense

April 10, 2007

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Good welders learn to inspect their own work, but welders are just one part in a long list of variables (and people) involved in ensuring quality welds. Thorough communication of the welding parameters, as well as proper training to carry out the design, can help welders achieve quality work and to reduce the number of rejected welds.

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Line tension roll

A guide to fabric slitting line tension rolls

April 10, 2007

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Coil processors have several choices in the rolls they use to put tension on the coil. One of these choices is a pair of nonwoven rolls. They act like sponges in that they remove lubricants, dirt, and metal fines from the metal. Understanding how nonwoven rolls are constructed and how they work can help coil processors extend their service life.

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Pipe fabricator saves big time with big bends

April 10, 2007

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Universal Pipe and Steel Supply, Fort Myers, Fla., needed a roll bender with greater capacity to capitalize on the market for larger pipe sections. The company found its answer with a four-roll bender from Bertsch.

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Roll form figure 1

Roll form tooling design for air bending

April 10, 2007

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Several techniques are used commonly to reduce profile distortion when air bending with a roll former. These include small-radius forming, false bending, vertical side rolls, and angle side rolls.

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Coated stamping dies

Tooling coating extends die life, reduces die rework

April 10, 2007

Glacier Vandervell's Bearing Group, a division of Dana, manufactures bearing components—bushings and thrust washers—for the automotive industry. It uses about 40 alloys and encounters many abrasion problems in its stamping operations, especially those involving aluminum. Its die coatings were not satisfactory because the heat used to apply the coatings would cause many of its dies to warp. It switched to FortiPhy™, a coating provided by Phygen Inc., and the tools now warp less and last longer.

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Is metal roofing fabrication right for your shop?

April 10, 2007

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When deciding whether to produce roofing panels, you need to determine your ROI, based on if you can use existing equipment or need new equipment, the required panel appearance; possible line configuration; and material handling options.

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Image of tube cutting laser

Turning a machine shop into a fabrication shop

April 10, 2007

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Senior Editor Eric Lundin traces the history of a machine shop-turned-fabricator. Founded in 1984 as Target Boring, the company changed from a machining shop to a fabrication shop when, in 1994, it purchased its first sheet and plate laser cutting system. Now named Target Laser & Machining Inc., it boasts three lasers for sheet and plate (two 2-D machines and one multiaxis machine) and one for cutting tube.

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Fan cut with waterjet

Designing for abrasive waterjet fabrication

May 4, 2004

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Thinking ahead during the design stage of a fabrication always saves manufacturing costs later. This is also true for the parts cut with a precision waterjet. Part production time, assembly time, fixturing, and weld preparation time all can be saved. Even design time can be saved by following drafting standards that permit cutting directly from the design's CAD file.

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