The Fabricator®

March 2012
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 March 2012 issue available online:

Record achievement for metal fabricator - TheFabricator.com

Record achievement for metal fabricator

May 9, 2012

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The town of Clear Lake, Iowa, is synonymous with the names Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. Those three music legends died in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, right after performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. To help the town honor those legendary musicians, a metal fabricator stepped forward to create a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork that is the centerpiece for the town's newest park—Three Stars Plaza.

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3-D CAD: Customization in project documentation - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Customization in project documentation

March 12, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis reveals the most convenient way to set up a bills of material and related title blocks.

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5 tips for a less stressful ERP migration - TheFabricator.com

5 tips for a less stressful ERP migration

March 12, 2012

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A migration from an older software package to a new enterprise resource planning software system is almost assured to test even the most forward-thinking metal fabricating organization. Every part of the organization is touched in this move, and everyone has to work together to ensure that initial business objectives are achieved once the software is rolled out. Luckily, preparation before actual software implementation can make a big difference.

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The subtle landscape of U.S. manufacturing

March 12, 2012

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Manufacturing companies aren’t all the same, and neither is worker pay. Reality is subtler than that. Despite all the complexities, though, the massive U.S. contract manufacturing base can’t grow if multinationals continually choose to build plants elsewhere.

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Virtual bending, real improvement - TheFabricator.com

Bending software streamlines press brake department

February 28, 2012

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Ben endured the same frustrations many press brake department supervisors face. Operators get a print that doesn’t take the proper bend deductions into account. They fudge it, performing test bend after test bend. Productivity suffers, and the bottleneck ensues. At Ben’s shop, this all was about to change.

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When hot, welding becomes not so hot - TheFabricator.com

When hot, welding becomes not so hot

February 28, 2012

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Welding poles indoors during an summer is not an easy task. New air-cooling technology incorporated into a welding helmet can help.

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Taking cost out of the welding fixture - TheFabricator.com

Taking cost out of the welding fixture

February 28, 2012

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Owsley “Oz” Cheek--a tool and die engineer who recently launched his own fixture company--shows how he reduces fixture build costs. For instance, who says fixtures need to be made out of machined components?

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Metcam cleans house - TheFabricator.com

Metcam cleans house

February 28, 2012

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Metcam reduces inventory and reorganizes the shop floor, placing press brakes and hardware insertion presses next to blanking centers--all during one of the company’s busiest Decembers ever.

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Out with the old batch, in with something new - TheFabricator.com

Out with the old batch, in with something new

February 28, 2012

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Siemens Industry Automation Division, West Chicago, Ill., is now living up to its own name in a big way. The organization is better able to execute its build-to-order thanks to a multimillion dollar investment in an automated material storage and retrieval system with bending, punch, and laser/punch combination machines attached to it.

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Better bonding: A thermal spray primer - TheFabricator.com

Better bonding: A thermal spray primer

February 28, 2012

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From electric arc wire spray to HVOF technology, various thermal spray process options provide durability and protection against wear and corrosion in myriad applications.

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Smart robotic weld fixturing handles low-volume parts - TheFabricator.com

Smart robotic weld fixturing handles low-volume parts

February 28, 2012

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An Alabama contract fabricator uses innovative robotic weld fixtures and an unusual quick-change system that allows operators to switch out jobs in mere seconds. The innovations have been critical for the shop’s high-mix, low-volume work.

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Packing a wallop with the punch - TheFabricator.com

Packing a wallop with the punch

February 28, 2012

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Eliminating secondary processes in a fabricating operation is a way to reduce labor costs, which is good news for both the metal fabricator and, potentially, the customer. Modern punch tooling can duplicate some of those secondary processes while the material remains in the punching press, which reduces excess material handling and those downstream fabricating activities. Fabricators, however, have to realize just what is possible, so that they can take advantage of the tooling advancements.

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