The Fabricator®

January 2014
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 January 2014 issue available online:

Days in the lives

January 30, 2014

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To find time to dedicate to continuous improvement activities, a metal fabricator should have a good idea what employees do every day before assigning additional tasks.

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How to get rich—slowly

January 30, 2014

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The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association’s 2013 Salary/Wage & Benefit Survey suggests that people can find fulfilling careers—especially monetarily—if they are willing to learn the trade and acquire additional skills during their careers.

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step file

Your friend, the STEP file

January 30, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis reviews the STEP file and how it can be used to interact with customers in a more complete way.

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crimped wire

The basics of crimped wire

January 30, 2014

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Precrimped woven wire mesh is a smaller part of the metal fabrication world, but it does have a significant presence in some industrial applications. This overview explains just how the mesh is created and gives metal fabricators an idea of the basic crimp styles that are available.

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FABTECH 2013

FABTECH breaks records—again

January 28, 2014

The manufacturing sector appears strong for the near term. New technologies are emerging to help make fabricating a more productive exercise. Fabricators have positioned themselves to grow. All appears right in the metal fabricating world.

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Bending basics

Bending basics: Why profound-radius bending is a different animal

January 27, 2014

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Large or profound-radius bends are those in which the inside bend radius exceeds eight times the material thickness, but is still too small to move to the plate roll. At this point, a press brake operator has to change his mindset before proceeding. This is not a typical bending job.

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truck bodies

Controlling its own fabricating future

January 27, 2014

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Altec, a manufacturer of truck bodies and related products, tried the outsourcing route me to stay on top of expanding fabricating jobs, but the headaches were too great to maintain such an arrangement. The company decided to take metal fabricating back in-house by setting up a new facility in Burnsville, N.C., and with the addition of some key equipment, it hasn't looked back.

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Plasma cutting

The evolution of plasma cutting

January 17, 2014

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Metal fabricators with plasma cutting equipment that is 10 years or older may be surprised to learn just how far plasma cutting has come. The technology has evolved to the point that outside edges are smoother than ever, and precision holes can be cut to accommodate fasteners.

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Welder

How to build a metal cube

January 13, 2014

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Scott Behr, founder and fabricator at Total Metal Resource Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., usually gets a pretty enthusiastic response when he tells people what he does for a living. With the upstart of his Metal Shop Fantasy Camp, he can now share tiny parts of his job with people who might otherwise never get an opportunity to try their hand at metalworking.

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Photo Welders

Where the best welders go, and why

January 13, 2014

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Why aren’t wages rising for welders even though companies say they can’t find skilled welders? Why is welding still one of the most difficult skills for fabricators to hire? What can fabricators do to find the best welding talent?

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Fiber Laser Cutting Head

Nesting and the fiber laser

January 13, 2014

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In all honesty, nesting software that works for CO2 laser cutting machines also works for fiber lasers. The speed of the fiber laser, however, forces the fabricator to think more deliberately about software options that help to maintain the continuous flow of laser-cut parts.

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