The Fabricator®

February 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 February 2014 issue available online:

An 80/20 primer

February 28, 2014

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The 80/20 management method seeks to maximize results—such as sales or profits—by systematically deploying available resources only to the drivers that have the most impact. It sounds straightforward, but columnist Dick Kallage explains why this management approach is sometimes hard to execute.

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Automation relieves punching bottleneck

February 28, 2014

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Experience plus planning get more out of automation at Overlanders Manufacturing

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What does CAD/CAM and job shop management software integration mean?

February 28, 2014

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So much of metal fabricating activity today is focused on the elimination of waste, and one of the bigger steps a company can take is integrating its CAD/CAM software with its job shop management software.

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millennials

How millennials will make a difference

February 28, 2014

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Millenials have gotten a bad reputation. But the best of them may find a metal fabrication career extremely rewarding.

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tube bending

Tube and pipe basics: How to achieve the perfect bend

February 24, 2014

Although tube bending technology has evolved significnatly over the years, the process still boils down to four factors: the material, machine, tooling, and lubrication.

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mission-critical

Mission-critical metal fabrication

February 17, 2014

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No matter how eye-popping the technology, the means of getting a job done is secondary; the result is primary. This is where General Tool Co.'s "team of experts" appraoch comes into play.

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Roy Mackey

Art for art's sake

February 10, 2014

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Metal sculptor Roy Mackey took a long, circuitous route to become an artist, and occupies an unusual niche. With no specific art classes or vocational education in his background, he learned metalworking bit by bit, and spends quite a bit of his time making sculptures that are realistic, but too unusual to represent real objects.

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laser photonics

Laser photonics meets shop floor pragmatism

February 10, 2014

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Pragmatism rules the day at Directed Light, a job shop focusing on a wide range of industrial laser applications, from UV to far-infrared.

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stamping

How stamping and fabrication work together

February 4, 2014

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At Fisher-Barton South Carolina, historically a stamping operation, now gets half of its revenue from products that use metal fabrication. But there's not a stamping and fabricating "side" to the business. In fact, the part flow shows just how complementary fabrication and stamping can be.

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small diameter tubing

Taking big strides with small-diameter tubing

February 3, 2014

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After 60 years in business, Superior Tube Co. Inc. found itself at a crossroads. The recession of the early 2000s had taken a toll on U.S. manufacturing, and many companies feared the growing threat from newly industrializing, low-wage countries. The company’s management came up with a strategy to update its manufacturing practices, upgrade its equipment, and prepare its workforce for the challenges associated with global competition. The result, compressing about 15 years’ worth of changes into just two years, has propelled the company forward and earned it the 2014 TPJ Industry Award.

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precision sheet metal

Professionalism in precision sheet metal manufacturing

February 3, 2014

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How does a small western Michigan fabricating shop evolve into a key metal parts supplier to some of the most demanding OEM customers in the world? It is committed to lean manufacturing principles and has made strategic investments in new fabricating technology, but most of all, it has engaged employees that are comfortable with changes that come with continuous improvement efforts.

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Charles Caristan

Sustaining metal fabricating success

January 30, 2014

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Metal fabricators can’t find the right manufacturing talent. Customers are more demanding. The current workforce is overworked. How can fabricating companies keep up? The FABRICATOR’s Editorial Advisory Board has some suggestions.

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