The Fabricator®

April 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.

More Info Subscribe Free

Selected articles from the April 2014 issue available online:

Wind energy meets the sail

April 21, 2014

By:

Metal fabricator Pete Agtuca launched a product several years ago, but it failed to gain acceptance in the marketplace. He now has his second wind. He’s applying the science behind that failed product—generator technology that can generate electricity at low rotations per minute—to wind power generation.

Continue Reading

Asking all the right questions

April 21, 2014

By:

Texas is known for two or three commodities, namely cattle, oil, and barbecue, but the state has plenty of manufacturing, too. It’s a good environment for a fabricator and an entrepreneur with the imagination to come up with new products and build prototypes, regardless of the industry or market. Devin Gerland, found of JackRabbit Manufacturing, is one such entrepreneur.

Continue Reading

MVEs: More valuable employees

April 18, 2014

By:

Drew Greenblatt firmly believes that Marlin Steel, Baltimore, is only as successful as the talented crew that works on the shop floor. That's why the company's management team has created a Skills Matrix, ensuring that the shop always has someone who can stand in and perform the job of someone else.

Continue Reading

80/20 homework

April 16, 2014

By:

Before a company looks to increase its inventory buffer as a step to improve on-time delivery, a shop should exhaust less expensive options first. These homework assignments may help fabricators explore those options.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Product visualization

April 16, 2014

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis walks the reader through a hypothetical production development design exercise to show just how different product development CAD work is from production-ready CAD assignments.

Continue Reading

A growing pie for the next generation

April 15, 2014

By:

How can fabricators attract the best and brightest? According to speakers at The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit, held earlier this year in Austin, Texas, it's about growing the business through progressive management and open communication.

Continue Reading

Quality assurance gets an upgrade at Eaton Fabricating

April 14, 2014

By:

Eaton Fabricating Co. Inc., Grafton, Ohio, revamped its front office and shop floor operation to ensure parts emerge from machines right the first time. The key is that management gives operators time to perform quality assurance checks at every stage in manufacturing.

Continue Reading

Life with a fiber laser

April 7, 2014

By:

Accrotool Inc., New Kensington, Pa., had a 1,500-W laser cutting machine from 2001 that needed to be replaced. A fiber laser was deemed the perfect choice for the shop’s cutting chores. However, to be successful, the company’s management discovered that a new mindset was needed to accompany the new technology.

Continue Reading

A foundation for 5S

April 7, 2014

By:

Macksteel Warehouse, a service center and job shop serving area OEMs, has undergone significant transformations in recent years, including the way employees sweep the floor.

Continue Reading

Automating an abrasive process

April 3, 2014

By:

Automating a manual operation can pose several unique difficulties, based on the incoming workpiece and its finish and geometric requirements, but the benefits of reduced costs and increased safety for operators may be worth it.

Continue Reading

Laser cutting on the level

April 3, 2014

By:

A laser cutting machine doesn’t care how hard or soft a metal is, but the material’s flatness matters immensely. That’s why so many service centers are investing in leveling processes that aim to equalize stresses, ensuring sheet metal stays flat after being cut.

Continue Reading

The next level of air bending

April 3, 2014

By:

In this excerpt from Sheet Metalworking: State of the Art, the concept of adaptive forming, a special form of air bending, is introduced and explained.

Continue Reading

Apprenticeship, North Carolina-style

March 31, 2014

By:

Max Daetwyler Corp., a Huntersville, N.C.-based contract manufacturer, has evolved significantly to serve the changing business needs in the custom machinery arena. Its approach to employee skill development has evolved as well, with a growing regional partnership founded on the concepts behind European-style apprenticeships.

Continue Reading