The Fabricator®

June 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 June 2014 issue available online:

FAB 40: Springs Fabrication and the ice house

June 27, 2014

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Springs Fabrication has humble beginnings, stereotypical of many successful American businesses. As it turns out, there's a reason that's a stereotype.

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FAB 40: Thinking as owners at D&S Manufacturing

June 27, 2014

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At D&S Manufacturing, the books are open, employees know how to read them, and they use this information when dreaming up new ways to improve.

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Fab 40: Impulse Manufacturing tackles downtime with data

June 27, 2014

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You can't improve something you don't measure. Impulse Manufacturing wants to cut down the time between jobs—specifically, between the last good part of the previous job to the first good part of the next job.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Legends and Logos

June 23, 2014

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Columnist Gerald Davis investigates the CAD jockey’s role in the creation of markings on metal products, the different ways that these markings can be created, and some tips for ensuring the final marking is done correctly, no matter the process.

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Cooking up fabrication with the fiber laser

June 23, 2014

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Atlanta Custom Fabrication focuses on the commercial kitchen industry, mainly cutting thin stainless. Its laser cutting wasn't a constraint process, but it needed excess cutting capacity to deal with demand variability. A new fiber laser has helped to resolve the problem.

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FAB 40: Merrill Fabricators’ welding school fuels local talent base

June 19, 2014

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Merrill Fabricators takes an innovative approach to the skilled labor crisis, by launching and growing its own welding school not only to fill its own ranks, but also to help grow the broader manufacturing community.

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Artist’s career goes into overdrive

June 18, 2014

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Dominique Martinez, founder of Rustic Steel Creations, does a little of everything—using found objects and new metals, making functional items like handrails and decorative items (artistic sculptures), making items for sale and working under contract, working for profit and donating pieces for fundraisers—and in doing so, has built his company into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

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Maybe we all need a little boot camp

June 18, 2014

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Military vets with experience in fixing and maintaining equipment can be a valuable asset to high-product-mix fabricators. Their military experience helps them develop standards and processes out of the chaos.

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Winning in commoditized markets

June 18, 2014

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The lowest-cost-producer business model is simple. If you have the lowest costs and prices, you win. But this model can be ruthless, too.

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FAB 40: How Nu-Way Industries uncovered a new way

June 17, 2014

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The Illinois contract fabricator ramps up its efforts toward operational excellence.

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FAB 40: Cupples J&J Co. builds and builds capacity

June 16, 2014

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Cupples J & J Co. Inc. has continued to invest in technology to meet existing customer demand.

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No secret code for successful code welding

June 16, 2014

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Being a code welding shop with an ever-expanding customer base continuously challenges Andy J. Eagan Co. Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich. New customer projects and keeping on top of certification demands require a talented and dedicated workforce. As a result, that’s where the company puts a lot of its focus.

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FAB 40: Team approach helps Robinson Metal scale up

June 12, 2014

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Robinson's fabrication division has an internal structure that helps the company adapt to growth.

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FAB 40: Data analytics meets high-volume contract fabrication at OMS

June 12, 2014

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O'Neal Manufacturing Services, a nationwide fabricator with 11 locations, makes smart use of data to refine capacity planning and sales forecasting.

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FAB 40: Super Steel ramps up parts tracking

June 12, 2014

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Super Steel's initiative to track where jobs stand has effectively increased throughput and inventory accuracy, preparing the company for increased business. According to Super Steel's CEO, 2015 could be a breakout year.

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FAB 40: BTD and the quest for continued diversification

June 12, 2014

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BTD has gained a reputation for its ability to rapidly ramp up part programs. Now managers are looking at available markets and asking some big questions.

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Big-time fabricating

June 11, 2014

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Greiner Industries, Mount Joy, Pa., has been able to expand over the years because its owner senses opportunities that other shops want no part of. As a result, the company has emerged as an atypical fabricator with incredible fabricating capabilities.

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FAB 40: The story behind dramatic growth at MEC

June 11, 2014

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After a major acquisition, Mayville Engineering Co.—No. 1 again on the FAB 40—is poised for serious growth in the years to come.

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FAB 40: Growing on a bedrock of data

June 9, 2014

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For many fabricators in this year’s FAB 40, smart use of information has become the bedrock of high-product-mix metal fabrication. As that bedrock becomes stronger, fabricators may continue to grow even larger.

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BIM’s past, present, and future

June 2, 2014

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To understand how building information modeling promises to further change the structural steel fabrication business, you have to know how it evolved over the years.

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CUTCO Corp. uses engineered abrasives to create a new finish

June 2, 2014

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After several decades of operating large "cut-down" machines in search of the perfect finish for its cutlery, CUTCO Corp. decided to look for a new cutting-edge way to deliver the same results, but more efficiently. It found an answer with engineered abrasives and new finishing machines.

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The ripple effect of high-speed laser cutting

June 2, 2014

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With solid-state laser technology upping throughput in fabricating shops, managing flow from cutting to bending to downstream processes has never been more important. A panel discussion at The FABRICATOR’s Leadership Summit provides some insight into the right combination of modern machine tools and software that can help fabricators stay on top of this production challenge.

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