October 2014 issue cover

The FABRICATOR October 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.

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Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Some boundaries in solid modeling

October 31, 2014 | By Gerald Davis

Columnist Gerald Davis goes back to the future and shows readers what solid modeling can—and can’t—when trying to mock up a 3-D CAD model of an antique hair clipper.

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Sustaining fabricating success

October 31, 2014 | By Dan Davis

Located in the Pacific Northwest, P&A Metal Fab is not in a hotbed of North American metal fabricating activity. That hasn't stopped it, however, from growing into a successful and award-winning supplier of metal fabricating services. It's all about continuously improving the entire organization, not just the shop floor.

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End effector tips to keep the press running

October 31, 2014 | By Rob Pitera

Is there room for improvement in a high-speed stamping operation? In the endless journey of continuous improvement, the answer is yes. One of the first places to focus is on the end effector tooling on the material handling automation.

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Reinventing the caster wheel

October 30, 2014 | By Tim Heston

It sounds funny, but casters really are the wheels that assist in the smooth part flow that lean manufacturing demands.

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The human side of selling a business

October 30, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Cancer greatly altered the ownership sitatuation for GH Metal Solutions in 2005, but several years of hard work to put the company on a new growth path helped the fabricator to find just rhe right owner.

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Uncovering waste with an all-encompassing metric

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Manufacturing critical-path time, MCT, is a broad metric that encompasses the entire enterprise. The shorter an organization's MCT, the more adaptable and successful it can be.

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Plasma cutting or laser cutting? How about both?

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Not all parts need the tight-tolernace edge that laser cutting provides; now a fabricator canhave the fine touch of laser cutting and the poweful force of plasma cutting for thicker materials in one machine.

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Giving a welding robot some eyes

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Vision systems for a welding application usually are reserved for critical jobs associated with high costs of failure. New technology developments, however, may be introducing this technology to a new audience.

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Cut, bend, weld, paint, assemble—box—and ship

October 22, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Fabricators didn't join the profession because they love packaging and shipping. A custom-box-making machine may be just the thing to allow them to focus on the fun stuff.

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Fiberglass tape that has your [weld’s] back

October 22, 2014 | By Amanda Carlson

Aquasol’s Fiback line of fiberglass backing tape, now available in high- and low-amperage options, gives welders a simple, safe, and reliable way to protect the back side of their weldments, even those that have a complex shape.

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Staffing the comeback

October 22, 2014 | By Dick Kallage

It’s no secret—this industry has a tough time finding people, and as demand has increased in recent years, the problem has gotten worse. Just how many people does this industry need to compete, what talents do they need to have, and how can a company attract the best? To address these questions requires realistic planning based not on perceptions, but on facts.

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Low-alloy filler metals: From A to W

October 22, 2014 | By Blaine Guy

Low alloy steels gain their mechanical and chemical properties from the addition of alloying elements, including nickel, chromium, molybdenum, and manganese. They typically offer an ultimate tensile strength of 80,000 PSI or greater, and as with any material, they require a filler metal that matches their chemistry and provides the desired strength.

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Fabricating thin with photochemical etching

October 20, 2014 | By Tim Heston

Faspro Technologies identified a manufacturing need inthe alte 1990s that could be met with the use of photochemical etching technology. It has since built a successful business serving the electronics industry.

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12 tips to improve your value stream maps

October 20, 2014 | By Anthony Manos

Value stream mapping can be a tool to help identify and eliminate waste, but it’s easy to get lost in the details. These tips will help you keep your eye on the big picture, to ensure your VSM remains an effective tool for continuous improvement.

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Fabricating the future, layer by layer

October 20, 2014 | By Federico Sciammerella

Additive manufacturing is changing fundamental concepts of design, engineering, and production. As part of this, metal additive processes, including powder bed fusion and directed energy deposition, are allowing industry to fabricate metal products in entirely new ways.

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