Advanced Search

It's easy to find articles, news, and product information from our publications. Refine your search by entering a title, author, publication name, or technology.

1344 results

Why similar fabricators can have very different financial results

August 28, 2014

By:

Contract metal fabricators may have similar assets and offer similar services, but have very different financial results. The differences may come from differing customer mixes, but it also comes from the fact that many shops have highly concentrated sources of revenue. Lose one big account, and financial results seriously suffer.

Continue Reading

How to get scheduling right

August 28, 2014

By:

Many point to scheduling as one of the most challenging aspects of running a custom fabrication business. Why, exactly? Sometimes it’s the software, but quite often, it boils down to the inputs used to create the schedule in the first place.

Continue Reading

The economics of small-parts bending

August 27, 2014

By:

Bending small parts presents various challenges for press brake technicians, who need to make sure they can bend these small parts quickly and, most importantly, safely. Although the best approach to bending depends on the application, the electric press brake can help make the job much easier.

Continue Reading

How to prepare for the aging workforce

August 27, 2014

By:

The aging workforce is a complex, multifaceted issue, but it has one immutable fact: There will be more older people working than ever before. Older workers can be incredibly valuable to a manufacturer. They have the experience and skill that this industry craves. But you can’t escape biology. As we get older, the body changes, and the workplace needs to account for these changes. The good news is that these changes not only help older workers, but every employee at the company.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Creating the documentation essential to fabrication

August 14, 2014

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis describes how a detailed 3-D CAD model can be a great help to those in procurement, fabrication, and assembly.

Continue Reading

Shop technology and 3-D CAD: Tools for proofreading

August 12, 2014

By:

Columnist Gerald Davis explains why proofreading is not just the domain of copy editors and how a CAD software function can help with the proofing job.

Continue Reading

Reusing recycled abrasives in waterjet cutting?

August 7, 2014

By:

When it comes to waterjet cutting, most metal fabricators rely on virgin garnet as the abrasive that’s used in conjunction with the waterjet stream. After cutting is concluded, the abrasive can be collected and recycled as a filler for other construction-related products. An Auburn, Wash.-based company, however, thinks it has found a way to take the recycled material and return it to an almost-new state.

Continue Reading

Lean data flow: From CAD to ERP to the shop floor

August 7, 2014

By:

Fabricators sell their ability to produce the right part in the right quantity and at the right time, and to do that requires good information. Communication troubles arise if front office systems don’t communicate with each other, and this can include CAD and ERP.

Continue Reading

The transformative power of the laser

August 6, 2014

By:

The laser has helped define the modern precision metal fabrication industry, and this year’s Advanced Laser Applications Workshop shows just how far the laser has come. Blink once, and you miss another technological milestone.

Continue Reading

How to build a little of everything, every day

August 6, 2014

By:

Legrand’s West Hartford facility has been on the lean journey for several decades, and the journey hasn’t stopped. The focus continues to be on clear communication and documentation, good metrics, ergonomics and safety, staff incentives—and producing a little of everything every day.

Continue Reading

Automobiles and artwork

August 4, 2014

By:

For Monty Kollath, a degree in commercial art and a career in automotive repair work provided a nice living and positioned him well for a little moonlighting as a metal artist. However, Kollath had one more factor in his favor—his job in the auto repair field provides an endless supply of cast-off items suitable for metal sculpture.

Continue Reading

Keeping pace with better ergonomics

August 4, 2014

By:

Every employee at Pentair operates under PIMS, or the Pentair Integrated Management System. PIMS encompasses everything from continuous improvement and hiring practices to safety and ergonomics. Concerning the last, the company instituted new material handling technology within a tightly run tank fabrication line in Delavan, Wis. The line has no WIP and, hence, little margin for error.

Continue Reading

Is a press brake or plate roll the right tool for the job?

August 4, 2014

By: ,

Some metal fabricating shops rely on press brakes and bump forming to make cylindrical shapes, while others are more adept at using plate rolling machines. This feature explores the factors involved in determining whether a press brake or a plate roller is the right machine for the job.

Continue Reading

A fabricator and community college partnership

July 31, 2014

By: ,

When metal fabricator Shickel Corp. sought to boost the overall skill level of its employee base in the face of a more competitive business environment, it went back to school. More specifically, it sought the local community college to help craft a curriculum and implement a class structure to deliver the improved math and shop skills it desired.

Continue Reading

The people and processes behind poka-yoke

July 31, 2014

By:

Like anything related to continuous improvement, mistakeproofing requires the right processes, but, perhaps even more important, it also requires the right people. With the right people and processes, real change is possible.

Continue Reading