Fiber Laser Cutters vs. Plasma Cutters: 6 Key Differences

Fiber Laser Cutters vs. Plasma Cutters: 6 Key Differences

Fiber Laser Cutters vs. Plasma Cutters: 6 Key Differences

Versatility enables metal fabrication operations to take on a greater variety of work without sacrificing productivity, quality, or time. New computer-controlled metalworking equipment provides precision, speed, and flexibility, so shops can accept a wider range of work. Along with selecting press brakes and beam coping machines, most shops face a choice of fiber laser cutters vs. plasma cutters. Six key differences can help you determine if you should invest in one or the other, or both, types of machines. Evolution of [...]

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What You Should Know About Welding in Space

What You Should Know About Welding in Space

Since the beginning of the space age, engineers have devised ways to complete spacecraft construction and repairs that would work in the vacuum of space. The International Space Station was assembled from parts sent into orbit separately. Astronauts repaired the flawed Hubble telescope. NASA has even developed a special handheld laser to perform welds in tight spaces in zero gravity. What you should know about welding in space includes how to cope with zero gravity, how to select techniques that [...]

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4 Ways You Can Reduce Laser Cutting Costs

4 Ways You Can Reduce Laser Cutting Costs

Laser cutting machines offer precision and speed for metal fabrication shops that cut or engrave thin metals, wood, plastic, or leather. The machines represent a major investment, plus ongoing costs of maintenance, training, and personal protective equipment for team members. These four ways you can reduce laser cutting costs should keep your operation running cost-effectively. Adhere to Scheduled Maintenance Well-maintained machines work faster and break down less. In order to keep your laser cutters in top shape, don’t skimp on scheduled [...]

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How To Reduce Metal Waste During Fabrication

How To Reduce Metal Waste During Fabrication

The advent of computer numerical controls (CNC) and robotics in metal fabrication has helped metalworking shops produce parts and products that are more precise. But waste is still an issue; even the best metal product designs and specifications can’t use every ounce of raw material. The unused portions turn into potentially toxic waste that shops must manage according to environmental regulations. Businesses must shoulder additional costs and paperwork to comply with reporting requirements that may apply to the disposal of [...]

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The 7 Different Types of Sheet Metal Bending

The 7 Different Types of Sheet Metal Bending

People have been bending and shaping metal since the Bronze Age. With the dawn of the Iron Age and the discovery of steel, metalworking focused on producing weapons inexpensively to equip armies. But in the Industrial Age, steel became indispensable in construction and manufacturing. It became possible to build taller buildings and bigger machines. Instead of forging and hammering metal into desired shapes, metalworkers began to use machines called press brakes to apply the force necessary to bend, roll, and [...]

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5 Quality Control Best Practices for Metal Fabrication

5 Quality Control Best Practices for Metal Fabrication

Metalworking companies get significant business from referrals, which largely impact the quality of their work. Ensuring that products going out the door conform exactly to specifications while meeting delivery deadlines can make the difference between profit and loss. Learn five quality control best practices for metal fabrication. Quality Control and Quality Assurance Quality control (QC) involves inspecting parts to ensure they consistently meet specifications. QC provides metalworking shops and their clients with confidence that products will do what they’re meant to [...]

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What Makes Electric Press Brakes Eco-Friendly?

What Makes Electric Press Brakes Eco-Friendly?

People who aren’t familiar with modern metal fabrication operations may think that a metalworking shop is a dirty, noisy, grimy place. But metal fabrication has become a high-tech industry, with computer numeric control (CNC) machines, robotics, and attention to waste control and reduction. Many metalworking machines are now manufactured with environmental responsibility in mind. Reduced energy consumption and less reliance on fossil fuels are goals that can be achieved with newer machinery. Most metal fabrication businesses rely on press brakes to [...]

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Tips for Designing Products for Manufacturing

Tips for Designing Products for Manufacturing

Design for manufacturing (DFM), sometimes called design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) or design for manufacturability, refers to the cluster of considerations that go into creating an easily manufactured product than can be produced cost-effectively. These tips for designing products for manufacturing can help you minimize delay and avoids “do-overs” when you discover a design flaw or manufacturing problem after production has begun. DFM is organized by five basic aspects that affect the end result: process, design, materials, environment, and [...]

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What Skills Do You Need To Be a Metal Fabricator?

What Skills Do You Need To Be a Metal Fabricator?

Using huge machines to bend and cut metal sounds like it requires physical strength and a high tolerance for noise, heat, and grime. While physical fitness and the ability to work on your feet for long stretches of time are necessary, modern metal fabrication requires a more diverse set of skills. If you’re wondering what skills you need to be a metal fabricator, you should be thinking about computers, engineering, and math. Attention to Detail The metal fabrication industry works with [...]

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5 Signs You Should Use Lean Manufacturing

5 Signs You Should Use Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing principles and practices originated at Toyota. Their stunning success inspired manufacturers across industries and all over the world to adopt lean operations. The essence of lean manufacturing is to provide the greatest value to the customer with minimal waste on the production side. Processes, activities, and resources devoted to anything other than creating value for customers are defined as wasteful. 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing Five principles guide the lean manufacturing process: Value: The extent to which a product or [...]

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