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Article

July 8, 2011
Induction key to complex beam rolling job
The walls of Bob Hardwick’s office are paneled with tongue-and-groove pine. It’s original, carved in 1909 when a metal shop opened for business a few yards away from the railroad tracks running through downtown Birmingham, Ala., at... Read more...

Article

May 6, 2011
The big job of high-tonnage bending
The view of a 1,000-ton press brake from 100 feet way and that of a 100-ton press brake from 10 ft. away is somewhat similar. However, the jobs done on those press brakes differ greatly. Bending the big stuff is a much larger endeavor.... Read more...

Article

February 11, 2010
Waste not, want more
Waste is not tolerated at General MetalWorks (GenMet), Mequon, Wis. That includes waste related to transportation, processing, inventory, and production, as well as underutilizing people's talents. A tour of the facility reflects the... Read more...

Article

February 8, 2010
Bending perforated weathering steel: Not a pedestrian challenge
It's not surprising that Steve Horn, a New Yorker to the core, uses a pizza crust to describe one of the most unusual jobs to pass through his Brooklyn fab shop. The president of Sure Iron Works took on the job of fabricating two pedestrian... Read more...

Article

October 14, 2008
Reasons for a press brake upgrade
The press brake remains one of those last bastions of manual operation. Even the smallest job shops may use a welding robot, perhaps a small-footprint sheet metal cutting cell with automated material handling. But it's not uncommon to see most... Read more...

Article

July 15, 2008
Making sense of metal cutting technologies
It's the question heard 'round the metal fabricating world: What metal cutting technology makes the most sense? Unfortunately, the answer to the question cannot be covered in one simple statement. The answer depends on the metal being cut,... Read more...

Article

June 17, 2008
One nesting software for all
"All for one, and one nesting software for all." That's hardly a rallying call to stir men's souls, but it pretty much summed up life at Maurer Manufacturing, Spencer, Iowa, at the beginning of 2007. As a manufacturer of trailers for... Read more...

Article

December 11, 2007
Getting into the thick of high-powered lasers
Laser cutting originated for processing of sheet materials, but new, high-powered lasers, capable of processing heavier-gauge and plate materials, are moving lasers into the thick of part-making. For the many industries that produce lots of... Read more...

Article

June 12, 2007
Laser cutting with less labor and less hassle
In February 2007 a four-man precision metal fabricating shop—with the help of two temporary employees—laser-cut more than 500 jobs comprising 73,863 metal pieces and weighing more than 315,000 pounds. That's good news for Chris... Read more...

Article

February 13, 2007
Big shoulders, long strides
About 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Hansen Steel Services employees wear T-shirts imprinted with the company's Viking logo—a reference to the owners' Norwegian ancestry. It's not hard to imagine... Read more...

Article

December 12, 2006
Structurally, it's a job shop
Structural steel shops can be as inflexible as the giant beams they supply to commercial and residential contractors. Jobs are booked by the shop hour. More jobs lead to more hours and inevitably longer delivery times. In many instances,... Read more...

Article

September 13, 2005
Software brings new intelligence to press brakes
Software with the capability to store and apply process intelligence enhances fabricators' ability to achieve first-part accuracy; reduce part waste; and meet demands for small lot sizes, short turnarounds, and complex shapes. To keep... Read more...

Article

March 8, 2005
Anchor's a way down the road to improvement
Anchor Fabrication has a reputation for the ability to form long and awkward parts. A 1,200-ton, 52-ft. Pacific press brake in the Precision Division assists in reducing downtime and material handling costs because the parts no longer have... Read more...

Article

November 6, 2003
New PC-based controls open path to better press brake utilization
A critical benefit of offline programming and bend simulation is that fabricators can determine upfront whether the part can be bent, avoiding shop floor trial-and-error. Traditionally, press brake operation has required skills that... Read more...

Article

August 8, 2002
Science Nonfiction
Forty years ago no one would have thought it possible to cut plate steel with focused light. Over time it has not only become possible but common in manufacturing operations. However, making this science fiction into fact wasn't enough,... Read more...

Article

August 16, 2001
In search of the perfect bend
Press brake manufacturers have made tremendous advances in the art of machine design and manufacturing. Machine frame components are designed to use proven mechanical engineering principles combined with CAD technology to identify the areas most... Read more...