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Article

January 13, 2014
Nesting and the fiber laser
All a fabricator had to do was walk around at this year’s FABTECH, North America’s largest metal fabricating tradeshow, to take notice of the fiber laser cutting machines on the show floor. All of the well-known machine tool... Read more...

Article

January 2, 2014
The art of bevel cutting
It has been said that shop floor bevel cutting is as much an art as it is a science. To cutting machine programmers new to beveling, the process can seem like an attempt to re-create a Picasso masterpiece, regardless of how much traditional... Read more...

Article

October 9, 2013
Why did an architect need a solid nesting program?
Cut and bend 12,000 unique, preweathered, 0.1875-in.-thick panels of A588 steel in a tight time frame—the job sounds daunting for any metal fabricator. Luckily, the sister company of an architectural firm was there to make the job... Read more...

Article

April 17, 2013
Bending software speeds up production
Slow and steady is a good strategy for the tortoise racing against the hare, but it’s a pretty ineffective plan for a metal fabricating business. Everywhere that a metal fabricator looks, the pace is picking up. Customers laugh at... Read more...

Article

March 4, 2013
Nesting software makes the intelligent connection
Nesting software has come a long way since it was first introduced.  In the past the software simply provided a quick, easy way to achieve a fairly decent nest with minimal engineering.  In recent years, however, companies have been... Read more...

Article

October 12, 2012
When to cut a common line
Anyone who has ever cut anything—metal, wood, even paper dolls—would agree that a single cut along a shared edge between neighboring parts is fast and efficient. A common-line cut reduces cut time, scrap, gas, and, in the case of... Read more...

Article

September 9, 2011
Nesting software keeps the “lights-out” on
A metal fabricating facility during the day is a noisy, bustling place. Lift trucks are zooming by, and CNC machines are cutting away. Production runs at full speed. Typically in the evening, however, the machines are shut down, and all grows... Read more...

Article

August 1, 2009
KO'ing keystrokes
About 200 feet below a Chicago street sat a metal box, an electrical transformer that hummed for more than three decades. Because nothing lasts forever, recently Cooper Power Systems was called on to manufacture a new one. Fabricating these... Read more...

Article

May 1, 2009
Heavy hauling, heavy fabricating
Dennis Nadolsky has a lot on his shoulders. For several months the software guru has been, in essence, bringing into the 3-D CAD world some of the ideas that changed Diamond Heavy Haul from a heavy-haul trucking company into a firm that was also... Read more...

Article

May 13, 2008
Pushing nesting efficiency for the punch press
Lean principles advocate a flexible manufacturing environment that theoretically can produce a batch quantity of one just as efficiently as a batch of 10,000. Kitting, single-piece part flow, demand-pull, and other lean elements all aim toward... Read more...

Article

December 12, 2006
Can your manufacturing software do this?
Software has changed the nature of fabricating. Most fabricating shops hammer out the manufacturing details of a job on their own computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software packages immediately upon receipt of the customer's engineering... Read more...

Article

January 10, 2006
Wading through the world of welding
Many high-tech gadgets that once were handy extras are becoming indispensable in the workplace. A personal digital assistant (PDA) device makes programming a welding power supply faster and easier than manual programming. Photo provided by... Read more...

Article

December 13, 2005
A change by design
A Great Dane just happens to watch over the entrance of Great Dane Trailers. You don't become a big dog in manufacturing without knowing about technology and innovation. For the last 100 years, Great Dane Trailers has followed that... Read more...

Article

March 11, 2004
Goin' Global
Welding photo courtesy of Fronius Intl. GmbH, Austria. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), the U.S. trade deficit for the 12-month period from... Read more...