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Article

July 11, 2006
How do you measure success?
You have probably heard it, and you may have lived it. Business is slow, layoffs have left you shorthanded, maintenance is a thing of the past, and upgrades are on hold. The reason for the layoffs, lack of maintenance, and postponed upgrades is... Read more...

Article

April 11, 2006
Eliminating problems that cause flaws
Before getting into a discussion of material variability, I'd like to say that material quality has improved immensely over the last 10 to 15 years. It is rare, almost unheard of, for a domestic mill to make a mistake in the chemistry of standard... Read more...

Article

October 11, 2005
Scarfing tube and pipe—cut to the quick
Figure 1 The strand in the top photo did not get cut completely from the tube wall. Removing this strand of scarf with compressed air or water is difficult. The tangled scarf strand in the bottom photo, called a birdnest, is... Read more...

Article

December 11, 2003
Pulling taffy and producing tube
Do you remember going to the county fair and watching candy makers make taffy? As a child I often would watch the whirling motion of the taffy pull machine as it whipped and pulled and whipped and pulled again and again until the candy was the... Read more...

Article

October 23, 2003
Plotting for success
Another way of looking at this is that we get so tied up in the day-to-day grind that we forget or ignore the deteriorating conditions in the forming mill and tooling until a customer complains about weld splits. We lose our edge, figuratively... Read more...

Article

September 25, 2003
Hydraulic presses make their mark
Just like hydraulics technology itself, the market for presses based on it is fluid and dynamic. And for the first time in a while, the tide may be turning in favor of its practitioners. As many manufacturers report prosperity and strong... Read more...

Article

August 28, 2003
Measuring tube as it grows and shrinks
We always have some confusion at our house concerning desserts. My wife claims that I like only two kinds of pie: hot and cold. Well, she is mostly right. My favorite is cherry, and I love it served either hot or cold. Here's our family... Read more...

Article

June 26, 2003
The little-known life of the scarfing tool
Just kidding, but I'm sure you get my point. Scarfing tools are pretty boring compared to the greater issues we face since 9/11. I pray for world peace right there with anybody who will listen. But then again, I've been asked many times why tools... Read more...

Article

May 15, 2003
Solving the mysteries of the fin pass—Part 2
First, some ground rules (assumptions) for the arrangement before we discuss some possible reasons for poor-quality seam welding and their solutions: 1. You are working with a new set of rolls and spacers. We assume that the rolls are... Read more...

Article

April 10, 2003
Solving the mysteries of the fin pass—Part 1
Figure 1 Original tubular forms, such as bulrushes, are found in nature. Modern tube isn't an invention—it's merely a copy of a natural plant form. Photo courtesy of Wildcat Bluff Nature Center, copyright 2001.... Read more...

Article

February 27, 2003
Don't lose your bearing!
The foreman gives everyone the production schedule, and the last of the big order you were working on before the Friday shutdown is ready to run. Who's that on the phone? Oh, it's your No. 1 customer. He gave you a break on the delivery of the... Read more...