60 Friction stir welding expands its scope
Friction stir welding, which is used in projects such as NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, is now
being applied to more typical metal fabricating applications. Cover photo courtesy of ESAB
Welding & Cutting Products, Florence, S.C.
64 3 steps to optimize a finishing operation
Metal fabricators are pressed for time, so many don’t dedicate the time to conduct a
thorough analysis of something as trivial as abrasive disc usage. That’s a mistake, because
a few simple steps can produce momentum that makes a more formal investigation into
abrasive usage hard to ignore.
66 Passing the torch
Southern Metalcraft Inc.’s press brake veteran will be retiring at the end of 2016, and he is
now passing the torch to someone who never worked on a press brake until 2009. So how
did the rookie learn so quickly? Technical aptitude plays a role. But more important than
that, the veteran and rookie get along and just work well together.
70 A healthy process water balance pays off in waterjet cutting
The quality and temperature of process water for waterjet cutting can extend the life of
seals and components critical to the cutting process and lengthen the time between
74 How a plate rolling rookie becomes a guru
According to Ken Pecho, project engineer at Chicago Metal Rolled Products, it requires good
communication. But how do you really define good communication? For plate rolling (and
many other shop skills), you can break it down into three critical components: collaboration,
observation, and patience.
78 Diversification proves its worth in 2016
2015 has been a tale of two markets—commodities and everything else. Prices for food, fuel,
and metals are low. But low prices in these areas are spurring growth elsewhere.
Many predict this tale to continue into 2016.
82 2016 capital spending forecast: The growth continues
According to the “2016 Capital Spending Forecast” from the Fabricators & Manufacturers
Association International, total capital spending will edge up a little more than 2 percent
next year. Still, certain equipment categories, including welding and bending, may
experience dramatic gains.
86 The solid state of metal powders in metal fabrication
Metal powders are used in various areas of manufacturing including powder metallurgy and
additive manufacturing. But in the welding and metal fabrication arena, weld overlays and
thermal spray are by far the most popular applications for metal powders.
88 A job shop reborn
Co-Lin Metals Fabricating, Rockford, Ill., was an old-school shop. Estimates were done by
hand, and important documents were transferred by fax. Michael and Stephen Hedlund
want to change all of that. They are the new owners, and they want to take the shop into
the 21st century.
92 Forming & Fabricating® 2015 Press Brake Buyers’ Guide©
46 Biz Talk
Talk to managers in metal fabrication and they’ll probably tell you they have trouble finding
“good” people. In fact, they usually don’t say “skilled” people. So what’s the difference?
48 Around Washington
More than 500,000 industrial companies could be stuck with more recordkeeping responsibilities.
50 Improvement Insights
Is ISO 9001 certification worth it? It really depends. If key customers or prospects require
it, then yes, it’s certainly worth the effort. But if a fabricator does pursue ISO certification,
according to columnist Dick Kallage, it shouldn’t be a one-time effort but instead a tool for
56 Chief Concerns
Incentives can be a good tool to draw awareness to a particular effort in a safety program,
but they need to be implemented only after careful thought. Sometimes negative results can
emerge from incentives created with the best intentions.
Vol. 45 No. 12 CONTENTS