36 Steel News
Steel mills announce price increases. Steel distributors
note they have too much inventory on hand. Steel
consumers may not have to deal with announced price
increases a;er all.
42 Continuous Improvement
Lean manufacturing expert Je; Sipes says focus on the
symptom, and the problem is bound to reoccur. Tackle the
root cause, and you solve the problem for good.
46 Biz Talk
A custom fabricator’s marketing message isn’t necessarily about technology and processing capabilities. A;er all,
competing fabricators can buy identical equipment. Instead,
the true “brand” of a custom fabricator is about people who
are there to help.
48 Around Washington
Many in the U.S. manufacturing community believe that
NAF TA rules of origin provisions make it easy for companies
to bypass potential U.S. tari;s. Still others call for the U.S.
Trade Representative to be careful about tightening these
rules as it could upset trade possibilities within the North
52 Chief Concerns
The desire to maintain part quality and avoid rework has
changed the approach to metal fabrication over the years,
and now every aspect of the fabricating value chain is
coming under scrutiny—including packaging.
99 Forming & Fabricating® 2017
Ironworker Buyers’ Guide©
102 Forming & Fabricating® 2017
3-D Laser Cutting Machine
68 Bending time
Bending simulation so;ware brings prototyping into the
virtual world; uncovers new tooling strategies and bend
sequences for better production, and helps fabricators make
more parts in less time.
72 A fabricator’s take on a
P&A Metal Fab Inc., Clackamas, Ore., has the right mix of
jobs that made the acquisition of a new laser/punching
combination machine a no-brainer. The addition of a
flexible material storage and delivery system and a
loading and stacking robot has made the purchase look
76 Overview of techniques for
joining dissimilar materials
Combining lightweight, dissimilar materials—particularly
metals and polymers—is becoming increasingly prevalent
in the manufacture of lightweight assemblies in the
aerospace and automotive industries. As a result, suitable
joining methods are necessary to reliably integrate them.
80 The story behind the light curtain
on the press brake
Alaso, a Lakeland, Fla.-based manufacturer of commercial
chicken housing systems, was looking for a way to boost
bending productivity without putting press brake operators in harm’s way. It found its answer with an electric press
brake with a built-in light curtain.
84 Better data management,
Engineering change notifications require established,
documented processes, but if the flow of information is
flawed between CAD and ERP, troubles are sure to arise.
88 Boosting forming throughput
Increasing bending throughput requires a holistic approach.
It’s not just about tool changeover, tryout bends, retrieving
blanks, or delivering formed parts to the next operation.
It’s about all of the above and more.
92 What keeps you up at night?
Finding the right help still a concern
The U.S. has what appears to be a business-friendly president, and manufacturers are optimistic. But they still have
the same main concern that they have had for the last six
years: attracting and retaining skilled labor.
Vol. 47 No. 9
64 The road to full automation
Structural fabrication has evolved from a largely
manual operation to one in which virtually every
manufacturing step can be fully automated. Few if
any metal manufacturing sectors can make such
Cover photo courtesy of Voortman Corp., Monee, Ill.
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