46 Continuous Improvement
A gemba walk helps everyone at the company understand
what is really happening. It helps solve problems and puts
the focus on where you can make the greatest impact for
52 Biz Talk
Achieving and improving a stellar company culture remains
an elusive goal to quantify in metal fabrication. But some
companies are measuring it. In one sense, it could be treated
as a central tenet of process improvement.
54 Around Washington
A pass-through entity is a business structure that allows
a company to avoid income taxes at the corporate level
but pay at the individual level as owners of the business.
If President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans
get their way, these businesses will be paying a lot less
58 Chief Concerns
What is the di;erence between an enterprise resource
planning system and a manufacturing execution system?
Is one part of the other? What you call them really doesn’t
matter. What does matter is whether a so;ware system
makes your manufacturing operation more productive
108 Forming & Fabricating® 2017
Waterjet Cutting Machine
76 Laser cutting,
no gas delivery trucks required
Nitrogen generation has become more established in laser
cutting circles. The latest technology can adapt to the highly
variable needs of the custom fabricator.
80 An overview of ambient
air management systems
If a welder isn’t working under a fume extractor arm or a
larger fume extraction hood, don’t worry. The shop may
have an ambient air system that collects the fumes and
dust and filters the air before returning it to the shop.
82 The finer elements of laser tube cutting
Stents revolutionized the way that the medical community
addressed certain heart ailments. New advancements in
laser cutting technology promise to change the way that
these stents and flexible tubing are fabricated.
84 Welding stainless right
When choosing a process and filler metal for welding
stainless steel, fabricators need to consider the upfront cost
and characteristics of the filler metal, required productivity,
equipment complexity, and operator skill set.
86 Better bevels with plasma
Achieving optimal bevels on a plasma cutting table can be
very time-consuming, so much so that many use alternative
methods and give up beveling with plasma altogether.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
88 Good safety is good business
Good safety practices should build the foundation of a
modern manufacturer’s safety culture. Too o;en, though,
positive change comes only a;er a safety problem has
occurred. But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially
if safety is an intrinsic part of the business.
92 What’s there to know about regulators?
Fabricators don’t pay a lot of attention to the regulators
sitting on top of the gas cylinders that provide the fuel for
their cutting operations. They might want to take a closer
look, though, because modern regulator design can help
to keep everyone safe and production moving for ward.
96 Lean meets the internet of things
Industrial Sales & Manufacturing launched a unique
improvement methodology while investing in machine
monitoring and connectivity. The two initiatives go hand
98 Big data, better flow
A tour for the North American industry press of Belgian and
Dutch fabricators reveals that no matter how complicated
an operation becomes, it’s still all about flow—and driving
that flow, now and in the future, are so;ware and big data.
104 Welded roll forming systems versus
tube mills: What’s the difference?
What are the di;erences between a tube mill and a welded
roll form system? Which one should you consider? The answer depends, as always, on the application requirements.
106 An overview of laser metal deposition
Metal additive manufacturing promises to change the way
that people look at metal part design, and small manufacturing companies don’t have to be le; out of this new
Vol. 47 No. 11
74 Walking in the footsteps
of a fabricator looking for
a software fix
A metal fabricator has many motivations to change
its CAM so;ware, and Hi-Tec Profiles of Regina, Sask.,
Canada, experienced most of them. A;er struggling
to find the right so;ware fit, the shop found
something that worked for now and possibly
well into the future.