The art of
“Wake,” a major art project
from conceptual artist Mel Chin, came
together at the University of North Carolina-
Asheville’s STEAM Studio last year with the
help of a waterjet. This project provides
some learning points for fabricators that
might be interested in incorporating waterjet
cutting into their service o;erings.
A viable alternative to
The potential of done-in-one plate cutting
Combination plate cutting machines—those o;ering oxyfuel, plasma, drilling, milling, chamfering, and other machining
options—have evolved to become the Swiss
Army knife of heavy fabrication.
Datum Storage Solutions Inc., Emigsville,
Pa., invested in panel bending capabilities
almost 20 years ago, and NSA Industries, St.
Johnsbury, Vt., is a relative newcomer to the
technology. Even with the experience gap,
both companies believe panel bending has
changed their shop floors for the better.
The laser leads the way
The laser beam has become
industry’s most flexible tool,
and the innovation is just getting started.
Productivity is on the rise
at Mettler Toledo’s heavy-duty-scale
manufacturing plant. And the improvements
have only just begun.
pricing it right
If a small shop expands,
hires more people, and buys more
equipment, activity-based costing needs
to come into play.
Minnesota State College
Southeast will launch its Bicycle
Design & Fabrication program this fall,
o;ering students a chance to learn advanced
manufacturing, engineering, fabrication, and
design skills. The program, with hopes to
help bridge the manufacturing skills gap, is
the first of its kind worldwide and has drawn
the interest of Generation Z students.
Need to know
where things stand?
A job shop’s weekly performance
report serves as an early warning system
so that management can act before small
problems snowball out of control.
family grow plate
Family-owned machine tool builder grows
from humble origins into an industry
COVER STORY »
Fab or stamp?
Two manufacturers discuss
what they take into consider-
ation when trying to decide whether to tool
up for stamping or to rely on fabricating
technology when tackling a new project.
Cover photo courtesy of
Kapco Metal Stamping, Grafton, Wis.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A fabricator has a great story
to tell, one meaning more than
some bland vision statement on the wall that,
let’s face it, most employees simply ignore.
A complaint from the American
Institute of Steel Construction
results in the U.S. Department of Commerce
investigating Canada, China, and Mexico for
the dumping and subsidization of fabricated
Announced price increases from
the steel mills have resulted
in about an $80/ton price increase on hot-
rolled coiled steel in recent weeks. Based
on feedback from steel service centers, the
increase in steel prices looks to be sticking,
but the ending of Section 232 tari;s could
change the current situation dramatically.
If you give employees a cart so
they no longer wait for a fork
truck, you’ll probably see great improve-
ments in part flow—but not necessarily
in safety and ergonomics. Designing a cart
is more complicated than it looks.
CAD guru Gerald Davis describes
the creation of a prop for visualization and planning. How much realism and
how many CAD tricks are needed?
Rest assured, people will resist
change. How you deal with that resistance
makes all the di;erence.
Tolerances in bending involve
more than just the angle toler-
ances shown on the print. Materials also
have tolerances, both in thickness and yield
Vol. 49 No. 4