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THE FUTURE OF TOOLING MAINTENANCE HAS ARRIVED

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The art of bending.

No other tooling provider understands the complexities of bending metal like Wilson Tool International . Whatever your challenge increasing tool life, reducing setup time or simplifying a complex bend Wilson Tool offers more choices for better bending. Precision, staged and conventional press brake tooling. Manual and hydraulic clamping solutions. Custom tooling for challenging applications. Whatever you need, Wilson Tool can provide a solution. Call 800.238.0929 or visit www.wilsontool.com/bending.

Strength. Performance. Innovation.

contents
COVER STORY 78

September 2013 Vol. 43 No. 9

74 Solid-state laser retrospective: A decade of high brightness


Because of inherent advantages, high-powered solid-state ber and disk lasers now account for 20 to 25 percent of the industrial laser market. e lasers exceptional beam quality, however, has presented some challenges in materials processing. Fortunately, proper head design can help deliver successful production results.
Cover photo courtesy of Laser Mechanisms, Novi, Mich.

Features

78 6 ways to make large-sheet bending easier

Bending large sheet metal parts does not represent the majority of work for most metal fabricators, but it can be a signicant portion for those shops that have the capability to do it. ese equipment considerations and processing tips can help make a big bending job easier. Is yours the kind of manufacturing operation that should build nests early or wait until the last safe moment? Answer the questions and nd out. Star Precision Fabricating, Houston, has had hardware insertion capabilities since it opened its doors in the early 1990s. It has added more machines as the need for additional capacity emerged. e latest automated equipment addition is making a huge di erence in the speed at which it processes assembly work. Overall equipment e ectiveness (OEE) is a proven means to track the e ectiveness of production machinery, but its application in short-run, high-mix contract manufacturing has lagged somewhat given the di culty in implementing it in its traditional manual form. Automatic data collection can help to overcome these obstacles, however.

80 When nesting, does it pay to be the early bird?

88

82 Hardware insertion meets automation

84 Automating OEE for the job shop

88 What keeps you up at night?

e 2013 What Keeps You up at Night? survey of e FABRICATORs readership reveals that fabricators are taking steps to ensure that recent growth is not a short-term occurrence, but a long-term trend. In the scope of all fabricating activities, not many people think about boiler maintenance. ey should, though, because it is a living textbook on how to deal with material corrosion and erosion. e emergence of the electric arc wire thermal spray process as an alternative to the traditional weld overlay approach for protecting boiler components and systems is one such lesson.

90 Defending boiler components against corrosive and erosive attack

90

92 Monitoring surface temperatures with phase-change materials


In a modern-day manufacturing environment where the goal is to keep processes uncomplicated and repeatable, temperature-indicating products used in welding make a lot of sense.

94 Forming & Fabricating 2013 3-D Laser Cutting Machine Buyers Guide

Management Strategy
56 Around Washington EPA wipes away hazardous designation for most industrial towels
e agency puts an end to the Great Shop Towel debate and believes the move could save the metalworking industry more than $20 million per year. According to the inaugural Forming & Fabricating Job Shop Consumption Report, released in July, business isnt horrible, but its not gangbusters either. Cycle time? Labor performance? Its easy just to pick a random area for improvement, but if a metal fabricator really wants to change operations dramatically, time and e ort are needed to identify the root causes in the greatest need of correction.

92

58 Biz Talk

e industry gets a quarterly physical

66 Improvement Insights So exactly what are you going to improve?

68 Chief Concerns Blast the silos to unlock potential

In a company with silos, departmental functions rarely interact, and workers within those departments are focused solely on their core assignments. ese silos perpetuate inward thinking, turf protection, and subpar results for customers. To improve, an organization needs to tear down these structures. ey just

72 Chief Concerns So you want to sell?

Just because a fabricating shop is small doesnt mean that it is not attractive to prospective buyers. need to stand out to the right audience. ese six tips can help a fabricator nd that right partner.

6 The FABRICATOR January 2013

96

96 FMA: In The Know


6 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Amada gave us the ability to produce what we want, when we want it while enabling us to reduce processing times by 40%.
Russell Rubin, CEO and President Boston Retail Products, Inc.
Russell Rubin, President and CEO (right) and Wilfredo Escobar, Manager of Fabrication Boston Retail Products, Inc.

vs. Reactive Manufacturing.


Since 1937, Boston Retail Products, Inc. has provided retailers and supply chain partners with a complete line of display, power and protection products. Metal components are designed and manufactured in Boston Retails 90,000 square-foot Medford, MA plant. By leveraging an automated production line, a fully-staffed tool and die department, and UL-rated electrical assembly, the company produces extremely high-quality products. Despite a long list of assets, the company faced a number of serious manufacturing challenges to resolve them, Boston Retail turned to Amada. Reflecting on his decision to partner with Amada, Russell Rubin, President and CEO of Boston Retail states, From product conception to product inspection, Amada provided a fully-integrated and automated punching, bending and laser cutting solution increasing our productivity while reducing our costs. Goals Achieved Through Amadas Integrated and Automated Networked Solution: Proactive Manufacturing (Boston Retail can now take a design-led business approach meeting virtual any custom design challenge without production restrictions). Increased Productivity (Processing times were reduced by 40% while also reducing costs, leadtimes, scrap and WIP). Maximum Efficiency (Three shifts were reduced to one shift with unmanned processing providing for the reallocation of labor to more value-added tasks). Optimal Processing (Automation ensures precise, repeatable and predictable workflow with unmatched speed and flexibility). Improved Quality (Building QC into the production process is the key to quality fabrication. FabriVISION provides an extremely quick, laser-verified inspection process that greatly increases productivity while ensuring uncompromising quality).

Astro 165W NT Robotic Bending System.

Summarizing his partnership with Amada, Rubin states, What began as a machine search, resulted in partnering with the technology leader and it completely changed the way we do business.

EMLK3610 NT punch and laser combination machine (with advanced automation).

Amada America, Inc.


180 Amada Court Schaumburg, IL 60173 877-262-3287 www.amada.com

See Amada at Booth # S901

contents
Departments

September 2013 Vol. 43 No. 9

10 From the Editor-in-Chief Death by automotive

39

eres a reason that metal fabricating and forming companies dont seek out more opportunities to work with the Detroit ree automakers. ey want to be a supply chain partner, not a supply chain servant.

11 Readers Forum 14 Calendar of Events 16 Industry News 48 Spotlight on Energy Efciency: Lighting 54 Applications High-mix fabricator increases e
with vertical storage ciency with nesting | Manufacturer expands internally

60 Product Highlights Laser system handles oversized parts |Tooling performs 90-degree bends
on punch press

48

64 Precision Matters Job shop estimating: Moving from cost to price


In the ninth installment of his series on estimating, columnist Gerald Davis explains that in the battle to deliver a competitive price, the estimator provides the ammo for a successful response to a customers RFQ.

99 Product News 99 The FABRICATORs Metal Market 104 Classied Ads 105 Advertisers Index 106 The Back Page Metal portraits that pop
Contributing Editor Amanda Carlson introduces you to an Alabama metal artist who captures the essence of celebrities, political gures, and inuential historical gures with his 3-D metal pop portraits.

54
Whats on thefabricator.com?
Watch the latest webcasts. Learn about grinding, waterjet cutting, and robotic laser welding in the
free webcasts at http://media.thefabricator.com/webcasts.cfm.

your own opinion.

Read thefabricator.com blog. Check out whats on the minds of e FABRICATORs editors and share Network with your peers. Visit the Industry Events section on thefabricator.coms home page.

64
Coming in October 2013
Learn about the forming capabilities of todays modern punching machines. Find out how Laitram Machinery Inc., Harahan, La., cut its labor cost for manual deburring of parts in half. Use the FABTECH Show Preview to make your plans to attend North Americas largest metal fabricating tradeshow in Chicago, Nov. 18-21.

8 The FABRICATOR September 2013

106

8 The FABRICATOR September 2013

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From the Editor-in-Chief


Dan Davis, editor-in-chief of The FABRICATOR, can be reached at dand@thefabricator.com.

the fabricator
Editorial Advisory Board
Dan Berdass, Bermo Inc. Greg Cornett, TI Automotive Matthew Gehman, Metal Locking Service Matt Kalina, LAI International Subramaniam Manivannan, Franklin Electric Jim Poe, Iowa State University

Death by automotive

Looking at the way U.S. automakers treat their suppliers, you wonder about their long-term success

etal fabricators dont have a lot in common when trying to compare one job shop to another. The same goes for the customer segments they servewith one major exception. Most dont, and have no desire to, work with the automotive industry. Thats quite the statement given the desire of businesses to diversify their customer bases as they look to shield themselves from the ups and downs that affect all sectors. They know that when it comes to working with the Detroit Three, its usually all for one and none for all. But the Great Recession changed all of that, right? The U.S. automakers learned humility and realized that they could succeed in a global marketplace only if everyone in the supply chain had the same chance to succeed, correct? Nope. Replacing the constant demand for cost reduction above all else with a spirit of cooperation and joint ownership of the manufacturing process never took place. The latest evidence of this lack of evolution occurred on the eve of an annual automotive supplier conference in Traverse City, Mich., in early August. Automotive News reported that General Motors is hoping to adopt a new purchasing contract that would put the financial liability for safety recalls on those companies that supplied the components that were suspected of being unsafe. According to a lawyer who works with an association that represents automotive suppliers, the manufacturers of components that fall under one of these safety recalls would be held liable for the recall costs even if the part or assembly met original OEM specifications. Thats like an unsatisfied diner complaining about a dried-out lamb chop, after instructing the waiter to have it cooked well-done, and then expecting the chef to eat the cost of the meal. Just as the customer certainly doesnt make the restaurant happy with such behavior, the automakers cant be expecting their supply chains to welcome such tough contract terms. Its mind-boggling behavior. The Detroit Three seemingly still havent learned the lesson from Japanese companies that have set up production facilities in the U.S. These companies have enjoyed long periods of success, producing quality and top-selling vehicles, because they work cooperatively with their supply chains. They want their metal fabricating and forming suppliers to be in the best position to respond to manufacturing suggestions and, ultimately, offer up their own ideas about production efficiencies or even design tweaks that might make components easier to produce. These Japanese automakers can be demanding, but they are willing to share in the maturation process of suppliers that dont initially meet their standards. They work with their supply chain partners, dont simply demand actions from them. This story of sour supplier relationships emerges at a time when the automotive industry should be celebrating its performance. Sales are up, and U.S. consumers appear hungry for new vehicles. Typically, the average age of the U.S. car fleet has been 8 or 9 years old, but that has crept up to an average of 11.5 years. Drivers have sat on their wallets for a longer than normal period, and they are poised to invest in new wheels. The current demand for vehicles appears to be fairly solid for the immediate future. But the industry cant enjoy its moment in the sun. The automakers have to squeeze concessions from the supply base. Perhaps Im overreacting to typical contract negotiating. Frankly, I hope I am. Id love to see Chrysler, Ford, and GM remain vibrant organizations for years to come. But Im reminded about what fabricators tell me concerning the automotive industry: Thanks, but no thanks. In the 2013 What Keeps You up at Night? survey for The FABRICATOR, subscribers were asked, What end-use markets is your company targeting in an effort to diversify the business? Only 20 percent of the respondents indicated the automotive or automotive parts marketeven as large as it is. Respondents showed more interest in 14 other sectors, including military equipment and munitions, which is surprising given the draw-down of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Department of Defense budget cuts. The Detroit Three have alienated a large part of the metal manufacturing base in the U.S. It would be a shame to see them do further damage. The FABRICATOR staff would like to thank those subscribers who participated in the 2013 What Keeps You up at Night? survey that was sent out in May. You can read some of the highlights of the survey in Are metal fabricators having trouble sleeping at night? on page 88. In particular, wed like to recognize four readers who were selected to win $50 gift cards as a result of their participation in the survey: David Erickson, Normal, Ill. Jeff Francisco, Kenosha, Wis. Greg Moore, Long Beach, Calif. Tom Stoltz, Smithfield, R.I.

FMA Officers and Directors

Chairman of the Board Burke Doar, TRUMPF Inc. First Vice Chairman Carlos Rodriguez-Borjas, Feralloy Corp. Second Vice Chairman Edwin Stanley, GH Metal Solutions Secretary/Treasurer Al Zelt, ASKO Inc. Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Dave Barber, Wilmington Grill Co. Inc.

Directors

Teresa Beach-Shelow, Superior Joining Technologies Inc. Robert Clark, Clark Metal Products Vivek Gupta, Texas ProFab Corp. Rick J. Hargrove, American Strip Steel/Marino\WARE William Jeff Jeffery, IRMCO Dan McLeod, Brenco Industries Ltd. Carlos R. Mendizbal, Industrias Selbor S.A. de C.V. Lyle Menke, Peddinghaus Corp. Ed Severson, SB Specialty Metals Gregg Simpson, Ohio Laser LLC Jerry Ward, METCAM Inc.

President & CEO

Edward Youdell Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl.

FMAs Certified Education Centers


Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) Manhattan, Kan. www.amisuccess.com Anoka Technical College Anoka, Minn. www.anokatech.edu Austin Polytechnical Academy Chicago, Ill. www.austinpolytech.com British Columbia Institute of Technology Burnaby, BC, Canada www.bcit.ca College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, Calif. www.canyons.edu EWI/Edison Welding Institute Columbus, Ohio www.ewi.org Fresno City College Fresno, Calif. www.fresnocitycollege.edu Harper College Paletine, Ill. www.harper.edu Illinois Central College East Peoria, Ill. www.icc.edu Kalamazoo Valley Community College Kalamazoo, Mich. www.kvcc.edu Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids, Iowa www.kirkwood.edu Kwantlen Polytechnic University Surrey, BC, Canada www.kwantlen.ca Long Beach City College Long Beach, Calif. http://sheetmetal.lbcc.edu Moraine Park Technical College West Bend, Wis. www.morainepark.edu Northeast Alabama Community College Rainsville, Ala. www.nacc.edu Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College Ogden, UT www.owatc.edu Ranken Technical College St. Louis, Mo. www.ranken.edu Rock Valley College Rockford, Ill. www.rockvalleycollege.edu Thomas Nelson Community College Hampton, Va. www.tncc.edu Triton College River Grove, Ill. www.triton.edu Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee, Wis. www.wctc.edu For more information on FMAs Certified Education Centers, visit www.fmanet.org/cecs

Keep in mind that you dont have to wait until we solicit your opinion in a survey. If you have a comment or question, please contact me at dand@thefabricator.com. Thanks for reading the publication.

10 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Readers Forum
Show Them the Money I get The FABRICATOR at work, and I just have to let you know that it is a great magazine. But it is my opinion that you got it wrong about welders [Culture class, From the Editor-in-Chief, July 2013, p. 10]. I would want my child to be a welder if there were good pay for it. Just look in the newspaper, and you will see the pay scale is from $12 to $18 for starting welders. Now on $12 to $18 could you afford house and car payments and food for four people? Then after you have been with the company for a couple of years, try and get a raise. Sometimes you have to pull teeth just for a 25 cent raise. I have been at my current workplace more than 25 years, and there is no set standard for raises or advancement. Make welding worth the effort and pay more money, and you will get more to go into welding. My kids chose the college way, and after four years they are making more money than I make, working only 184 days a year. Yes, they are both in education jobs, but there are other jobs they go to after school. If companies would see the value a good welder brings, more kids would get into welding and stay with welding as a life job. But they have to pay better. Anonymous Clearing up the Skilled-Worker Shortage Editors Note: The following was written in response to the Skilled-worker shortage? blog post that appeared on thefabricator.com on July 12. To read more blog entries and comments, visit http://blog.thefabricator.com. The right employee. In a few cases, that truly does mean the best person for the job. In most cases, however, it means the cheapest asset thatll hopefully get us by. The people doing the hiring have a vested interest in making sure theres a shortage, or at least making it look like a shortage, for as long as possible. Look at the health industry. They continued to push for more nurse candidates while the economy was down, and people were desperate for work. And they still do. But now youll find the market is saturatedwhich is great for the powers that be, for obvious reasons, and not ideal for a job seeker. I dont want to deter people from going into skilled trades. In fact, I actively encourage it. As a society we need a skilled and diverse workforce to fire on all cylinders. And there are rewarding jobs, both monetarily and spiritually, in these fields. But its completely unjust for a company to cry We cant find any skilled help when they readily admit they will not hire anyone above $x per hour. Ive seen this time and time again on these BS fluff shortage pieces: Company X Holds Job Fair, Cant Find Help. Then you read on, and the companys top welders make $18 an hour with limited benefits, and thats as high as theyll get. No wonder you cant find help. Supply and demand? Theyre gonna start training from the ground up. It looks like theyre just ignoring the current ratio and are looking to tip supply in their favor. Big business is what it is. They need to do whats best for them. But call it like it is: Theres a cheap skilled-labor shortage. Josh Welton Brown Dog Welding Mount Clemens, Mich. More Information on Welding Program? Thanks for the well-written article on Sintel and Caterpillar [Revitalizing a welding department in 16 months, The FABRICATOR, July 2013, p. 80]. Do you have a document explaining Caterpillars 7 Steps to Welding Excellence (7SWE) program? John Hagy Fort Pitt Machine Co. Inc. Pittsburgh (continued on page 12)

the fabricator
Published by FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road Rockford, IL 61107-6302 815-399-8700 | Fax 815-484-7700 www.thefabricator.com

Staff

President & CEO, FMA Communications Inc.: Edward Youdell Group Publisher: Dave Brambert Editor-in-Chief: Dan Davis, dand@thefabricator.com Senior Editor: Tim Heston, timh@thefabricator.com TPJThe Tube & Pipe Journal Editor: Eric Lundin, ericl@thefabricator.com Green Manufacturer Editor: Kate Bachman, kateb@thefabricator.com Practical Welding Today Associate Editor: Amanda Carlson, amandac@thefabricator.com Contributing Editor: Amy Nickel Associate Editor: Sue Roberts Senior Copy Editor: Teresa Chartos Graphic Designers: Mary Mincemoyer, Janell Drolsum, Margaret Clark, Jennifer Paulson Publication Coordinator: Kelly Palmer Director of Circulation: Kim Bottomley Circulation Manager: Brenda Wilson Data Verification Specialist: Rhonda Fletcher Senior Fulfillment Specialist: Anna Peacock Web Content Manager: Vicki Bell Multimedia Specialist: Sherry Young Senior Web Developer: Jason Bartholme Web Developer: Johanna Albee

Advertising Sales

ABB Robotics. From small parts to the largest. Automated metal fab made easy.

Associate Publisher: Jim Gorzek, jimg@thefabricator.com 815-227-8269 Senior Account Representatives: Michigan/Northeast: Sean Smith, seans@thefabricator.com 815-227-8265 Ohio/Southeast/International: Mike Lacny, mikel@thefabricator.com 815-227-8264 West/Arkansas/Louisiana/Mississippi: Tony Arnone, tony@thefabricator.com 815-227-8263 Indiana/Iowa/Minnesota/Missouri/ Wisconsin/Canada: Amy Hudson, amyh@thefabricator.com 815-227-8237 Alabama/Florida/Illinois/Tennessee: Michael Scott, michaels@thefabricator.com 815-227-8271 Classified Advertising: Patty DAmico, patriciad@thefabricator.com 815-227-8278 Sales Assistant: Matthew Paul, matthewp@thefabricator.com 815-227-8219 France Representative: Arnaud Vacherand Pressedition SA www.metal-industries.com

Statement of Policy
As the official publication of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, The FABRICATOR recognizes the need and importance of disseminating information about modern metal forming and fabricating techniques, machinery, tooling and management concepts for the metal fabricator. The policy of the publisher and this journal is to be nonpartisan, favoring no one product or company. The representations of fact and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher and this journal. By including information on new products, new literature, news of the industry, articles, etc., this impartiality is strived for and extends to the mention of trade names. Unless product identification makes the reference unavoidable, the generic name is used. We acknowledge that on occasion there may be oversights and errors; the editors regret such oversights and re-emphasize their policy to be impartial at all times. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising deemed inappropriate for publication in The FABRICATOR, including ads for classes of products and services not considered of significant interest to the readership. The FABRICATOR is a service mark and a trademark of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, and is used, under license, by FMA Communications Inc. Standard Rate & Data Service lists our advertising rates in Section 88. Consult SRDS or our current rate card for full rates and data. Publications of FMA Communications Inc. maintain a policy of keeping editorial and advertising separate to ensure editorial integrity that most benefits our readership. Editorial content, including feature articles and press releases, is determined solely by the publisher. Editorial content cannot be purchased, nor can it be used as a benefit of advertising dollars spent. Editorial is free-of-charge, subject to space availability, and open to all interested parties that submit items meeting our editorial style and format as determined by the publisher. Note: Some photographs printed in this publication may be taken with safety equipment removed for photographic purposes. However, in actual operation, it is recommended that correct safety procedures and equipment be utilized.

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September 2013 The FABRICATOR 11

Readers Forum
(continued from page 11) Editors Note: We dont have a summary document to share, but we can point you to Caterpillars Supplier Development Center. Visit https://sdc.logicbay. com/ for more information. A Question About EDI I would appreciate it if you have anyone on staff who might be able to answer some questions for me regarding the role of EDI in the fabrication industry. We are currently examining EDI solutions, but have very little prior exposure to them. We are uncertain of their risks and benefits. Im curious if you have on your staff anyone who can provide helpful information or contacts for me. We are a longtime subscriber to your publications and look forward to any help you may be able to provide. Stephen Lockhart IT Director Farris Fab & Machine Co. Cherryville, N.C. Editors Note: While we dont have anyone on staff who has in-depth knowledge or experience with electronic data interchange (EDI), we did pose your questions to The FABRICATORs editorial advisory board. In general, board members said EDI could help to reduce leadtimes, improve on-time deliveries, eliminate problems associated with manual input of data, improve analysis of forecasted orders compared to actual shipments, create a clearer means of communication with customers, and create the ability to quote more work with those companies that mandate EDI. The concerns with implementing an EDI package, according to our experts, included software compatibility issues with various customers and suppliers and the cost to implement. Overall, however, members of the editorial advisory board suggested the pros far outweighed the cons.

METALCON BOOTH 640

If you have a question or thought you would like to share, please send a note to Editor-in-Chief Dan Davis at 833 Featherstone Road, Rockford IL 61107, or email dand@thefabricator.com.

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Calendar of Events
Sept. 15-17Silverton, Ore. EDTR Roundtable: Lean Manufacturing and the Quality Imperative for the Seamless Tubing Industry Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.fmanet.org Sept. 17-19Bangkok Wire and Tube Southeast Asia Messe Dsseldorf Asia 65-6332-9620 www.tube-southeastasia.com Sept. 23-24New Orleans Tube Producing 2013 Conference & Tour Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.fmanet.org Sept. 24Grand Rapids, Mich. Environmental Footprint Reduction Workshop for Finishing Operations Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.fmanet.org Sept. 25-27Yangon, Myanmar Myanmar Manufacturing Expo Conference & Exhibition Management Services Pte. Ltd. 65-6278-8666 www.myanme.com Sept. 30-Oct. 1South Bend, Ind. Oct. 3-4Wood Dale, Ill. Precision Press Brake Certificate Course Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.fmanet.org Oct. 1-2Cumming, Ga. The FABRICATORs Technology Summit Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.fmanet.org Oct. 4North America Manufacturing Day Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.mfgday.com Oct. 6-9Las Vegas Titanium 2013 International Titanium Assn. 303-404-2221 www.titanium.org Oct. 8-10St. Louis Powder Coating 2013 Powder Coating Institute 832-585-0770 www.powdercoatingshow.com Oct. 9Elk Grove Village, Ill. Advanced Materials and Processes Crafts Technology 847-758-3100 www.craftstech.net Oct. 1110-11:30 a.m. CT FabCast: Whats Your Business Worth? Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4262 www.fmanet.org Oct. 14-16Indianapolis 25th National Robot Safety Conference Robotic Industries Assn. 734-994-6088 www.robotics.org/safety13 Oct. 15-17Los Angeles WESTEC Society of Manufacturing Engineers 866-635-4692 www.westeconline.com Oct. 22-24Cincinnati Modern Furnace Brazing School Wall Colmonoy 248-585-6400 www.wallcolmonoy.com Oct. 29Park Ridge, Ill. Electronic Sensors for Errorproof Metal Forming, Fabricating & Assembly Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.fmanet.org Oct. 30-31Park Ridge, Ill. Designing Parts for Metal Stamping Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn. 888-394-4362 www.fmanet.org

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WIDTH 4'-6" 5'-0" 5'-6" 6'-0" 6'-6" 7'-0" 7'-6" 8'-0" 8'-6" 9'-0" 9'-6" 10'-0" 10'-6" 11'-0" 11'-6" 12'-0" 12'-6" 13'-0" 13'-6" 14'-0" 14'-6" 15'-0" 15'-6" 16'-0" 16'-6" 17'-0" 17'-6" 18'-0" 18'-6" 19'-0" 19'-6" 20'-0" 20'-6" 21'-0" 21'-6" 22'-0" 22-6 23-0 1/4 & 1/2 $15.52 $16.53 $17.54 $18.55 $19.56 $20.57 $21.58 $22.59 $23.60 $24.61 $25.62 $26.63 $27.64 $28.65 $29.66 $30.67 $31.68 $32.69 $33.69 $34.70 $35.71 $36.72 $37.73 $38.74 $39.75 $40.76 $41.77 $42.78 $43.79 $44.80 $45.81 $46.82 $47.83 $48.84 $49.85 $50.86 $51.86 $52.87 3/4" $16.63 $17.76 $18.89 $20.02 $21.16 $22.29 $23.42 $24.55 $25.69 $26.82 $27.95 $29.08 $30.21 $31.35 $32.48 $33.61 $34.74 $35.87 $37.01 $38.14 $39.27 $40.40 $41.53 $42.67 $43.80 $44.93 $46.06 $47.19 $48.33 $49.46 $50.59 $51.72 $52.86 $53.99 $55.12 $56.25 $57.38 $58.52

Discounts for ordering 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 blades.


1" $18.16 $19.46 $20.76 $22.06 $23.36 $24.67 $25.97 $27.27 $28.57 $29.87 $31.18 $32.48 $33.78 $35.08 $36.38 $37.69 $38.99 $40.29 $41.59 $42.89 $44.19 $45.50 $46.80 $48.10 $49.40 $50.70 $52.01 $53.31 $54.61 $55.91 $57.21 $58.52 $59.82 $61.12 $62.42 $63.72 $65.02 $66.33 1-1/4" $20.19 $21.72 $23.25 $24.78 $26.31 $27.84 $29.36 $30.89 $32.42 $33.95 $35.48 $37.01 $38.53 $40.06 $41.59 $43.12 $44.65 $46.18 $47.70 $49.23 $50.76 $52.29 $53.82 $55.35 $56.87 $58.40 $59.93 $61.46 $62.99 $64.52 $66.04 $67.57 $69.10 $70.63 $72.16 $73.69 $75.21 $76.74 WIDTH 15-6 16-0 16-6 17-0 17-6 18-0 18-6 19'-0" 19'-6" 20'-0" 20'-6" 21'-0" 21'-6" 22'-0" 22'-6" 23'-0" 23'-6" 24'-0" 24'-6" 25'-0" 25'-6" 26'-0" 26'-6" 27'-0" 27'-6" 28'-0" 28'-6" 29'-0" 29'-6" 30'-0" 30-6 31-0 31'-6" 32'-0" 32'-6" 33'-0" 33'-6" 34'-0" 1-1/2" $65.93 $67.83 $69.73 $71.62 $73.52 $75.41 $77.31 $79.21 $81.10 $83.00 $84.90 $86.79 $88.69 $90.58 $92.48 $94.38 $96.27 $98.17 $100.07 $101.96 $103.86 $105.75 $107.65 $109.55 $111.44 $113.34 $115.23 $117.13 $119.03 $120.92 $122.82 $124.72 $126.61 $128.51 $130.40 $132.30 $134.20 $136.09 2" $95.93 $98.79 $101.65 $104.51 $107.37 $110.23 $113.08 $115.94 $118.80 $121.66 $124.52 $127.38 $130.24 $133.09 $135.95 $138.81 $141.67 $144.53 $147.39 $150.24 $153.10 $155.96 $158.82 $161.68 $164.54 $167.40 $170.25 $173.11 $175.97 $178.83 $181.69 $184.55 $187.40 $190.26 $193.12 $195.98 $198.84 $201.70 2-5/8" $117.67 $121.14 $124.62 $128.09 $131.56 $135.03 $138.50 $141.97 $145.45 $148.92 $152.39 $155.86 $159.33 $162.80 $166.28 $169.75 $173.22 $176.69 $180.16 $183.63 $187.11 $190.58 $194.05 $197.52 $200.99 $204.47 $207.94 $211.41 $214.88 $218.35 $221.82 $225.30 $228.77 $232.24 $235.71 $239.18 $242.65 $246.13

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Industry News
Report highlights importance of ERP systems
Epicor Software Corp., a provider of business software systems for manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service organizations, has announced that a new IDC Manufacturing Insights report has uncovered how important a customer-oriented strategy is for successful manufacturers. The report also highlights how crucial enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are in helping all manu1 8/6/13 2:14 PM

MegaFab-Bertsch-ad_SeptFAB.pdf

facturers improve their customer experience. The white paper, entitled Get Customers Inspired: How Modern ERP Can Support Greater Customer Experience, comprises answers from more than 460 enterprises across multiple sectors, including industrial machinery and equipment, high-tech, and metal fabrication, covering 13 countries.

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In companies with 100 to 1,000 employees, more than 90 percent of respondents indicated that their ERP has limited, little, or no contribution toward the delivery of a good customer experience. Conversely, nearly 75 percent of large manufacturers with 5,000 employees or more indicated that their ERP is a vital platform for delivering a good customer experience as it connects the back and front office operations. Only 30 percent of respondents indicated continued relationships were influenced by meeting product expectations, and only 6.5 percent based continued business with a supplier on their ability to support and deliver a product. Conversely, for sellers the focus is less about cost and more about delivering a good product and service to customers. Respondents are working hard to meet product/service features and function expectations (60 percent) and believe their customer will continue buying if they greatly deliver and support their product and service (29.8 percent). Many companies continue to describe good customer experience in terms of products or service features and functions rather than the service level that they deliver at any touch point during the entire relationship, said Pierfrancesco Manenti, head of IDC Manufacturing Insights research practice in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. This includes, for example, the ability to deliver the perfect orderright quality, quantity, location, and due dateand the range of aftermarket services supporting the initial product. An enhanced customer experience paves the way for customer loyalty and longer-lasting relationships between supplier and purchasersa win-win situation for all parties. The research also uncovered that manufacturers can improve the customer experience by investing in a modern, fully integrated, flexible ERP system that streamlines operational processes and connects back office with front office by offering integrated CRM, warranty, and aftermarket functionality, according to Epicor.
16 The FABRICATOR September 2013

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Industry News
Koike Aronson gets back on track
Two things have been consistent in Arcade, N.Y., since 1946: Aronson Machine Co. or some owner of the Aronson brand has been making welding positioners at a facility on Main Street, and railroad tracks have sat right behind that facility. The latter wasnt really noteworthy until recently because Aronson, purchased by Koike in 1985, had plenty of room to expand its business on the south side of the tracks. That changed in recent years, however.
13GI304_FAB_StraightCurves_7.125x10.125_Layout 1 5/28/13 10:58positioner AM Page manufacturing 1 welding and refurbishment.

A new 30,000-sq.-ft. expansion at Koike Aronson Inc., Arcade, N.Y., will be used for

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From the depths of financial despair in the early 2000s, Koike Aronson Inc. has rebounded in a very large way as global manufacturers seek out its welding positioners and companies in North and South America look to adopt Koikes thermal cutting technology. Around 2007, following a 20,000-sq.-ft. addition, Gerald Leary, Koikes president, said the company knew it was in need of more space. It had added manufacturing of CO2 laser cutting machines, which originally were made in Japan, and its welding positioners consistently were being ordered with more automation, which meant more robots and welding equipment. The problem was the train tracks right outside the doors on the north side of the building. The transportation infrastructure that was so important for transporting welding positioners in the early days of the company was now an obstacle to the companys future prosperity. So Koike Aronson management started the negotiating process with state transportation officials, local elected officials, and the company that owned the railway. Although the process was slow, as many things are when it comes to state government, everyone knew the importance of Koikes expansion. The money and all of the OKs finally came around about two years ago, and the tracks were moved about 150 feet to the north quickly thereafter. That gave Koike the green light to begin its expansion. The Big House, as the Koike officials affectionately call the 30,000-sq.ft. expansion, was completed in June, 10 months after construction began. It contains a 35- and a 50-ton crane for moving equipment and material around the new facility. Koike plans to use the new addition for manufacturing and refurbishment of its welding positioners. The added space, both in floor space and building height, will allow it to tackle a variety of projects, even one as large as the 750-metric-ton welding positioner that was sold to a Chinese company last year. Now the plan is to try and get the company back to the same level as 2012, Koikes peak year in terms of
20 The FABRICATOR September 2013

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Industry News
Koike Aronson (continued)
sales revenue, according to Leary. Important markets such as mining and the military have slowed in the Americas, and many business owners that might normally be investing in their company are hesitant to make those expenditures in the face of the uncertain economy. There are opportunities for market expansion, Leary said, but they dont necessarily have to do with the emerging markets elsewhere in the world. We have an emerging market here. Its called the pipelines and infrastructure, Leary told guests at Koikes open house in mid-July. Lets put that money into it. Following the good news that came with a 150-ft. shift in the placement of a railroad track, such a comment makes sense.
Dan Davis, Editor-in-Chief

Dayton Progress announces plan to transfer punch blank production


Dayton Progress has announced that its parent company, Misumi, will expand and adopt Daytons blank-making process at its blank factory in Vietnam, which supplies all Misumi punch-making factories worldwide with blanks. Over the next several years, the manufacture of Dayton semifinished punch blanks will transfer from Ohio to the Vietnam plant. Quality, metallurgical integrity and consistency, and delivery all will be unaffected by this transfer, the company reports. The 500+ jobs at the Dayton location will remain, freeing up capacity and space for continued growth. Dayton Progress Corp. manufactures tooling for metal stamping and forming, with 10 factories in North America, Europe, and Asia. Misumi Group Inc. is a global supplier of factory automation products and die and mold components.

Sanford Industrial acquires Hansen Metal Fabricators


Sanford Industrial Contractors, a supplier of rigging and millwright services in Farmington, N.Y., has announced the acquisition of Hansen Metal Fabricators, also of Farmington. The acquisition allows Sanford to expand its capabilities in heavy metal welding and fabrication. The company operates in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Oddello Industries announces expansion


Oddello Industries, a Tennesseebased manufacturer of metal, tube, pipe, composite, and MDF components for OEMs in a variety of industries, has expanded its tube stamping and cutting operation. As part of the expansion, the company recently added a programmable process that couples a piercer from Criterion Machinery with a servo dual-blade cutoff machine from Haven Mfg. The machinery is used to manufacture several industrial parts from 1-in. square tube to be packaged with a variety of sheet metal stampings into adjustable mattress foundations. The company now processes nearly 15 miles of tube per day into 38 unique parts within length tolerances no higher than 0.0015 in.
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 21

Industry News
Pendarvis supplies steel subassemblies for Atlantis rocket booster replica
Pendarvis Mfg., a precision machine shop and fabricator in Anaheim, Calif., built hundreds of steel subassemblies that were used in the construction of a 184-ft.-tall replica of the Atlantis space shuttles solid rocket boosters and external tanks. The full-scale replica resides just outside the main entrance to the new Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which houses the Atlantis. The company provided structural steel components that made up the internal structure of the external tanks. Using pieces of wide flange beam, structural steel tubing, and high-strength steel plates, the firm provided more than 300 subassemblies used in the final assembly of the solid rocket boosters. The total weight of steel pieces was more than 255,000 lbs. Because the installation was at the Kennedy Space Center, the overall structure was designed by a Florida structural engineering company to withstand potential hurricanes, said Brian Pendarvis, owner. The largest pieces we provided were the 48 columns, which were 40 ft. long and weighed an average of 4,300 lbs. each.

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ONeal Industries acquires Vulcanium Metals


Metals service center ONeal Industries, Birmingham, Ala., through its subsidiary United Performance Metals Inc., has acquired the assets of Vulcanium Metals, a stock/distributor and processor of titanium for aerospace, defense, and medical instrument applications with locations in Northbrook, Ill., and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Vulcanium provides titanium sheet, plate, block, and bar products, specializing in providing titanium distribution and supply chain services to OEMs and subcontractors worldwide. The company also performs leveling, shearing, sawing, machining, facing, chamfering, laser cutting, and waterjet cutting services. Vulcanium President Jerry St. Clair continues to oversee the companys operations.

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Industry News
Automotive sales expected to continue accelerating, economists say
According to the more than 70 economists and analysts from business, academia, and government who participated in the Chicago Feds 20th annual Automotive Outlook Symposium, held May 30-31, 2013, at its Detroit branch, the nations economic growth is forecast to be solid this year and to strengthen somewhat in 2014. Lightvehicle sales are expected to rise to 15.3 million units this year and then improve to 15.8 million units next year. C. Jenny Lin, senior economist, Ford Motor Co., presented the sales outlook for new vehicles (new cars and light trucks, as well as medium- and heavy-duty trucks). She said that global new-vehicle sales growth is expected to continue this upward trend, reaching a record high of 80 to 85 million units in 2013. Focusing on the U.S., Lin predicted new-vehicle sales to surpass 15 million units this year after having bottomed out at 10.6 million units in 2009. Kenny Vieth, partner, Americas Commercial Transportation (ACT) Research Co., delivered the outlook on commercial vehicles (mediumand heavy-duty trucks). He noted that while heavy-duty truck sales are forecast to decrease from 278,700 units in 2012 to 262,300 units in 2013, they are expected to surge to 300,900 units in 2014; mediumduty truck sales are projected to grow from 188,400 units in 2012 to 197,600 units in 2013 and 213,700 units in 2014. David Andrea, senior vice president, Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), presented the outlook on the auto parts supplier industry, noting that supplier sentiment has become more positive in recent months. According to Andrea, because North American light-vehicle production is expected to ramp up to 16.7 million units by 2015, suppliers have been looking into making long-term investments, such as new equipment purchases, and hiring more workers. Over the past few years, suppliers have often lacked the confidence to do so and have instead focused on keeping their operations lean and disciplined while still meeting the rising demand for auto parts. Andrea noted that North American production of light vehicles has almost doubled from an annualized rate of 8 million units in September 2009 to more than 15 million units in January 2013, while U.S. auto parts manufacturing employment has increased only from about 400,000 to 500,000 over the same period. However, Andrea said that to support the 16.7 million units projected for 2015, suppliers will have to significantly increase their capital expenditures and workforce from current levels.

Cutting Edge Laser Machining to expand in Georgia


Cutting Edge Laser Machining Inc. has announced plans for a $2 million expansion of its Covington, Ga., location. The metal fabricating company will move to an existing building, to which it will add 10,000 sq. ft., and add more machinery and employees. The new plant is expected to be up and running in late September.
24 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Industry News
Press hardening takes center stage at Schuler convention
Press manufacturer Schuler recently held a convention in Waghusel, Germany, where about 80 visitors heard from industry and academic experts about the latest developments in press hardening and other lightweight construction methods. Use of press-hardened parts has grown from about 8 million pieces in 1997 to 124 million in 2010. In the next two years, demand is expected to almost quadruple to as many as 450 million pieces. The demand comes mainly from the automotive industry for such parts as bumper supports, roof frames, sills, B-columns, and tunnels. Blanks or preformed parts are heated in a furnace to a temperature of 930 degrees C, explained Schuler Sales Manager Jens Aspacher. The heated blanks then have to be fed into the press as quickly as possible to prevent rapid air cooling. The press remains closed for a few additional seconds during the forming process so that parts can cool and harden. Cycle times are from 8 to 30 sec. Once they have cooled down, the parts have a final tensile strength of up to 1,500 megapascal. Because of their high rigidity, less material is needed per part to ensure the same level of stability, thus reducing weight. Press force can be reduced to 400 to 1,200 metric tonsas compared to 2,500 to 3,000 metric tonsand springback is reduced.

CR Industries announces expansion plans


CR Industries Inc. has announced plans to expand one of its two buildings for metal fabricating, laser cutting, and powder coating in Cudahy, Wis. The 10,800-sq.-ft. addition, a $412,000 investment, is expected to result in the hiring of 15 full-time employees over the next three years. The company currently employs 50 people.

DallasWaterjet offers waterjet cutting for north Texas


DallasWaterjet has been established in Plano, Texas, to offer 5-axis waterjet cutting, machining, and fabrication services for customers throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, and north Texas. The company also provides brake forming, welding, spot welding, and finishing of many traditional and nontraditional materials. Its cut-to-print and build-to-print services can be based on a customers design drawings, or the company can produce detailed drawings using its in-house design capabilities. The waterjet machines can cut stainless steel up to more than 6 in. thick with no HAZ, including reflective materials and soft materials.

Steel Plate Fabricators wins 2013 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award


Certified welding and metal fabrication provider Steel Plate Fabricators, a subsidiary of Knoxville Sheet Metal Works Inc. in Knoxville, Tenn., has been named one of 15 recipients of the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office. The award is the DODs highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. Recipients go to extraordinary lengths to support their military employees through both formal and informal initiatives. Since 1996 only 175 employers have received the award.

Chirch Global Mfg. LLC relocates in Illinois


Chirch Global Mfg. LLC, a manufacturer of metal stampings and sheet metal fabrications, has moved from McHenry, Ill., to a new 30,000-sq.-ft. building in Cary, Ill. The company reports that the move lowers its fixed costs and brings it closer to many local customers.

ATW Companies expands Metalform manufacturing operations


ATW Companies, Warwick, R.I., a provider of engineered metal manufacturing systems, has announced that its Metalform product line has expanded its manufacturing capabilities, adding resistance welding, spot welding, and robotic plasma welding equipment. The new welding equipment is expected to increase production by at least 10 percent. Metalforms capabilities include deep drawing, stamping, and pistol magazine fabrication. Top products include 38-caliber, 45-caliber, and 9-mm magazines.

Abtex updates website

GSM Industrial acquires Abtex Corp., Dresden, N.Y., has re- assets of Schugt Mfg.
designed its website at www.abtex. com, highlighting its engineered deburring technology. The home page highlights the companys engineering capabilities, including the Tri-Ten planetary-head automated deburring system, and offers applicationspecific product links to abrasive filament brushes, deburring systems, elastic-bonded abrasives, and application examples. In addition to complete product specifications and application information, the site has technical papers, information on upcoming tradeshows, and customer testimonials. Visitors can also view videos of each deburring system in operation. GSM Industrial, Lancaster, Pa., a fabricator and installer of custom industrial steel products, has acquired the assets of Schugt Mfg., a precision CNC machining shop in Dover, Pa. The acquisition allows GSM to expand its machining capabilities. As part of the deal, five Schugt employees, including David Schugt, owner and president, joined GSM. The existing equipment at the Schugt facility has been transferred to GSMs plant. Schugt specialized in precision CNC milling and turning, manual machining, and Blanchard grinding. The shop is equipped with CNC turning centers, CNC vertical machining centers, manual mills, lathes, and grinders.

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September 2013 The FABRICATOR 25

Industry News
Ford develops technology to speed prototyping, low-volume production
Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., is developing a highly exible, rst-of-its-kind, patented manufacturing technology to form sheet metal parts rapidly for low-volume production applications. When fully developed, the technology will allow for lower costs and prototype delivery within three business days versus conventional methods that take two to six months. e development is based on Ford Freeform Fabrication Technology (F3T), a patented manufacturing process developed at the Ford Research and Innovation Center. rough this process, a piece of sheet metal is clamped around its edges and formed into a 3-D shape by two stylus-type tools working in unison on opposite sides of the sheet metal blank. Similar to a digital printer, after the CAD data of a part is received, computer-generated tool paths control the F3T machine to form the sheet metal part into its nal shape to the required dimensional tolerances and surface nish. While traditional processes remain the most e cient method for high-volume stamping, e ciencies for low-volume production can be achieved with the exibility F3T provides, the company reports. e technology eliminates the need for geometric-specic forming dies and allows exibility for the quick creation of prototypes and concept cars. It could produce sheet metal parts for prototypes in just days for essentially no cost, according to the manufacturer. e technology also is expected to have broad applications outside of the automotive industry, including use in the aerospace, defense, transportation, and appliance industries. e project is part of a three-year, $7.04 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to advance next-generation, energy-e cient manufacturing processes. Led by Ford, other collaborators include Northwestern University, e Boeing Company, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Penn State Erie.

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Supplier News
Bernard, Beecher, Ill., and Tregaskiss, Windsor, Ont., have launched a new joint toll-free telephone number for distributors and end users in the U.S. and Canada. e new number, 855-MIGWELD (855-644-9353), provides one point of access to customer service and technical support for the companies welding guns, peripherals, and consumables. International customers can call 519-737-3030 to access the same information. e lines are open Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. Distributors can use the number to inquire about ordering, delivery status, and pricing. End users can receive product information and technical support. Delcam has established a direct o ce in Illinois following its acquisition of its Rockford-based reseller, CAD CAM Systems Inc. CAD CAM
(continued on page 29)
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28 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Industry News
Supplier News (continued)
Systems President Andy Bergstrom and the companys sta have become direct employees of Delcam North America. is is the companys sixth direct o ce in North America. e others are in Salt Lake City; Philadelphia; Pasadena, Calif.; Windsor, Ont.; and Toronto. CAD CAM Systems became a Delcam sales partner in 1994, serving Illinois and Iowa companies of all sizes in the mold, die, pattern, and prototyping industries. In 2008 the company established its Azimuth CNC machining divisionthat division now is a stand-alone company using Delcam software. Diamond Ground Products, Newbury Park, Calif., has moved to a 40,000-sq.-ft. location a few blocks away from its previous facility. e expansion is in response to rising demand for the companys preground tungsten electrodes and tungsten electrode grinders. Lawn mower blade producer Fisher Barton Blades Inc. (FBBI), an operating division of the Fisher Barton Group, has announced the relocation of its Watertown, Wis., mower blade operation into a larger manufacturing facility. e new facility, located 2 miles from the former plant, has twice the manufacturing oor space. e additional space will be used for product packaging and direct order fulllment for the companys OEM customers. IRMCO Advanced Lubricant Technologies, Evanston, Ill., a manufacturer of synthetic lubricants, has received worldwide automotive approval from Renault for use in all plants. After being subjected to vigorous testing procedures to ensure they are compatible with Renaults strict manufacturing processes, the companys oilfree lubricants now can be used in forming and metal stamping operations for all of the automakers components. IRMCO also has announced the addition of Manufacturing Technology (M-Tech) as its regional sales representative in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. M-Tech is a distributor of metal stampings, conveying, press safety equipment, tooling, and now stamping and bending lubricants. It provides pressroom products, application engineering, installation, machine repair, and training services. Koike Aronson Inc./Ransome, a manufacturer of metal cutting and positioning equipment for the metalworking industry, sponsored the Steaming Toward a Cure for Diabetes event to benet the American Diabetes Associations Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes campaign of western New York. At the July 13 event, a steam train of the Arcade & Attica Railroad took passengers on an excursion from Arcade, N.Y., Koikes U.S. headquarters. e American Diabetes Association funds research of improved treatment of diabetes and provides resources to those who have the disease. Laser Mechanisms Inc., Novi, Mich., and Fitchburg, Mass.-based Vinyl Technologies Inc. (Vytek) have settled a six-month federal court trademark dispute. Laser Mech, a designer and manufacturer of
(continued on page 30)

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AR13-73 The Lincoln Electric Co. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: John Burcham

Industry News
Supplier News (continued from page 29)
laser beam delivery components and articulated arm systems for high-power CO2, YAG, and fiber lasers and other wavelengths, filed claims against Vinyl Technologies in January 2013, alleging unfair competition under federal and state laws, and trademark infringement, among other claims. Throughout the case, Vytek has denied all claims. The charges stem from Vinyl Technologies recent adoption, use, and promotion of the mark FiberCut in connection with selling complete laser systems, which were alleged to be likely to cause confusion with the FiberCut trademark used by Laser Mech since 2009 in connection with its laser processing heads. The companies have resolved their dispute in a manner acceptable to both parties, which recognizes Laser Mechs trademark rights in its FiberCut mark. Matheson, Basking Ridge, N.J., has announced plans to build a new large-capacity air-separation unit (ASU) to supply oxygen, nitrogen, and argon in Mesa, Ariz. The investment is intended to improve support for current customers and the recently acquired U.S. Airweld distribution business. The company also has ASUs in Southern California and New Mexico. The plant is expected to be onstream, producing high-purity merchant product, during the third quarter of 2014. Schuler has opened a new location in Dalian, China. The company has expanded from 53,820 to 172,222 sq. ft. in less than one year, tripling capacity at the production facility. The nearly $21 million expansion allows the company to design a variety of press models at the location, including stamping and cutting systems, hydraulic machines, press lines, and blanking lines. Tube bending machine manufacturer Schwarze-Robitec has invested 1 million euros in its new drilling and milling center at its headquarters in Cologne, Germany. In one clamping, the system can machine up to 30 tons of heavy components on five sides. The machine is operated from a cockpit, with components moving along at a speed of 19.69 IPS. With a movement range of 39.37 ft. horizontally and 9.84 ft. vertically, it can machine large components.

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Sumitomo Electric Carbide Inc., Mount Prospect, Ill., has announced the opening of its Tool Engineering Center (TEC) and plant expansion in New Berlin, Wis. The 55,000-sq.-ft. expansion has more than doubled the size of the facility, which manufactures solid carbide drills, replaceable carbide drills, regrinds, CBN inserts, PCD inserts, and special round tools. The 10,000-sq.-ft. TEC includes a large training room for multiple levels of training classes, machines to display cutting tool products and
(continued on page 34)

30 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Industry News
Supplier News (continued from page 30)
demonstrate on-the-machine training, and extensive measuring tools. Waterjet USA LLC is a newly established sales, service, and parts organization in Geneva, Ill., supporting users of the high-precision 2- to 6-axis cutting machines from Waterjet Corp. s.r.l. of Monza, Italy. For several years Waterjet Corp. has been building complete cutting systems for the North America market,
MegaFab-3400HVYad_std-bld_SeptFAB.pdf 1 8/6/13 2:21 PM

sold exclusively to and through MC Machinery Systems, a Mitsubishi-owned machine tool importer and distributorship based in Wood Dale, Ill. Before that its products were imported into the U.S. through a Canadian importer and distributor. Factory service personnel are being relocated to Geneva, Ill., to consolidate our local installation team and post-sales people, said Massimo Denipoti, president of

the U.S. location. Near-term plans include beefing up management and opening a showroom for application development and customer product demonstrations.

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Denver Water has received the Steel Water Pipe Century Club Award from the Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI/ SPFA), Lake Zurich, Ill., in recognition of the reliability of Conduit 40, a 24-in.-dia., 2,500-ft. section of steel pipe installed in 1911. Our Steel Water Pipe Century Club Award is presented to utility management whose steel water pipe or pipeline has been in continuous service in the water delivery infrastructure for more than 100 years, said Wayne Geyer, executive vice president of STI/SPFA. Denver Water is Colorados oldest and largest water utility, providing water to 1.3 million people in Denver and surrounding suburbs. STI/ SPFA is a trade association for member companies that fabricate steel tanks, steel water pipe, and steel pressure vessels.

Plant News
Caterpillar Inc., a mining equipment manufacturer based in Peoria, Ill., has announced plans to close its Milwaukee metal fabrication shop. The welding operations will be moved about 8 miles away to the companys main facility in South Milwaukee. Caterpillar took over a lease for space in the building, owned by Industrial Partners LLC, when it acquired Bucyrus Intl. in 2010. The location has been used for overflow work from the main facility. Inalfa Roof Systems, a provider of vehicle roofing systems with headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., has announced plans to open a manufacturing plant in Cherokee County,
(continued on page 35)

34 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Industry News
Plant News (continued)
Ga. The $17.1 million investment is expected to create 300 jobs. The company supplies sunroofs and open roofing systems for automotive manufacturers such as Hyundai Kia, Ford, General Motors, Volvo, Chrysler Group, and BMW Group. The new facility is the companys fourth in the U.S. The plant is projected to begin operating in January 2014. Toronto-based Thunder Tool & Mfg. Ltd. has opened Thunder Mfg. USA Inc., a new $2.2 million metal stamping operation in Richmond, Ky. The plant will employ 45 people to manufacture metal components for automotive engines and transmission mounts.

Certification News (continued)


Phinney Tool & Die, Medina, N.Y., a division of S. B. Whistler & Sons Inc., has achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification. The company manufactures turnkey progressive punching and notching systems, as well as precision stamping services. Its core focus is the design, manufacture, and implementation of progressive fin die lines, progressive tube sheet lines, custom hard dies, and stamping services primarily for the HVAC industry. Terex Material Handling has announced that its Cleveland facility has been awarded recertification in ISO 9001 and 14001 and certification in OHSAS 18001 by Global Group for commitment to safety, consistent quality, and environmental management. The company produces the Demag brand of overhead cranes, rope hoists, chain hoists, geared motors, and enclosed tracks products.

Advanced Metal Etching celebrates its 20th year in business


Advanced Metal Etching Inc., Ligonier, Ind., celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. The company, founded in 1993 by Blake Geer and Scott Seniff, is a supplier of photochemical etching services for thin, flat metal parts for prototype and production requirements. Parts design consultation, technical assistance, and secondary operations also are available. The company serves such industries as electronics, stamping, medical, computer, and aerospace. The company also founded AME Swiss Machining LLC, a Swiss machining specialist providing highprecision Swiss CNC machining for the medical, microwave, aerospace, hydraulic, and electronics industries.

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ShopFloorConnect software is used by the discrete manufacturing, packaging, and food-and-beverage industries to collect operating data from stamping presses, press-brakes, laser cutting machines, turret presses, machining centers, automated saws, welders, injection molders, paint lines, packaging and other machines. It is a turn-key solution that provides timely accurate data to improve your operation. ShopFloorConnect is scalable and flexible, and can be quickly implemented into any discrete manufacturing environment. It comes factory-configured to communicate directly over your LAN with the ShopFloorConnect Machine Interface (SMI). ShopFloorConnect provides a powerful report-generator as well as a browser-based viewer that displays machine status in real time.

Certification News
AIM JORACO, Smithfield, R.I., has announced that its Toggle-Aire pneumatic, toggle-actuated presses have received European Economic Area (EEA) CE mark approval. The presses are certified to comply with the essential requirements of the machinery directive 2006/42/ EC and further conform with the EU Harmonized Standards EN ISO 12100:2010 and EN ISA 4414:2010. U.K.-based Fine Tubes has received accreditation from Nadcap for its standards in metal tube manufacture. This accreditation entitles the company to appear on the Qualified Manufacturers List for welding. The company previously earned Nadcap recognition for its heat treating and NDT processes.
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 35

See us at FABTECH Booth S4737

For additional information about ShopFloorConnect, call us at 800-586-8324 (US and Canada), 978-268-2700, or visit us at www.ShopFloorConnect.com
2012 Wintriss Controls All Rights Reserved

Industry News
People News
Engineered component manufacturer Aerobraze Engineered Technologies has hired Mark Sa ell Mark Sa ell as plant manager for its Oklahoma City, Okla., facility. He is responsible for driving business growth by evaluating and continuously improving operational e ciency. Sa ell has more than 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense, heavy equipment, and oil and gas industries. He holds an MBA from Friends University and a bachelors degree in mathematics from Saint Mary of the Plains College. Anchor Lamina America Inc., a Misumi Group company in Farmington Hills, Mich., has proDonald Hahn moted Donald L. Hahn, PE, to the position of senior engineering manager. He leads the companys development of new products and oversees improvements to the current product o ering. Hahn most recently served as components technology manager for the companys Lamina Hydraulics line. He previously held a die process engineering position with yssenKrupp Budd. Licensed as a professional engineer in Michigan, he holds a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. e company also has hired Ted Phillips as director of business development. Based out of the companys Farmington Hills o ce, he is responsible for sales of the Danly, IEM, Lamina, and Lempco component brands in Michigan and all U.S. regions east of Michigan. Phillips has extensive experience in the industrial distribution industry, most recently serving as vice president of sales for Paragon Technologies in Warren, Mich. He holds a bachelors degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA from Madonna University. Anchor Lamina America Inc. manufactures tool, die, and mold components for the metalworking and plastics industries. Delta Brands Inc. has changed its name to Delta Steel Technologies (DST) and has hired Joseph Savariego as its new president. According to the company, the name change reects its focus on innovation, application engineering, and mill duty construction. DST designs and manufactures metal processing machinery. Its manufacturing department includes CNC plate burning equipment, a weld and fabrication department, stress-relieving equipment, electrical and hydraulic assembly, mechanical assembly, quality control, and shipping and receiving. Koike Aronson Inc./Ransome, a manufacturer of metal cutting and positioning equipment for the metalworking industry in Arcade, N.Y., has named Tom Calabrese as its CFO. He is responsible for Tom Calabrese nancial services, information services, customer services, and purchasing and planning. Before Paul King joining the company, he was CFO for nine years at Flexovit USA Inc. e company also has named Paul King as diSteve Morris rector of manufacturing. He joined the company in 1988 as a welder and has served as lead person of welding, assistant plant superintendent, and plant superintendent. Steve Morris has announced his retirement as executive vice presi-

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Industry News
People News (continued)
dent of operations, e ective Oct. 1, 2013. He has been with the company for more than eight years. Custom roll forming company OMCO, Wickli e, Ohio, has announced that President and CEO Gary Schuster has been selected as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Northeast Ohio in the distribution and manufacturing category. Schuster joined the company in 2006 with more than 30 years of experience in industrial manufacturing. During that challenging time for the company, he formulated the rms new growth strategy, which included the ability to respond quickly to market opportunities. e result of this strategy was a sales increase of 816 percent over the three-year period from 2009 to 2012. To support this tremendous growth rate, two new facilities were built and the companys workforce grew by 800 employees. Regional award winners go on to compete at the national level. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of e Year Overall Award winner, will be announced in November. Tenere Inc., a designer and fabricator of complex metal and plastic components and assemblies in Dresser, Wis., has appointed Greg Adams to the position of CEO. He is responsible for driving growth for Tenere, following its recent purchase of prototyping and casting company Protogenic. Adams most recently served as CFO at Nypro. Previous positions during his 15-year tenure there included CTO, vice president and general manager of Nypro North America, and chair of Nypro Consumer & Electronics. He also worked as executive vice president at LDM Technologies, director of marketing for Bundy Intl., and manager of the Financial Services Group at Ernst & Whinney, now Ernst & Young. Adams received a bachelors degree in economics from Michigan State University; a masters degree in manufacturing engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Fabricating machinery manufacturer TRUMPF Inc., Farmington, Conn., has named Dr. Lars GruenDr. Lars Gruenert ert as president and CEO, succeeding Rolf Biekert. In this position, he is responsible for all of the companys subsidiaries and business operations in North America, including manufacturing, engineering, research and development, customer service, technical training, product sales, and applications. Gruenert previously served as executive vice president of TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG and CFO of the Laser Technology/Electronics business division. In this role he was responsible for the central departments IT and processes, purchasing, and organizational development. After 25 years with the organization, Biekert leaves to lead Maintecx, an independent fabricating equipment sales representative company and an exclusive distributor of TRUMPF fabricating equipment in the Midwest. Wall Colmonoy, a manufacturer of surfacing and brazing products, castings, coatings, and engineered Carlos Marin components in Madison Heights, Mich., has hired Carlos Marin as manufacturing manager for the Alloy Products Group in Los Lunas, N.M. He is responsible for the planning, coordination, and control of the manufacturing production process, ensuring quality and ontime delivery of products. rough the application of Six Sigma and lean methods, Marin will focus on process standardization and manufacturing engineering improvement projects.
(continued on page 38)

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Industry News
People news (continued from page 37)
Marin has a masters degree in engineering from the University of Texas and a bachelors degree in industrial and chemical engineering from Instituto Technologico de Chihuahua. He is a lean expert and a Six Sigma Black Belt. Weldcote Metals, Kings Mountain, N.C., has named Pete Gallagher as executive vice president. He is responsible for sales, marketing, and expanding the business. Gallagher has 30 years of experience in all aspects of gas and welding distribution, having served as a distributor, manufacturer, and vice president of sales and marketing at the IWDC. Gold Sponsor, supplying the national initiative with resources to support manufacturers participating in the program. Manufacturing Day 2013 is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve public perception of manufacturing in America by coordinating awareness-raising activities at a variety of locations across the country on Oct. 4, 2013. The Manufacturing Day co-producers are happy to welcome AAM as a Gold Sponsor, said Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), Rockford, Ill. Their grassroots advocacy program has helped to make Made in America a viable part of the political conversation again and matches up perfectly with the mission of Manufacturing Day. We value their support. Manufacturing Day is an annual national event that brings together hundreds of manufacturers to host students, teachers, parents, job seekers, and other local community members at open houses designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers. A panel of co-producers comprising FMA, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), the National Institute of Standards and Technologys (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and guest producer Industrial Strength Marketing (ISM) provides the centralized support necessary to coordinate this nationwide array of simultaneous events. To learn more about Manufacturing Day events, visit www.mfgday. com. Organizations that wish to become involved as official sponsors should call 888-394-4362 or e-mail info@mfgday.com.

Alliance for American Manufacturing Joins Manufacturing Day as a Gold Sponsor


The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), Washington, D.C., has joined Manufacturing Day 2013 as a

Beloit Precision to expand in Wisconsin


Metal fabricator Beloit Precision, Beloit, Wis., has received approval from the Beloit City Council to purchase 3.3 acres of land for an 18,000-sq.-ft. addition. The company serves the automotive, electronics, telecommunication, medical, and military industries.

937.847.6200 | fabricate.motoman.com

38 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Industry News
Michael Waltrip Racing installs second Jet Edge waterjet cutting machine Applied Manufacturing Technologies hosts automation technology open house
Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), a supplier of factory automation and safety design, engineering, and process consulting services, held its annual Automation Technology Open House Aug. 22 at its corporate headquarters in Orion, Mich. The event was held in conjunction with AMTs technology partner ATI Industrial Automations 7th annual Technology Training Fair. Both events featured technical sessions, key industry speakers, and equipment demonstrations. Topics presented and demonstrated included the release of R15.06-2012 and what that means for safety compliance, the process of advanced manufacturing engineering, and the AMT Training Academy and approach.

MWR Chief Technical Officer Tom German with Michael Waltrip.

Jet Edge Inc., St. Michael, Minn., has announced that Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) has installed a second Jet Edge precision waterjet cutting system at its fabrication shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Edge X-5, a 5-axis waterjet cutting system, can cut beveled, taperfree parts from almost any material. The machine, which features IGEMS CAD/CAM/nesting software, is powered by a 100-HP Jet Edge iP55100 hydraulic intensifier pump. MWR uses the machines to cut more than 1,000 parts for each of its NASCAR Sprint Cup cars. It builds about 56 cars per year.

IMTSTV video discusses current state of manufacturing


The Association For Manufacturing Technology, McLean, Va., has released a new IMTSTV In Brief video at www.IMTS.com/IMTSTV. It features Steve Frizinger, NetApps virtualization alliance manager, Java author, and economics writer, discussing the current state of the manufacturing industry. He explains how competition and technology are driving the industrys pace, and why companies must adapt to this change if they want to survive. He also cites MTConnect as one of the leading factors for the pace change, and how it has allowed the entire industry to achieve and maintain a greater level of efficiency. Frizinger speaks about the future of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and explains how trade schools expose students to new and exciting opportunities never before seen in manufacturing. With these trade schools, students will be able to begin their manufacturing careers earlier and without having to repay thousands of dollars in student loans.

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Industry News
Fontijne Grotnes Group acquires part of Hess Industries
The Fontijne Grotnes Group, a maker of manufacturing equipment in the Netherlands, has acquired the intellectual property (IP) of Hess Industries Inc., minus the Wheel IP. The newly acquired product portfolio is positioned as Fontijne Formitt Inc., which includes Formitt Processes and Formitt Metal Labs, a division of Hess Industries. Formitt Processes focus is design and production of equipment for the manufacturing process for catalytic converters. This includes canning assembly, rotary sizing, and spinning equipment. It also comprises specialized areas such as the patented AGC gauging system. Formitt Metal Labs concentrates on process development and prototyping for various metal forming applications. With this acquisition the Fontijne Grotnes Group maintains part of the Hess Industries production facility in Niles, Mich., renamed Fontijne Formitt Inc. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Vlaardingen, Netherlands, facilities continue to be responsible for all other products and services of the Fontijne Grotnes Group.

Benton Steel expanding in Tennessee


Metal assembly and preparation company Benton Steel Fabrication has announced plans to expand with a 400,000-sq.-ft. building in Dunlap, Tenn. The new building, to be located behind the companys current operations, is expected to be completed in October.

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Unison adds production capacity


Unison, a Madera, Calif.-based manufacturer of all-electric tube bending machines, has opened a new facility in Scarborough, U.K. The building more than doubles the production capacity of the company and accelerates machine building times by about 15 percent. The new facility has allowed us to expand every major department. We now have more software and hardware development engineers, and more manufacturing and sales staff, said Alan Pickering, managing director. Located close to the companys previous building, the new facility adds 24,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space, along with 2 acres of surrounding land. The building interior has been remodeled to increase the companys manufacturing efficiency and capacity. A dedicated flow line for building machines is fitted with a gantry crane to help simplify handling and installation of large components. Tube bending machines now progress through six sequential assembly cells, with application-specific tooling for each stage of the build cycle. At the end of the line, machines can be rolled into containers for shipping. The expanded metalworking machine shop includes a $470,000 CNC machining center to help speed fabrication of components and tooling.
40 The FABRICATOR September 2013

MITSUBISHI LASER: NOW WITH 100% MORE FIBER.


INTRODUCING FIBER LASER TECHNOLOGY FROM MITSUBISHI LASER
After nearly four decades of industry-leading innovation, our focus on new technology is still laser sharp. The new NX-F fiber laser series is the latest expression of this drive. It features an advanced beam, high-speed controls and preset autofocus processing head for fast, accurate production. Its one more option for your fabrication needsbacked by the industry-leading technology, deep expertise and unparalleled support of Mitsubishi Laser.

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Industry News
Matheson introduces Youth Reach Program
Matheson, Basking Ridge, N.J., a provider of gases, gas handling equipment, purification systems, engineering and gas management services, and on-site gas generation, has introduced a Youth Reach Program in support of welding education. The program has three goals: to draw attention to the importance of developing the next generation of welders, to help make equipment and supplies more affordable for the students, and to reach out to welding instructors with safety information and an opportunity to bring a company representative to the classroom for a guest lecture. Matheson regularly participates at local, regional, and national events. Its employees serve as guest instructors at community colleges and technical schools and also as judges at a variety of welding competitions. The company offers a student discount program and specially priced starter kits of student essentials. Students are invited to the companys stores, and its personnel actively visit the schools.

Tube Tech Machinery partners with ITEC


Tube Tech Machinery (TTM) of Brescia, Italy, has formed a partnership with Innovative Tube Equipment Corp. (ITEC) of Rockford, Ill., and Montreal for the sale, service, and support of its equipment in North America. The partnership is focused on the sale and support of TTMs 3-D laser tube and profile cutting systems for industries such as agricultural and construction equipment, structural steel, architectural, and oil extraction. ITEC has more than 15 years of experience servicing other European manufacturers of tube-related equipment in North America including CNC tube benders, end forming machines, production cold saw cutting machines, and fully automated tube processing systems. TTM offers the FL600 3-D machine with a capacity of 24-in. round or 16in. square tube. Later in 2013, the company plans to install an FL800 machine with a capacity of up to 32in. round or 22-in. square tube.

Deburring Finishing Polishing


Automatic and CNC machines for grinding, polishing, deburring and micro-finishing. Solutions for all of your deburring and finishing needs.

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Miller launches We Build campaign, sweepstakes


Miller Electric Mfg. Co., a manufacturer of arc welding products in Appleton, Wis., has introduced the new We Build campaign. Participants submit a photo at www.millerwelds. com/webuild of what they have built with Miller equipment. Every month the company randomly selects 10 winners from the submitted projects. They will be shared on the website and on the companys social media channels. At the end of the promotion, one grand-prize winner will be randomly selected to win an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City. We Build is about the operators, the men and women who work hard every day to weld and build the tools, the structures, and the products that make our world a better place, said Rich Thompson, vice president of marketing. The promotion began July 1, 2013, and will run through Dec. 31, 2013.
42 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Long belt grinding machines, designed for quick setup and removal of welds and provides ease in blending grain finish.

KBM Stroke Sander

Visit our website to see videos on these machines and specials on stock machines!

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Industry News
Laser focus on an ever-changing market
As an example, Bohlen pointed to the developments that have occurred with the use of solid-state lasers in cutting thicker materials. Bohlen suggested that there is no real speed difference between fiber and CO2 lasers when cutting mild steel up to 0.875 in. using oxygen as an assist gas. Thats only one area of cutting, but it is representative of the strides made by fiber lasers, particularly with the larger power sources now more common on the latest generation of equipment. The technology advancements are also evident in the sales of the machines. Fiber represents all of the growth in the laser industry [in North America] in 2012 and continues the momentum into 2013, Bohlen said. But technology continues to develop in CO2 machines
(continued on page 44)

More than 200 attendees visited Mazak Optonics, Elgin, Ill., during its Laser Days event in July.

We dont think one size fits all. It depends on the application, said Al Bohlen, national sales manager, Mazak Optonics Corp., to a crowd of fabricators attending a seminar during the companys Laser Technology Days event in late July. The days of a fabricating shop owner deciding he needs laser cutting capability and choosing the 1,500-W model that is painted his favorite color are over. The laser technology, equipment options, and material handling systems now need to be tailored to the fabricators job mix to ensure that the shop gets a rapid return on investment, according to Bohlen. The product mix showcased in the Mazak Optonics showroom reflected that reality. The company unveiled two of the latest models of its Optiplex CO2 laser cutting machines. One features a 6-kW laser for those fabricators that consistently cut materials about 1 in. thick or greater, and another model has a 4020 configuration, which can accommodate a 4- by 2-meter sheet, or the more familiar 6- by 12-ft. for U.S. fabricators. In all, Mazak had 14 active laser cutting machines on display, including its Optiplex 3015 4-kW fiber and the Fabri Gear Mk II tube and pipe cutting system. The showroom also had automated material handling systems operating in conjunction with the laser cutting machines to give visitors an opportunity to see the impact that operator-free laser cutting can have. The nature of laser cutting within the metal fabricating industry is likely to undergo further change, Bohlen said, with the continued acceptance of machines powered by a solid-state power source, not the traditional CO2 resonator. Machine tool builders are continuing to discover on a regular basis just what the technology can deliver.
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 43

Industry News
Laser focus on an ever-changing market (continued from page 43)
as well. Troy Aldridge, a Mazak Optonics regional sales manager, discussed the impact that automated setup, which is found on the Optiplex family of CO2 lasers, can have on a fabricators overall throughput. Because the automated setup takes care of cutting torch and nozzle change, calibration, and setting of the focal distance, the operator can move quickly between jobs, knowing that the machine is set up specifically for the material being cut. Aldridge said that too often fabricators wont change over to a new lens or nozzle because they dont want to spend the roughly 26 minutes needed to make the switch. As a result, they sacrifice performance and end up using more assist gas. Using this type of automated setup, a fabricator can increase product throughput by 25 percent over a years time and see a dramatic reduction in gas consumption, Aldridge said. Additionally, the equipment operator doesnt have to intervene as much during cutting, freeing him up for other shop floor activities. If you have material automation, you are only halfway there, Aldridge reminded the fabricators that might have thought that automation applied only to material handling. Theres no doubt that metal fabricators have a lot more to consider when it comes to laser cutting technology. The laser cutting options are almost as endless as the types of fabricating jobs that come through the front door.
Dan Davis, Editor-in-Chief

Reading, writing, and restoration


Published in April 2013, Ed Barrs Professional Sheet Metal Fabrication has received rave reviews on Amazon.com. One reProfessional Sheet viewer said, [The Metal Fabrication book] contains a is a book designed good balance of to give the reader a guide to the basics of information on sheet metal work as- fabricating from sociated with auto- scratch and resmotive restoration. toration. Both hand shaping techniques and shaping with power tools are covered. The thing that I like about all of the how to sections is that theyre clearly written by someone who is an expert sheet metal worker instead of a writer describing what theyve seen someone else do. This really separates this book from several others that I own. In a lot of cases, he describes what can go wrong and how to fix it, which can be really helpful. Barr, who teaches sheet metal restoration and the history of automotive design at McPherson College, McPherson, Kan., recently participated in a Q&A with thefabricator.com. thefabricator.com: When did you first become hooked on car restoration? What was your knowledge of sheet metal fabrication at the time? Barr: I first became interested in restoration as a preteenager. I fell in love with the style of the mid-50s
44 The FABRICATOR September 2013

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Industry News
Reading, writing, and restoration (continued)
ies has introduced younger generations to our eld. e information presented for purposes of entertainment isnt always accurate, of course, but it whets the appetites of people who might not know about old cars otherwise. Fortunately, the interest in restoration seems to be growing. thefabricator.com: What about the future of sheet metal fabricating in general in the U.S.? Do you believe it will continue at the current pace, grow, or decline?
Barr: If you think about it, sheet metal seems to have

magical properties. It can be made to soar through the air, oat on water, conduct heat and electricity, resist corrosion, support heavy loads, resist torsional forces, and do a million other jobs that other materials cant do as well. While I can foresee an ever-growing use of mechanization in how sheet metal is made into useful products,
(continued on page 46)

Students work on the hood of a hot rod during one of their classes at McPherson College, McPherson , Kan.

Chevy pickup trucks. My parents bought me a 1959 Chevy truck when I was 13 to get me started. I knew absolutely nothing [about fabricating] except how to read, so I began educating myself through books and magazines. thefabricator.com: What prompted you to write the book? Barr: An acquisitions editor from Motorbooks approached me about writing it because I was teaching automotive sheet metal restoration at McPherson College. I suspect such a project would have always seemed too daunting without a little prodding from someone. Im glad they asked me to do it. If you think about it, sheet metal seems to have magical properties. It can be made to soar through the air, oat on water, conduct heat and electricity, resist corrosion, support heavy loads, resist torsional forces, and do a million other jobs that other materials cant do as well.
Ed Barr, Professional Sheet Metal Fabrication author

we listened. we delivered.

thefabricator.com: Can you tell us something about the car restoration communitysize, demographics? Do you see interest in it growing? Barr: I cant give you any statistics on the number of restoration enthusiasts in the U.S., but I can assure you it is huge, and it cuts across just about every demographic class. I have heard that the aftermarket parts industry is a multibillion-dollar industry. In the last decade, the increased exposure that restoration, hot-rodding, and automotive-related hobbies have enjoyed on TV and in popular movSeptember 2013 The FABRICATOR 45

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Industry News
Reading, Writing, and Restoration (continued)
the inherent properties of metals are just too versatile and too valuable to live without. thefabricator.com: What is the most difficult facet of sheet metal fabricating? Barr: The surface of the metal always looks the same, so there is no obvious indicator of what needs to happen to the metal to make it assume the shape you want. Once you start thinking of the metal like Play-Doh, however, you are better able to visualize what has to happen to get results. The metal will need to be folded, stretched out, or gathered up. thefabricator.com: From your perspective, is sheet metal fabricating a good career path in todays world? Are the majority of your students finding good-paying jobs upon graduation? Barr: In the niche of automotive restoration, sheet metal is a good career because the kind of work we do is always in demand. It seems like every old car has corroded metal that needs to be addressed. Fortunately, the students I have had who are passionate about metal have gotten some great jobs, but only because they were the right people for those jobs. Sheet metal restoration is only one specialty area in the context of our bachelors degree in automotive restoration technology, so every student may not end up doing metal exclusively. More often students might end up doing some metalwork as part of a more comprehensive job in a restoration shop. They might also do paint, soft trim, and mechanical work. thefabricator.com: Is there anything you would like to convey to the metal fabricating community about fabricating and car restoration? Barr: I would encourage people in industry to think about ways that the processes they are involved in might carry over into automotive restoration or parts manufacturing. The fact that a person can buy a new 32 Ford, a new 57 Chevy, or a new 67 Mustang body suggests to me that there is a demand for vintage cars that has yet to be satisfied. Professional Sheet Metal Fabrication is available from Amazon.com. Author Ed Barr can be reached at barre@mcpherson.edu.
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NRC finalizes rules on using and distributing uranium, thorium


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has amended its regulations for products and materials containing unenriched uranium and thorium, also known as source material. The changes include new requirements for distributing source material and licensing its use. Manufacturers and importers of products that can be used without a licensesuch as welding rods and gas lantern mantles that contain thorium and decorative glassware containing uraniumnow will need to apply to the NRC for specific licenses to distribute these products. Such licenses will impose new requirements for labeling, quality control, reporting, and recordkeeping.
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NRC nalizes rules on using and distributing uranium, thorium (continued)
e new regulations also modify distribution, possession, and use requirements for small quantities of source material that can be used or transferred without a specic license. Distributors of small quantities must now apply for specic licenses. For source material being processed or in a dispersible form, such as liquid or powder, the limit on the use or transfer at any one time without a license has decreased from 15 to 3.3 lbs.; the annual limit drops from 150 to 15.4 lbs. Limits have not changed for anyone possessing source material in a solid, non-dispersible form (such as display samples of depleted uranium metal), removing uranium from drinking water, or determining the concentration of uranium and thorium in a material at a laboratory. Finally, the new regulations expand the exemption from licensing for optical lenses containing thorium to include lenses and mirrors coated with or containing uranium or thorium. ese products are typically used in lasers or other high-technology optical systems. ese new license requirements and possession limits are intended to ensure those who possess source material do so safely, and that the NRC has a better understanding of how much source material is being distributed annually.

Sierra College takes applied approach to teaching critical thinking (continued)


nology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty development program focused on improving higher-order learning outcomes of STEM students. e strong ties that Sierra College has with employers will lead to the incorporation of current workplace applications into critical thinking lessons. Faculty will be able to use real examples from local businesses, said Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) and manager of the Sierra College STEM Collaborative. rough April 2014 the ACTivATE project will support participants as they develop new approaches to teach applied critical thinking in their classrooms. Instructors also will develop and test hands-on demonstrations to assess students understanding and align with the new common core state standards.

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Sierra College takes applied approach to teaching critical thinking


In response to the growing demand for graduates with critical thinking skills, the Sierra College STEM Collaborative, Rocklin, Calif., has established a professional development program: Applied Critical inking for Advanced Technological Education (ACTivATE). In June faculty from Northwestern Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching trained 12 Sierra College and high school faculty to develop curriculum that incorporates applied critical thinking. rough a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant Enhancing Critical inking in STEM Disciplines: A Faculty Development Modelthe Searle Center designed, piloted, and studied a science, techFOLDS UP AUTOMATIC TOOL CHANGER

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Spotlight on energy efciency: Lighting


Editors Note: Kate Bachman, editor of Green Manufacturer, a sister magazine to e FABRICATOR, attended LIGHTFAIR International in Philadelphia earlier this year and came back with the latest examples of cutting-edge lighting products. Because metal fabricators are interested in controlling operating costs, e FABRICATOR is sharing this information with its readers. If you would like to know more about Green Manufacturer and energy-saving production ideas, visit www.greenmanufacturer.net.

LED high-bay ensures high light output in hot environments


Acuity Brands Inc. has introduced the Phuzion LED high-bay from Holophane. e luminaire is designed to achieve and maintain high light output at high ambient temperatures. Its prismatic glass optical system helps ensure high-quality volumetric light distribution that will not degrade over time, says the company. e luminaires vented design helps maximize natural airow over electrical components to produce thermal protection at ambient temperatures up to 149 degrees F. At the same time, the prismatic borosilicate glass optics helps improve vertical lighting levels while keeping horizontal lighting strong and uniform. e glass refractors resist chemicals, detergents, dust, and dirt. Designed as an alternative to 250- to 1,000-W high-intensity discharge xtures, the luminaires are suitable for maximum spacing within a range of indoor applications, including heavy industrial or light manufacturing and warehouses. ey can be used at mounting heights from 15 to 60 ft. e embedded Sensor Switch controls can sense occupancy and daylight levels to reduce energy consumption during periods of inactivity or when natural light is present. Acuity Brands Inc., 866-759-1577, www.holophane.com

Induction light delivers a broad footprint


e AGT HZ02 induction light xture from American Green Technology delivers a broad and di used, rather than pinpointed, footprint of crisp, white light at low operating temperature. According to the company, the unit saves 50 to 70 percent of energy consumption and nearly eliminates maintenance. It is suitable for harsh, heavy industrial applications, such as shipyards, mines, mills, grain barns, and petroleum and chemical processing plants. e housing, which measures 16.5 in. high by 12.5 in. wide, is polyester powder-coated diecast aluminum. American Green Technology, 269-340-9975, www.agtus.org

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48 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Spotlight on energy efciency: Lighting


High-bay lighting offers 91+ lumens per watt LED lighting xture can replace 250- to 1,500-W HIDs
GE Lighting has introduced the Albeo ABHX series high-bay LED lighting xture for warehouses, industrial spaces, and other commercial settings with high ceilings. e energy-e cient xture can replace a range of legacy high-bay lighting systems250- to 1,500-W, highintensity discharge and four- to eight-lamp T5/T8 highintensity uorescent lighting, which the company says burn out after 20,000 to 30,000 hours. e xtures life is rated for 100,000 hours at L70, diminishing maintenance needs in areas that are di cult to reach and where swapping bulbs often requires special equipment and trained personnel. It o ers precise illumination, which often is needed to locate materials and pack boxes in storage and warehouse settings. GE Lighting, 800-435-2677, www.gelighting.com

Cooper Lighting o ers the Metalux LED high-bay series for industrial, manufacturing, and commercial applications. It features precisiondesigned optics that are available in multiple distributions, three lumen packages (9,000, 18,000 and 23,000), and two color temperatures (4,000 K and 5,000 K). e LED is designed for multiple mounting heightseven some lowbay applications. According to the company, the proprietary low-power, low-brightness LED module assembly o ers optical performance equivalent to or greater than uorescent systems, with the benets of LED lighting including energy savings, extended system life, and a reduced carbon footprint. e very high-e ciency LED o ers 91+ lumens/W and provides savings as great as 43 percent when compared to traditional HID luminaires, claims the company. It features both general and aisle distributions and has a 55-degree-C ambient rating and 80+ CRI. Options include an integral occupancy sensor; multiple mounting options (pendant, chain, toggle, hook, and loop), and multiple lens choices. A door frame and lens assembly option is available for demanding environments. In addition, the companys F-bay modular power supply option allows external access for safe and easy servicing, says the company. ere is no need to remove lamps or reectors to disconnect the xtures power. e LED is on the DesignLights Consortium-qualied product list and qualies for energy rebates. e xture is designed to last 50,000 hours at 70 percent lumen maintenance. Cooper Lighting, 770-486-4800, www.cooperlighting.com

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September 2013 The FABRICATOR 49

Spotlight on energy efciency: Lighting


Induction lighting lasts 100,000 hours
Future Energy Solutions o ers the HB1701 series of prismatic high-bay lighting. e 100,000-hour induction lighting is designed to reduce maintenance costs and o ers high lumen output combined with excellent color and reduced wattage to provide high-quality light with energy savings, the company states. e product features a die-cast aluminum housing with a -in. hub and gray nish; 22-in. ribbed prismatic polycarbonate refractor; Instant On icker-free cold start and hot restart; high power factor, low THD replaceable ballast; concealed continuous gasket seals against harmful dust, dirt, moisture, and insects; advanced phosphors for high lumen maintenance and high lumen output; and as many as 20 years maintenance-free operation. e lighting is surface-, pendant-, or chain-mount. Future Energy Solutions, 954-6601552, www.feslighting.com

LED lighting xture provides 12,483 lumens using 135 W

Precision-Paragon [P2] o ers the new QHC, a high-bay LED lighting xture. e xture uses the latest LED technology to provide 12,483 lumens using 135 W, less than 30 percent of the electricity required for an equivalent traditional metal halide xture. e two-piece cast aluminum housing is smaller, lighter, and more compact for easier installation and serviceability, says the company. e xture is designed to maximize performance and reduce wattage in unconditioned areas where heat can be an issue. An integrated, vertical, heat-sink structure with ow-through cooling reduces LED junction temperatures for enhanced reliability. Low wattage, combined with intelligent, integrated controls featuring instant restrike and occupancy sensors, can reduce energy usage. Its modular design allows for multiple chassis congurations as well as a reported L70 of over 60,000 hours and calculated L70 of 153,000 hours per TM-21. e xture features congurable light distribution to accommodate a variety of industrial and commercial lighting applications. Its optics distribute light evenly with a low maximum/minimum ratio to meet Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) light-level standards. Fixtures for wet and dry applications are available. Precision-Paragon [P2], 714-386-5550, www.p-2.com
50 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Spotlight on energy efciency: Lighting


Fluorescent lamps last up to 84,000 hours Tubular daylight device lets more light in
Solatube Intl. Inc. o ers the SkyVault series M74 DS daylighting system. is large tubular daylighting device has a 29-in.-dia. opening to the sky that lets more light to enter an area, and more daylight means higher daytime illumination and greater spacing between units with fewer roof penetrations. e system o ers maximum output while minimizing 01_lissmac_2013_final_27.05.2013.pdf 1 27.05.2013 09:22:53 impact on the building envelope and reducing installation costs. It has temperature control with insulated and sealed, curb-mounted roof assemblies that minimize heat gain and heat loss through the roof. It is suitable for large-volume spaces with high ceilings. Solatube Intl. Inc., 888-765-2882, www.solatube.com

Osram Sylvania o ers OCTRON 800 XP XL (eXtended Life) SUPERSAVER ECOLOGIC3 T8 uorescent lamps. e lamps provide up to 84,000 hours on T8 ANSI-rated programmed rapid-start ballastsup to 2.7 times longer life than standard T8 systems, according to the manufacturer. Available in 28- and 25-W types and designed with lead-free glass, the lamps are suitable for a variety of industrial and commercial settings in recessed-tro er, well-washing, stairways, direct and indirect pendant, and linear-recessed applications. Manufactured in the U.S., the lamps provide up to 96 percent mean lumens with a color rendering index of up to 85. ey are available in color temperatures from 3,000K to 5,000K. e lead-free lamps are TCLP and RoHS compliant. For increased energy savings, the lamps can be coupled with the highe ciency QUICKTRONIC ballast and use POWERSENSE dimming. Osram Sylvania Inc., 978-777-1900, www.sylvania.com

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LED light is an alternative to metal halide xtures


USAI o ers the BevLED 5.0 LED xture suitable for high-ceiling applications. Delivering 4,800 lumens from 80 W (60 lumens/W) and 5,565 sourced lumens (3,000K) within a streamlined 6-in. aperture, it serves as an alternative to metal halide xtures. e xture also o ers 10- to 80-degree beam spreads and a 10-degree optic with a center beam candlepower (CBCP) of more than 40,000. USAI, 845-565-8500, www.usailighting.com
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Spotlight on energy efciency: Lighting


LED xtures rated for hazardous environments
Hubbell Lighting introduced two industrial LED xtures classied for severe conditions: HBL LED Highbay and Kemlux III LED luminaire. e hazardous-rated HBL high-bay lighting carries a Class I, Division 2 rating. It o ers e cacies as high as 100 lumens per watt. Its cast construction and sealed design make it suitable for hazardous locations. e Kemlux line includes an LED tank with high-output LED counts of 18, 24, and 36. e tank is available for installation as a new xture or as a retrot to existing Kemlux III xtures. Hubbell Lighting, 864-678-1000, www.hubbellindustrial.com

High-bay luminaires designed to reduce energy use up to 90 percent

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e Sensity Systems LED high-bay luminaire is designed to help reduce energy use by up to 90 percent compared to conventional lighting, the company reports, while improving light levels and safety in warehouses, factories, and other facilities. e products, which achieve up to 94 lumens/W of luminaire e cacy, are available with 3 to 12 LED petals per luminaire. e LED petals are arranged in a circular fashion around the bottom of a driver box that holds the AC power supplies. e luminaire is part of the NetSense Platform, which is the manufacturers implementation of the Light Sensory Network, a new class of digital sensor network that helps improve energy e ciencies. Sensity Systems Inc., 408-841-4120, www.sensity.com

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52 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Spotlight on energy efciency: Lighting


LED system can make every light intelligent Luminaire produces 9,649 lumens
(continued)

Digital Lumens launched a strategic partner program to bring integrated intelligence to industrial lighting applications. e company has extended its LightRules web-based software platform for managing and controlling LED lighting xtures to a range of industrial applications. As the cornerstone of this new initiative, the company will integrate its patented Digital Light Agent (DLA) technology into other manufacturers LED xtures. DLA technology makes ordinary LED xtures intelligent, controllable, and more energy e cient, the company states. A key part of this strategy involves the creation of an open, standards-based control interface. Digital Lumens, 617-723-1200, www. digitallumens.com

V aisle lighting optical distribution suitable for factory or warehouse aisle lighting applications. With die-cast aluminum housings and LEDs mounted directly to the heat sink, the lighting is designed with thermal management to help maximize lifetime. e xtures are used in industrial applications with mounting heights more than 15 ft., lensed to distribute

lumens where they are needed the most for aisle lighting. e systems feature intelligent sensor controllability for 0- to 10-V dimming and step dimming. e companys products are Buy American compliant, making projects eligible for 179D tax incentives. LED Living Technology, 215-633-1558, www. ledlivingtechnology.com

Luminaire produces 9,649 lumens

LED Living Technologys Helio highbay LED luminaires are designed to be an energy-e cient alternative to halogen, mercury-vapor, highpressure sodium, and metal-halide lighting technologies. e 80- and 120-W lighting produces 7,040 and 9,649 lumens, respectively, in a Type
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 53

Applications
High-mix fabricator increases efficiency with nesting
used to mix and match. For a shop that manufactures parts for customers across a variety of industrial sectors at any one timemedical, commercial vehicles, leisure, electronics, and agriculturalthe approach wasnt the most effective. Resolution The company began using the Radnest project nesting function from Radan, part of the Vero Software Group, to drive the laser and punch as soon as it was released. With the software, operators can mix components for all of the companys customer sectors on a single nest. Project nesting means were not producing extra parts that arent needed. Its more efficient and cost-effective to create new nests every time now rather than use old ones, Hemings reported. I simply pick a part, nest it, and fill the sheet, and if Ive got parts left over, I put them in another nest and fill the rest of the sheet with different parts, he explained. We might have five sheets comprising different nests of different parts for different customers. I can nest three days work for the laser in an hour, Hemings said, and thats important for keeping up with the companys growing work load. Because were a small company, Im often on the shop floor, so if I had to be in the office nesting slowly, Id have to employ a full-time designer/draftsman/ nester. With most jobs needing to be turned around in three days, Hemings takes customer orders once or twice a week and puts them into a project. Small batches are cut on the laser, and generally they punch only higher volumes and all aluminum components. Occasionally he develops a component at a customers premises and nests it there too. The company plans to upgrade its DNC system shortly to enable him to e-mail the nest to its cloud so the nest can be run while he is still off-site. Vero USA Inc., 28345 Beck Road, Suite 310, Wixom, MI 48393, 248-869-4040, www.radan.com

Situation For Hemings Eng., a precision sheet metal fabrication shop in Suffolk, U.K., part nesting was beginning to detract from efficiency rather than enhance it. The companys turret punch was running saved nests, purely for speed, even if they were not totally efficient for the particular job, because operators had to log every part manually while creating new nests, and that was too time-consuming. We used to nest just one product or one kit of parts on a sheet, and all for the same customer, said Andrew Hemings, managing director. We hardly

Manufacturer expands internally with vertical storage


Maine, was bursting at the seams. Parts were stored on a standard pallet rack and drawer cabinets that occupied 20 ft. by 30 ft. of floor space. Workers would look up part locations and hunt through the pallet rack to find them, navigating the stacker truck through tight aisles and often reaching above their heads or stretching to reach the back of the rack to get the parts. We were using every inch of floor space for storage, said Dana Denbow, vice president. Parts were hard to access and the process was very time-consuming. Resolution With no room to grow, Schlumpf installed one Element vertical lift module (VLM) from Kardex Remstar, adding a second unit roughly a year later. The units store a variety of parts and components used in final assembly. Some parts are ordered from vendors, but most are manufactured in-house. Parts still are inventoried using an in-house system, just as they were when the pallet rack was in place. Now, workers look up the part location, and the in-house system lists a unit and tray number. The worker goes to the correct unit and enters in the tray number where the part is stored. The module moves to retrieve and deliver the requested tray to the worker in the access opening. Each tray is fitted with dividers, and each cell location is labeled. All parts are delivered to workers at waist level. They lift the parts one time from the storage module to the transfer carta horizontal transfer that reduces the risk of injury to the workers and damage to parts. The worker confirms the transaction, and the tray is returned to storage. All part numbers, quantities, and storage locations are managed in the in-house inventory management system. Using the VLMs the company was able to recover 474 sq. ft. of floor space, allowing a reorganization of the manufacturing flow to maximize efficiency. The space weve saved with the VLM has bought us another two to three years in this building without a building expansion, said Denbow. Kardex Remstar, 41 Eisenhower Drive, Westbrook, ME 04092, 800-639-5805, www.kardexremstar. com

Situation Schlumpf USA produces roll and shaft handling products for the packaging industry, as well as machinery components for unwinding and rewinding packing materials and aerospace composites. With business steadily growing, the companys 5,280-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Windham,

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EPA wipes away hazardous designation for most industrial towels

Agency estimates the change will save industry more than $20 million per year
provision is an improvement over the proposed rule, which said the user had to make sure no disposable wipe had more than 5 grams of solvent per wipe, which would have been a nightmare to comply with. e EPA estimates the exclusion from the hazardous waste denition will result in a net savings of between $21.7 million and $27.8 million per year to users of disposable wipes. The goodnews is that metalworking facilities no longer have to manifest or keep detailed recordswhen disposal wipes are sent off-site.

fter 10 years the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has nally wiped up the messy Great Shop Towel debate. is was started in 1985 when Kimberly-Clark submitted a petition to the EPA asking for disposable industrial wipes, used widely in metalworking and other industrial facilities, to be excluded from the denition of hazardous waste. at would make those wipes easier (and probably cheaper) to dispose of. e EPA nally issued a nal rule on July 23, and it is signicantly di erent than the proposed rule the EPA issued in 2003. e good news is that metalworking facilities no longer have to manifestor keep detailed recordswhen disposal wipes are sent o -site. ey now can be sent to nonhazardous waste handling facilities. However, disposable towels contaminated by trichloroethylene will continue to be treated as hazardous waste. Other solvents will not be considered hazardous, and those wipes must be stored in closed containers that are labeled Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes. e wipes can be stored on-site no longer than 180 days. Solvent-contaminated wipesdisposable or reusablemust not contain free liquids at the point of being sent for cleaning or disposal. e Paint Filter Liquids Test (Method 9095B) is used for determining whether solvent-contaminated wipes contain no free liquids. is eliminating free liquids

Slow Rollout of Manufacturing Program What is taking the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) so long to bring a new manufacturing program online? at is what the House Appropriations Committee wants to know. e DOC has already provided $5 million in scal 2012 and 2013a total of $10 millionfor a new loan guarantee program for small and medium-size manufacturers that re-equip, expand, or establish a manufacturing facility in the U.S. and that use innovative technology or processes in manufacturing. e program will be housed at the Commerce Departments Economic Development Administration (EDA), a backwater agency with the main respon-

sibility of funneling federal funds to disadvantaged areas for job-creating public works programs. e scal 2014 Commerce Department appropriations bill that the House committee recently passed gave the innovative manufacturing loan guarantees program another $5 million but asked the EDA for a status update on the program. An EDA spokesman said there will not be any loan guarantees until at least 2015 because the agency needs time to develop regulations around the program, which is not something the agency is used to running. e EDA put o a notice earlier this year asking for comments on how this loan guarantee program should be structured. Only a handful of comments were submitted, according to the EDA spokesman. at would seem to indicate that the EDA has done a very poor job of publicizing what will be at least a $15 million program. e House scal 2014 Commerce Department appropriations bill exhibits some impatience with the EDA by directing the agency to expedite implementation of the program and to report to the Committee no later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act on EDAs progress in this regard, including an updated timeline of projected steps toward issuance of initial loan guarantees. Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov U.S. Department of Commerce, www.commerce.gov

en gaged
definition: involved in activity
adj \in-'gjd, en-\

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56 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Faster, better, with less labor is the new mantra of the precision sheet metal industry these days. And thats what we are doing with the Prima Power LP. We are running parts faster, with more precision, and we are using less labor to produce the parts. The LP has allowed us to reduce our costs and be more competitive in the marketplace.

Prima Power oers the industrys widest selection of punch/shear and Shear Genius laser/punch combination machines. Prima Power has more than 20 years experience in right angle shear technology combined with proven field performance in nearly 2,000 applications throughout the world. The benefits of Shear Genius technology include:
I I I I I I

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Biz Talk
Tim Heston, senior editor of e FABRICATOR, can be reached at timh@thefabricator.com.

FMA releases its new Forming & Fabricating Job Shop Consumption Report
So, how are you feeling today? OK, I guess. You guess? Well, you know, Ive been better, but Ive been a lot worse too. Remember me a few years ago? You were a mess. Sure was. Dont want to go back to where I was, thats for sure. Now, some days are great, others arent so great. But overall, Im just ne. is dialogue pretty much sums up todays business owner, metal fabricators included, and its pretty much the mood captured by the inaugural Forming & Fabricating Job Shop Consumption Report. Call it a quarterly physical for job shops and contract metal fabricators in the U.S. Produced by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, the report gives a periodic snapshot of this nonmonolithic business. More than half of all respondents have fewer than 20 employees; nearly three-quarters have fewer than 100. When asked what industry represented the largest percentage of a fabricators business, respondents gave varying responsesfrom oil and gas to construction and automotiveand no one sector dominates. Only 9 percent said the automotive sector; 12 percent construction; and 7 percent industrial machinery, itself a category that touches many sectors. Investors, analysts, and policymakers view business activity from a galactic level, the world of general relativity, where the gravity of GDP, durable goods orders, and the like pull this way and that. But when you get to the small rm, where most business occurs in this country, the economy turns quantumjumpy, irregular, di cult to perceive. Some weeks are busy, others are slow. Hot jobs come and go, and some work ebbs and ows with the seasons. Although such diversity and variability make this business tough to pigeonhole, they also make metal fabrication a bellwether of sorts. Fabricators touch virtually all areas of U.S. economic activity, from the tiniest medical device to the largest mining buckets. You name something, and chances are a metal fabricator has added value to it somehow. Answers from the report, released in late July, paint a beige economic picture. Business isnt horrible, but its not gangbusters either. Most said that operating capacity and new order activity are holding steady, but a fair amount said the level of business has either increased or decreased from the previous quarter. e uctuation hints at just how competitive this business has become. is is fueled in part by dynamics of the sectors fabricators serve, in part by variables largely outside the fabricators control. is includes shipping expenses and raw stock costs, and many are seeing increases in both.
58 The FABRICATOR September 2013

e industry gets a quarterly physical

Only 42 percent said their capital equipment spending is on track, and the remaining said that planned spending has been pushed back at least a quarter. Still, the need is there. e survey asked what fabrication technologies fabricators needed most. Answers spanned the gamut, of course, because technological needs depend on a shops product mix.

Fabricators touch virtually all areas of of U.S. economic activity, from the tiniest medical device to the largest mining buckets.
But patterns are evident. Upstream machine investments are pushing equipment investments for downstream processes. A good portion of respondents said their greatest need is in laser cutting; close behind is plasma cutting, a hint at how busy plate fabricators are right now. ese investments in turn are driving purchases in press brakes, other bending equipment, and, especially, welding. About a fth of respondents said their greatest equipment need now is welding power supplies and consumables. e business outlook perhaps provides the most telling response: 43 percent said the outlook

is positive; 42 percent said it is stable. Only 15 percent said they have a negative outlook. is may be why the hiring situation is changing. Since the recession, fabricators have been purchasing equipment at a steady clip, updating old machines, many of which make current employees more productive. But now, with their stable or positive outlook, more are hiring. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they have grown their sta s in recent months, while only 12 percent said they had to reduce their head counts. is trend isnt dramatic. After all, most said their employment has remained stable. But the trend is signicant all the same, because hiring someone isnt a casual a air, especially in a very small job shop. If a manager is adding personnel now, he or she is probably pretty condent about the future. Buying the wrong machine certainly puts nancial stress on a business, but a machine is an asset that can be bought and sold; its just money changing hands. Hiring sta isnt so trivial, particularly in a sector in which the CEO knows everybodys name, and perhaps everybodys family. To download a free copy of the Forming & Fabricating Job Shop Consumption Report, visit the FMA web store at www.fmanet.org/store, and then search for survey. If you manage a U.S. job shop or contract metal fabricator and are interested in participating, contact FMA at 888-394-4362 or via e-mail at info@fmanet.org.

Compared to the previous quarter, logistic costs are:


# 1 2 3 Answer Increasing Stable Decreasing Total Response 114 159 5 278 % 41% 57% 2% 100%

For the upcoming quarter, your companys business outlook is:


# 1 2 3 Answer Positive Stable Negative Total Response 118 117 42 277 % 43% 42% 15% 100%

Compared to the previous quarter, employment at your company is:


# 1 2 3 Answer Increasing Stable Decreasing Total Response 62 180 33 275 % 23% 65% 12% 100%

According to FMAs Forming & Fabricating Job Shop Consumption Report, many fabricators expect stable or growing business over the next quarter, and a good portion have been hiring.

Product Highlights
Laser cladding systems impart hardened, corrosive-resistant surfaces
Ron Universal Workstations o ers a family of systems for the laser cladding of highstrength alloy powders to metal surfaces. Laser cladding provides a low-distortion method of hard coating a metal surface with the least amount of dilution of the bonded coating, producing hardened, corrosive-resistant surfaces. e companys ber or direct-diode lasers feature a UW platform that uses standard components integrated in a robust package for up to 6 axes of motion, the company reports. e HMI o ers simplied operation of all system features, including parameters such as laser power, powder usage, and cladding feed rates. For small to medium-sized parts, the modular design of the UW cladding system allows for simplied installation and a small footprint. For large parts, the company o ers custom gantry systems. e machines can be equipped for metal deposition on both internal and external surfaces. ey are suitable for use on tool and die components, oil and gas tooling, and valves and pumps used in abrasive and corrosive applications. Ron-Sinar Inc., 40984 Concept Drive, Plymouth, MI 48170, 734-455-5400, www.ron-inc.com

Laser system handles oversized parts

TRUMPFs TruLaser 8000 2-D laser cuts sheet metal up to 52 ft. long. e machine is suitable for companies processing very large parts or for job shops looking to expand their capacities and variety of services. Two pallet concepts and six format sizes are available, from 8 by 20 ft. to 8 by 52 ft. e optional AdjustLine function modies the cutting process to help increase the tolerance for variations in material quality. e optional CoolLine function uses water to remove excess heat created while cutting, which can help improve cutting results on low-grade materials. e machine can process mild steel and stainless steel up to 1 in. using a 6-kW laser. e single cutting head can cut all material thicknesses. e user interface features self-explanatory, dialog-based touch command. e ergonomic control panel can be adjusted for the operators preferences and the lighting conditions in the production area. TRUMPF Inc., Farmington Industrial Park, Farmington, CT 06032, 860-255-6104, www.us.trumpf.com

60 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Nickel-alloy electrode engineered for rigorous environments


Select-Arc Inc. has introduced a gas-shielded, ux-cored, nickelbased electrode designed to tackle critical welding applications in demanding environments such as desalination plants, petrochemical facilities, power generation plants, and temperature-critical conditions. e all-position SelectAlloy 182-AP wire is an ENiCrFe-3 class electrode. Resistant to hot cracking, it produces uniform, well-washed beads with minimal weaving, very low spatter, and excellent slag peeling, the company states. e electrode is available in 0.045- and 0.0625-in. diameters. Select-Arc, 600 Enterprise Drive, Fort Loramie, OH 45845, 800-341-5215, www.select-arc.com

Heavy-duty line assists press brake plate bending


Wila USA has introduced the HD heavyduty product line to help maximize press brake productivity when bending plate from 0.3125 to 1 in. thick or when bending high, concentrated loads, such as hightensile-strength materials in dies with smaller than normal V-openings. e line comprises hydraulic clamping and crowning systems, both of which have a maximum load rating of 269 tons/ft. e hydraulic clamping systems can pull up, seat, and align a punch weighing as much as 700 lbs./ft. e crowning systems are available in standard widths of 10 and 6 in. with either hydraulic or mechanical die clamping. e 6-in.-wide bottom toolholders feature hydraulic clamping of single V-dies. Load ratings are 269 tons/ft. with CNC-deep-hardened working surfaces or 168 tons/ft. with prehardened working surfaces. e punches and dies are available with patent-pending E2M Easy-ToMove roller bearings incorporated into the tool tangs. e new toolstation locates on the left or right side of the press brake. Made in 40-in. modules, it has a series of top and bottom toolstations to store the punches and dies at the same level as the clamping and crowning systems or bottom toolholders. Wila USA, 7380 Coca Cola Drive, Hanover, MD 21076, 443-459-5496, www.wilausa.com

Tooling performs 90-degree bends on a punch press


Mate Precision Toolings new VariBend is a exible, multipurpose tool that bends sheet metal tabs at any angle up to 90 degrees in 1-degree increments. It eliminates secondary operations usually performed on a press brake. e tool produces form heights of about 0.300 to 0.700 in. Programmed as a normal forming tool (regular forming or as an upforming tool), it operates with CNC punch press accuracy, the company states. With each machine stroke, the upper forming tool meets the sheet metal surface as the lower die moves up to create the desired bend angle. Mate Precision Tooling, 1295 Lund Blvd., Anoka, MN 55303, 800-328-4492, www.mate.com

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Welding technology juxtaposes two GTAW arcs


Polysoude o ers TIGer technology, a variant of the hot-wire GTAW principle. e basic principle involves the juxtaposition of two GTAW arcs, organized and controlled to combine into a single arc with the caloric value of the combination of both powders, but with characteristics that are unusual for such intensities. Depending on the position of the two electrodes, it is possible to reduce fusion of the base metal to arrive at dilution rates that allow the technologys use in surfacing applications. e addition of the wire, preheated using the Joule e ect via the control of a third current source, enables the special prole of the weld pool to be used and to improve the e ciency of the procedure considerably. e control of the deposition rate remains, as for all the variants of the GTAW technology, independent of the setting of the arc parameters. e quality of the deposition is similar to that which can be obtained with conventional GTAW. e level of compactness is the same as that expected for the welding of high-strength assemblies, which also enables preliminary buttering carried out before heterogeneous welding operations to be envisaged without restriction along with surfacing applications. Astro Arc Polysoude, 27334 Muireld Lane, Valencia, CA 91355, 661-702-0141, www.astroarc.com

The launch of the Gemini by FICEP has created the worlds most technologically advanced, multi-function CNC plate processing system in the universe! This versatile fabrication center generates plate contour cutting with multiple oxy and plasma torches, drilling, machining, part marking and weld prep. Our truly revolutionary bevel head, which in many cases can eliminate the need to generate external loops in corner to corner bevels, helps to reduce material requirements. This unique multi-tasking system features a compact footprint, automatic multi-tool changer, automatic material clamping and a secondary sub-axis for reduced chip to chip time. This generates exceptional part accuracy as the gantry does not have to move to accomplish multiple axis spindle positioning for drilling and machining operations!

To learn more about how this innovative work cell can help you consolidate operations, eliminate material handling steps, reduce work in progress, floor space and more to dramatically reduce your production cost give us a call or e-mail info@ficepcorp. com so we can review your application and determine your saving potential!

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September 2013 The FABRICATOR 61

Product Highlights
Weld seam inspection system displays dimensions, defects in 3-D
Vitronic o ers the VIROwsi weld seam inspection software and hardware with 3-D analysis capabilities. Using cameras to inspect automated weld seams, the system employs a passive cooling process for reduced energy use. e compact analysis unit can be installed alongside the production cell. Features include a visual user interface with an intuitive design, fast access to information, and quick entry of production target values. A 3-D display of seam dimensions or defects, such as pores and holes, can be documented automatically and archived along with a variety of other results. Parameters for the quality control and inspection of weld seams can be adjusted during the production process and adopted into the running production with the next system cycle. is allows component vendors and automotive suppliers to implement necessary reworking of weld seams continuously and automatically. Vitronic, Hasengartenstrae 14, 65189 Wiesbaden, Germany, 49-611-7152-0, www.vitronic.de

Hydraulic punch press offers numerous accessory options


e Kalamazoo Metal Muncher series GB gap-bed hydraulic punch press accepts a variety of standard and optional accessories. It also can be tted with special tooling to allow shearing or forming. e punch press is available in 40- to 135ton standard models. e 40-ton machine has a 7- by 9-in. throat, and the 70-, 100-, and 135-ton machines come standard with a 9- by 14-in. or 18- by 18-in. throat. Options include a heavy-duty gauging table, press production table, adjustable work support roller, structural die block, standard 4-way brake set, and a brake die holder. Other accessories include a pipe notcher, pipe shear, channel shear, mitering angle shear, rod shear, spear point (picket) tooling, and oversized 28xx and special punches and dies. Kalamazoo Metal Muncher, 3428 East B Ave., Plainwell, MI 49080, 269-492-0268, www.kalamazoometalmuncher.com

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62 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Flexible grinding wheel designed to remove mill scale


Walter Surface Technologies has announced the introduction of the Flexcut Mill Scale grinding wheel. The flexible grinding wheel is formulated to prevent glazing, and it self-dresses to prevent clogging. The discs wide surface contact area, blend of highly refined abrasives, and open diamond cut pattern help it remove mill scale quickly and easily, the company reports. In addition to removing mill scale, the disc features an Fefree formulation that does not contaminate aluminum. It is suitable for rust removal on heavily rusted plates, aluminum, and galvanized metal. Walter Surface Technologies, 810 Day Hill Road, Windsor, CT 06095, 800-522-0321, www.walter.com

Air-actuated nozzle assemblies feature universal mounting


Bex Inc. has introduced a new series of universal-mount nozzle assemblies, available in both T-tip and atomizing configurations. In a multinozzle line, the universal mounting system allows individual nozzles to be removed for quick-disconnect maintenance or replacement. The nozzles are affixed to the line with a set screw assembly and mounting slot. The atomizing nozzles mix air and liquid supplied at line pressures of up to 125 PSI. The self-contained air cylinder provides controlled on/off operation at any desired frequency up to 180 cycles/min. The nozzles, made from nickelplated brass or stainless steel, come in a choice of round, wide-angle round, and flat spray patterns. The air-atomizing nozzles use compressed air (or gas) to produce an accurately controlled liquid dispersion in applications in which a conventional spray nozzle would not be suitable. The packings and gaskets in the nozzle withstand continuous use at temperatures up to 400 degrees F, and the air cylinder packing is recommended for temperatures up to 150 degrees F. Bex Inc., 836 Phoenix Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, 734-389-0464, www. bex.com

Optical safety system protects along folding machines clamping area


AMS Controls has announced the availability of a new optical safety system for folding machines. Created by Lazer Safe, the LS-FM is compatible with AMS Controls Pathfinder folding machine controls on both new and retrofit installations. The unit provides optical protection along the clamping area, plus automatically monitors the clamp motion, stopping performance, and speed to ensure safety. It employs a laser transmitter and receiver to guard the entire length of the clamping area so that an operators fingers and hands will be detected by the system. The system can force a safety stop in certain operating situations, or it can be selected for added protection. In addition to the clamp protection and monitoring functions, the system also can monitor emergency-stop buttons, light curtains, gate interlocks, safety mats, and other safety-related components of the machine. AMS Controls, 12180 Prichard Farm Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043, 314-344-3144, www.amscontrols.com

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September 2013 The FABRICATOR 63

Precision Matters
Gerald Davis is a job shop consultant and chairman of the board of DSM Manufacturing Co., gerald@glddesigns.com.

Job shop estimating: Moving from cost to price

Step 9: Anticipating the needs of the marketing e ort

his edition of Precision Matters continues our detailed examination of estimating as a business process. e previous edition discussed the estimators review of production history to verify the current cost estimate. At this point the estimator has a documented commitment to schedule and costs. e estimate has been veried in as many ways as is practical. We now turn our attention to the translation of costs into price quotations. Pricing is di erent from costing only in that prot is involved. Prot is a vital thing. Success requires a team e ort. Our estimator is an element of a team that includes accountants, business strategists, and specialists in customer service. For the sake of discussion, weve dissected the estimators job into a dozen tasks. In reality, these tasks may overlap or evolve in di erent sequences. As a review, here is a brief outline of how weve dissected an estimators job: 1. Process identication 2. History retrieval 3. Compatibility check 4. Work order prep 5. Time study 6. Material planning 7. Fixtures/special handling 8. Costing 9. Pricing 10. Presentation 11. Review 12. Optimization My work experience in estimating started from day one with quoting prices directly to customers. In other words, I was both the salesman and the estimatorand the buyer and production engineer. As the scale of the operation grew, the e ciency of my multitasking became an expensive bottleneck. e need for speed and accuracy in customer service compelled me to add to the sta and separate the areas of responsibility. It is only with considerable hindsight that I report to you that it is perilous to allow customer service to set the costs. Allow me to digress to explain my fondness for substituting customer service for salesman. It puts the emphasis on the mission: Help the customer succeed. e better you and your customer are at success, the more joy in the shop. at returns us to the topic of separation between sales and estimating. Naturally, the customer will assure you that the best way to help them succeed is with lower prices. e natural trend in customer service is to lower prices. e metal fabricator cant possibly lower the margin, so the fudge factor goes to imaginary improvements in e ciency. e estimator is in a supporting role to prevent the prices from going so low as to harm your company.
64 The FABRICATOR September 2013

How can an estimator help the marketing effort? e goal is for the customer to understand that their expectations will be met. If they expect parts on time, properly packaged with inspection records, they should realize that costs are associated with that performance. e estimator can provide reports that show the costs associated with elements of the customers specication. ose reports will be the foundation of the contract negotiation with the customer. While the estimator is not the one doing the negotiating, the estimator is able to bring attention to oddities and forewarn the team. A Sharp Story To illustrate, I shall regale you with a tale from long ago. During prototyping and early production releases of a product line, my customer developed a requirement for an exotic burr removal process that was unique to our shop. A few years passed with a blissful business relationship as we produced batch after batch of beautifully deburred parts. en the customer hired a new buyer. e new buyer found a source that quoted the parts at a lower price. at price omitted the expensive burr removal process. When our customer service team got the news that the purchase order went to the low bidder, we pretty much gured that the sharp edge was the problem. We found a way to let the buyer know that we too could omit the operation and lower the quoted price, but that would be contrary to the original drawing specication. e point of the story is to be prepared to explain the value of your service. Help Me to Help You While most oddities in the price quotation have their roots in the customers product specication, the customers request for quotation may specify an awkward quantity, as well. For example, the raw material blank might economically yield seven parts. e customer requests a quote for eight. It would

be to their advantage to order 14 instead. at is an example of an economic order quantity (EOQ). Some customers may not care much about EOQs, but most learn to appreciate their long-term value. Some projects have variable yield rates as well as variable production schedules. If the customers production requirements will allow some tolerance in batch sizes received, that could be mutually benecial to the e ciency of the fabrication. Take it or leave it is not conducive to long-term business relationships. is works both ways. Inexible quantities, schedules, and seemingly arbitrary prices are chang no matter the source. Disclaimer: This Is Just a Suggestion While the estimator may not be the one delivering the messagethat is to say the price quotation to the customer, the estimate supports every element of the price quotation and allows all parties to understand the terms and expectations. What actually appears on the price quotation is a matter of company policy. We plan to discuss presentation ideas in the next edition of this article. In an extreme situation, the estimator should be prepared to report any level of detail. In practice, the customer will let customer service know what they want to see in the price quotation. Customer service will let the estimator know what level of detail to provide. It reinforces the condence of customer service to know that, if needed, more or less detail can be provided. Know What Worked Potentially valuable information can be gleaned from competitive bidding. Open communication with the customer is important. at is communication as in both parties sharing information. If the customer will divulge what price won the contract, then the estimator might be able to reverseengineer a quote to spot what made the di erence. Your competitors price can reveal a weakness in its strategy as well as an advantage in e ciency. One should learn from every bidding war.

In addition to learning what prevailed when a bid is lost, it is important to understand what won the contract. e customer is betting its money that your rm will satisfy its manufacturing needs. e higher the customers condence, the easier the customer service job is. To close the loop in the customer service realm, a fabricator needs to verify that all expectations were met. at information is useful for training the estimator as well as for improving the production engineering for future builds. Customer service can compare expectation to performance in categories such as dimensional precision, shipping precision, and cosmetic inspection. It is glorious when the customer participates in the check-o of such performance categories. ey might be pleased to help rene your feedback system. ese are the days of the Internet. Do You Shrug or Hug? e important result of a satisfaction survey is not to know that a mistake was made, but what action was taken to improve. If bad parts were shipped, what did it take to replace them with good parts? How does this involve the estimator? As part of recordkeeping and subsequent analysis, the estimator compares the predicted labor and material expense to the actual expense for completed projects. In addition, the estimator considers the customer feedback as a way to rene the processing and costs for future production. If the customer places low value on expensive processes, the estimator might report that information to customer service for a discussion about changing the customers specication for future contracts. Beware the di erence between what the customer wants and what the customer asks for. Price Wars Guess what? Your prices are too high. At least, thats what one of your competitors told your customer. So how might an estimator respond to the news? Some rejected bids might be discounted because of excessive price markup or inept competition, but in the majority of cases, the estimator is going up against another competent professional. What did that other set of eyes see that was missed? Guess what? eir prices are stupid. Take heart. Be condent in your own arithmetic and reasoning. Do not be lulled into a damaging situation by numbers alone. e damaging situation Im referring to is loss of prot. If this customer cant a ord your service, you now have capacity to serve another. A lost bid is worthy of some attention, but not to the point of distraction. The Estimator as Pathologist When trying to make sense of a rejected estimate, the estimator is looking at predicted inventory, labor, subcontracted services, and schedule. It is usually pretty easy to get the customer to tell you if the schedule was the problem. ey might let you know who won the deal. It would take some industrial espionage to discover the competitors planned work order and sources for inventory. Rather than bother with that, well presume that the competitors costs are similar to our own. Well be happy just to know what price they quoted. at might not be shared information. When all that is known is that some competitor prevailed, then keep track of that lonesome factoid. If nuisance competitors become a trend, make the e ort to examine the parts produced by those creeps. Did the competitor actually satisfy the customers written specication? Some customers are happy with getting what they want instead of what they ask for. ( is is brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.) Now comes some deep soul-searching that may lead to some estimators angst: Perhaps the estimators work plan for production is not as good as the competitors. As an example, the competitor stamps countersunk holes whereas the estimator planned on machining them manually at a drill press. Not all work is perfectly suited to your production line. Some price quotes are properly rejected. To that extent, the rejected price quotation provides feedback to the marketing e ort. Some projects are not worth soliciting. Focus on this other kind of opportunity instead. Estimator, Know Thy Limits No, the estimator is not a salesman. Nor is the estimator a business strategist. However, the estimator is adept at recordkeeping and data analysis. As such, the estimator is a supporting actor in many areas of the business.

To help the customer succeed, the estimator pays attention to the technology in the shop. A better way may already be sitting idle! e better way may require an upgrade to tooling or machinery. Perhaps a change in supplier of raw material or subcontracted service would better serve the customer. In most of these areas, the estimator can only make recommendations. However, the price war is waged on many fronts. e estimator is providing the ammo to win. Gerald Davis uses CAD software to design and develop products for his clients at www.glddesigns.com. He is a former owner and operator of a job shop from 1984 to 2004. At its peak in 2000, the shop had more than 60 employees working multiple shifts. e insights gained from that experience are reected in this series of articles. Please send your questions and comments to dand@thefabricator.com.

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WATC H OUR VIDEO

September 2013 The FABRICATOR 65

Improvement Insights
Dick Kallage is principal of KDC & Associates Ltd., rkallage@kdcconsultants.com.

So exactly what are you going to improve?

Finding the what is half the battle

he old saw Where theres a will, theres a way is at least sometimes true. But in the realm of continuous, focused improvement, after having established a will, there certainly must be a what before theres a way. We want to improve cycle times and on-time delivery. We want to improve throughput and e ciency. And we want to improve responsiveness. Or quality. Or any number of things that we detected and decided needs improving. We want to improve results. Improvement initiatives often fail not because of a lack of will, e ort, or resources, but simply because the wrong what was chosen. is can be frustrating and expensive. After the will to improve means will to invest hurdle I discussed last month, this problem is one of the biggest impediments to continuous improvement I have encountered. In consulting with fabricators and specialty manufacturers for years, and in my own companies, I found that getting to the right what was the key to making real progress. It was at least as important as deciding how to improve, and often more complex. Where to Start? Why is this? ere are a number of reasons, but they are all related to the fact that most resultsthats what we want to improvehave multiple causes. ese causes can interact, and some are not root

causes. If we choose the wrong possible cause, or we dont get to the root causes, we can spend a lot of time and money and get, basically, nothing. e results barely change. Consider cycle time. We know its related to average process throughput, which is related to labor availability and performance; machine availability and uptime; material availability and handling; master scheduling; shop oor scheduling and expedite control; quality and rst-time good; plant layout; metrics; and shop functional organization. Its also related to average work-in-process (WIP), which relates to some factors in the previous list as well as a few others, such as batch sizes and produce and move triggers. But lets say we need to improve cycle time, and we think we need to do this by improving throughput. What gives us the biggest bang for the buck? What is the what? is is where many companies run into a lot of trouble and frustration. Looking at the previous list, where do we start? Most companies rst look at labor performance because that is the most apparent result we see. Operators ll in time sheets. We can gather this data by job, compare it to the standard or estimate, and calculate some e ciency number. But is labor performance a root cause? Maybe. But more often its not. Labor performance is driven by not just how hard and well someone works, but by machine capability and performance (including uptime), material availability, training, scheduling, and other factors, including some very subtle ones. Hidden Causes A few years back I consulted with a large aluminum extruder facing serious competitive threats that were degrading margins signicantly. Two hugely apparent issues were poor labor performance and awful throughput, and the company had spent a lot of money on various initiatives to improve both. e results were completely underwhelming, to say the least. None got to the root causes. To make a long story short, what I found was that the real causes were poor quality that required a lot of reruns and, even worse, serious delays (two days) in detecting the quality problems. ey were discovered at packing, just before shipment, which caused unplanned schedule interruptions and more setups for the extrusion mills upstream. But even those were not the root causes. e root causes were poor die maintenance (somebody had decided that there

were too many high-priced folks in the toolroom) and metrics. Yes, metrics. e extrusion mill crews were measured on pounds per hournot good pounds per hour. is measure drove the mill crews and their department supervisor to push out as much metal as possible. e people downstream got to worry about the consequences. e quality checks at the mills were cursory, at best. e result was systemized poor performance that essentially was designed into the process. It took a month to gure out the real problems, and another month to convince management that their department-style organization, prior decisions, and metrics were totally killing them. And it took just one week to x the entire problem. In this case, the what was way more than half the battle.

Improvement initiatives often fail not because of a lack of will, effort, or resources, but simply because the wrong what was chosen.
Discovering the Root Causes So how do you uncover the root causes of the results you want to improve? Well, rst, turn into a 3-year-old and keep asking Why? e famous 5 Whys approach is always useful, as is the equally famous shbone chart that helps detail the possible causes of something. With a lot of practice and experience, you can make these things become second nature. If you are looking to train your workforce on some powerful tools for improvement, these two techniques are a good place to start. But frankly, these techniques need augmentation and framing to be completely e ective, because they can really get o track, argumentative, and even political. ey assume a commonality and rationality in people that are sometimes not realistic. e best way to augment and frame the root cause exercises is through simple observation, followed by measurement. The Power of Observation In a prior column I referred to your search radar. Its not something you have to buy. Its something you already have. You just have to turn it on and use it. e search radar mechanism is simply observation by you and virtually everyone else in the organization. Everyone notices something thats not working as expected; sometimes they note it or say something, sometimes they dont. As an individual, you notice and observe some things, and other things just pass you by.

66 The FABRICATOR September 2013

The point is that every problem in every operation is probably noticed by someone. Observation works automatically. To make it work effectively, though, the observations have to be recorded. So there has to be a way to gather those observations. Pre- or postproduction all-hands meetings are useful. They help you record observations: The lights out; the machine keeps shutting down; I cant find the tool when I need it. It sounds like clutter, but radar has clutter and critical facts. A related task is to find patterns and densities in these observations. Say you see this in your recorded observations: We keep changing the schedule. There are too many job interruptions. I am constantly setting up. They may be stated differently in the observation recording, but they mean the same thing. Now the search radar is really working to its full capabilities. Once patterns and densities are found, interviews and conversations provide not only detail, but also some possible solutions. Primarily, they can be mapped to the results that you are trying to improve. They provide the augmentations and frames that make root cause analysis really effective. Next you need to gauge the problems severity and impact, and then compare them to other issues that need improvement, so you can focus on the ones that bring the most benefit. By using root cause techniques augmented by search radar, sorting, analysis, interviews, and conversationat all levels of the organizationyou can uncover a very sound list of whats. From this list you need to get to the one what you will focus on to improve the end result. Remember that the causes can be interrelated. So you need to look at how improving each of the candidate whats affects not just the result, but also other nominal causes and, possibly, other results. You do this by constructing a cause-effect chart that is essentially interconnected fishbone diagrams, but usually drawn in a color-coded matrix arrangement for clarity. This shows how improving one result can bring about improvements elsewhere too. For example, if we did things to
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 67

improve machine uptime, which improves throughput and, therefore, cycle times, we also improve asset turns and labor performance. It also shows if you are just pushing on a balloon: improving one and worsening another. I wish I could agree with some who say that finding the what is a simple, mechanical, cookbook affair. Its definitely not. Ive described some methods that work, for sure, but employing them effectively takes practice and experience. It is decidedly a serious skill, but one that

you and your company need in order to continuously, and economically, improve. Dick Kallage is principal of KDC & Associates Ltd., 522 S. Northwest Highway, Suite UL-8, Barrington, IL 60010, 847-525-6109, www.kdcconsultants.com. Kallage serves on the Management Advisory Council of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. and helps lead FMAs LeanFab, metal fabrication seminars dedicated to continuous improvement. For more information, visit www. fmanet.org or call 888-394-4362.

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Chief Concerns
tions, and finance peopletheyre all pointing fingers. Why the frustration? Its because every one of them has performed impeccably, at least from their inside-the-silo perspective. Theyre doing their jobs well, at least according to the performance measures theyre given. Heres a taste of what each person in the meeting is thinking about inside his or her silo, and the troubles that can arise: Sales: Get it sold! They need to get the order regardless of lead-times, capacities, and other operational limitations. But when they sell without considering the companys ability to deliver, they run the risk of a dissatisfied customer or other functions expediting or performing heroic actions that cause disruptions and unexpected costs. Procurement: Optimize the unit cost! The buyers have purchased-part cost-reduction goals, and they will seek to fulfill the performance metric by driving down the purchased costs. The silo problem emerges when the cost-reduction metric is based on individual unit cost rather than total delivered cost. This causes them to do whatever it takes to reduce that unit cost, even if it means increasing other costs like logistics or tariffs, or causing operational problems by, say, ordering in bulk. The buyer may have gotten a great deal on material, but the company may also be drowning in inventory and bleeding cash. Finance: Optimize the freight costs! The way to drive down logistics costs is to reduce the number of miles driven. You reduce miles driven by reducing the frequency of deliveries and increase the size of the loads. This might appear reasonable to the people in finance, but it is disruptive to the people in operations who need to store all the material and deliver parts in the most effective way for operators and assemblersthe very people who are adding value. Operations (planner): Dont run out! The planner takes lots more heat for running out of something than for having too much of something. If he runs out, the operation stops; while if he has too much, he has poorly utilized space and underutilized working capital. Nevertheless, if he produces too much inventory, the operation still can be short of parts that are actually needed. Operations (materials): Optimize floor space! The material handlers want to lay out the space to make it easy for them to store and access materials. Additionally, they can reduce their work by moving large quantities in large containers. This becomes problematic if it is inconsistent with the way material is consumed. Operations (production): Run as much as possible! The operations people say once the job is set up, run as much as possible to spread fewer setups over more pieces. With machines running almost continuously, supervisors and managers earn the maximum number of standard hours and elevate efficiency metrics. These are not bad, untalented, or disengaged peo-

Blast the silos to unlock potential


Customers want good parts delivered on time and so should employees

By Jeff Sipes

ou look at the phone ringing on your desk, and you know who it is. Theres a critical late order youve been firefighting all morning. Tempers are running hot at production meetings. Machines are running all the time, and shop floor personnel are as busy as ever. Its just a capacity issue, right? So you run another shift. Soon you find costs are rising faster than revenuenot good. What happened? Life is challenging enough running a manufacturing company, but many leaders make the challenges even more difficult from self-imposed processes and systems. Silos begin to appear (or more likely, the silos were there all along but not recognized) and dictate how leaders, managers, and even front-line employees relate to one another across functions. This matter is as relevant for the small job shop as it is for the large OEM. Take a look at your organization chart and ask yourself, Does my business operate vertically within the functional silos, or does it operate horizontally and smoothly across functions? Thoughtful leaders who recognize the negative impact of silos, take actions to execute horizontally, and manage their business processes effectively can unlock organizational potential and better serve customers. After all, no one looks forward to the ringing-phone scenario. What Are Silos, Really? In an actual silo, one kind of grain goes in the top and out the bottom. The metaphorical silo in a manufacturing company contains a function like engineering, operations, or accountingone type of grain, so to speak. Traditionally, direction comes from the top, the department head, and those below execute it. They operate within the silo wall and really dont venture outside of itfor good reason.
68 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Their boss judges their performance by silo-specific metrics, like machine efficiency for operations people or per-piece cost for purchasing personnel. Eric Miller, vice president of sales and marketing at Miller Welding and Machine Co. in Brookville, Pa., agrees that silos are disruptive. Although our company is still in the early phase of our lean journey, we have come to recognize the impact silos have on our business. The silos build up over time and become ingrained. It is almost as if they are invisible forces that get in the way of progress. Miller and many other companies like it offer a variety of processes: cutting, bending, and welding; machining; cleaning, blasting, and coating. When customers work with a contract manufacturer like this, they dont think about the efficiency numbers at the laser cutting machine or press brake. They dont think about what the material costs, or the shipping and logistical considerations farther up the supply chain. What they want is a quality part, subassembly, or product delivered on time for a competitive price. Employees working in silos dont see this. Silos perpetuate inward thinking, turf protection, and subpar results for customers. A machine may have a stellar uptime metric, or a purchaser may have landed an amazing deal on a batch of material, but if quality parts arent delivered on time, the customer really doesnt care. Moreover, many customers expect year-over-year cost reductions. Silos make it difficult to achieve satisfactory performance given your savvy customers demands (see Figure 1). How Meetings Become Shouting Matches You hang up the phone and put your head in your hands. Another angry customer. You sigh, then call an emergency meeting that quickly breaks down into a shouting match. Sales, procurement, opera-

Functional Organization Chart and Vertical Perspective


Senior Executive

Sales

Procurement

Finance

Operations

Vertical Perspective:
Buyer Supplier Quality Cost Estimating Logistics Materials Production

Functions in conflict People dont understand upstream and downstream impacts Focus on silo optimization

Planner

Material Handling

Optimize Unit Cost Get It Sold Optimize Freight Cost

Dont Run Out Optimize Floorspace

Run as Much As Possible

Figure 1 This organization has four functions: sales, procurement, finance, and operations. Note the solid vertical arrows for each function. Each is a silo running to optimize a specific function without regard to overall company goals.

Functional Objectives May Conflict With One Another

ple who dont care about frustrated customers calling about late orders. Rather, they are people working in processes and systems that deteriorate over time. All look inward and make life easiest for themselves and other people within the silo. But when the silos rule, the ringing-phone scenario ensues. Horizontally Focused Organization In a horizontal organization, its not about me or my department (that is, the silo); instead, its about us. Consider the same scenario, but now without the silos (see Figure 2): Sales: Sell, but consider our ability to produce. Gaining a new order commitment includes understanding its effect on operations and the ability to fulfill customer expectations (schedule, quality, and cost). The salesperson or order-taker should think about the companys ability to fulfill the customers needs before committing to unrealistic expectations. Procurement: Determine unit cost and negotiate operational requirements. Procurement personnel evaluate the procurement transactions relative to total landed cost, negotiate based on your operations needs (parts delivered and presented in a way most favorable to your value-added workers needs), and leverage the strengths of the suppliers. Finance: Determine freight costs. Strike a balance between driving freight costs down and getting material in a way that optimizes your space utilization and throughput capabilities. Consider smaller, more frequent deliveries using milk routes to strike the balance. Operations (planning): Level load as much as possible. Planners can influence the loads on workcells. By level loading, the plant can achieve better utilization of resources and avoid a chaotic whipsaw of peaks and valleys. Operations (materials): Optimize floor space. The materials personnel can make life easier for those in production by, for example, tailoring the way parts are presented, be it in a certain quantity,

orientation, or in groups or kits. Operations (production): Run to a schedule or pull signal. Production produces to replenish to customer needs instead of running machines to maximize for internal performance measures. By running smaller quantities based on customer replenishment, the plant will have a tighter grip on product and process variation, and be able to respond quickly to customer needs. Would these actions have preempted the problems illustrated in the ringing-phone scenario? Perhaps. The important takeaway is that manufacturers must manage processesboth widget-making production processes and information-based business processesin a way thats consistent with horizontal thinking: no silos, no turf protection, no optimizing a certain process at the expense of the whole. How to Blast the Silo Horizontal thinking is not an easy concept for most people to grasp. Yet it is a powerful concept that enables you to be less reliant on vertical structures and more reliant on cross-functional relationships focused on serving the customer. Ways to sustain

include creating relevant metrics that cross boundaries, design shared accountabilities, and reinforce cross-functional actions at every opportunity. Leaders can set the stage for alignment among all departments, be they the front office or shop floor. They can communicate a consistent message with periodic all-hands meetings, publicly recognizing and reinforcing initiatives that support alignment, and communicating a common set of operating principles around which the company can rally. First, consider employee performance. Performance metrics will drive behavior. The question is, Do our performance metrics drive the right behavior? Linking front-line metrics to executive metrics will help create a sense of purpose and reduce the me focus. The goal is to shift everyones perspective away from the silo and toward the customer. Such change requires executive horsepower; it cannot be started and sustained from the bottom up. Performance metrics should focus on fulfilling customer needs and company profitability, not just the efficiency of a certain machine or process. If an operations employees performance is judged primarily on machine efficiency and avoiding downtime, he may keep machines running. His efficiency number will shine, and hell look good. But the practice also floods the floor with work-inprocess, increases overall inventory, and ultimately hinders throughput. Customers complain about late orders, but the operations person feels hes just doing his job. Thats why his performance measures need to change. Every action in a company somehow ties to serving the customer, both external and internal. Most work cuts across functions at some point. Everyone should understand who their internal customers and suppliers are and be accountable to them. This will help to foster the breakdown of silos. To illustrate this, try developing value-stream maps for products or product families so that employees understand the operations sequence and

Functional Organization Chart and Horizontal PerspectiveOptimize Supply Chain


Senior Executive

Horizontal Perspective:
Optimize for company results Requires constructive dialogue between and among functions Not a short-term fix, but is a medium-term solution

Sales

Procurement

Finance

Operations

Buyer

Supplier Quality

Cost Estimating

Logistics

Materials

Production

Planner

Material Handling

Sell, but Consider Our Ability to Produce

Determine Unit Cost And Negotiate Operational Rqmts

Level Load As Possible Determine Freight Cost Optimize Floorspace

Run to Schedule Or Pull Signal

Optimize Entire Supply Chain Based on What is Best for Overall Company Business

Figure 2 In this scenario, people from different departments interact continually, so they can react quickly to customer demands.
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 69

Chief Concerns
how support functions affect it. This will be eye-opening for many people, because they will begin to see the bigger picture as it relates to customers, suppliers, and the companys internal processes within the value streams. Admittedly, a traditional value-stream map may not be practical in, say, a high-product-mix, low-volume job shop. Still, every part probably is cut, and many parts deburred, bent, and welded. A map can help define the details of the processes to show interactions, hand-offs, and improvement opportunities. Involve people working in those processes to document and analyze the way they work. Look at processes that span functional and departmental boundaries. You may be able to decrease waste by, for instance, eliminating duplication, and increase velocity by fostering collaboration among departments. Say the engineering and programming departments review a job, then send the job to purchasing. That job might be processed faster if engineering, programming, and purchasing worked as a team. As you begin to blast the silos, many will resist change. You may need to change job descriptions and reporting relationships. New accountabilities will make some people uncomfortable. Thats because a culture of a silo-based company is substantially different than that of a company that operates horizontally. The Phone Rings, and No Problem The day starts with your executive staff meeting where all the functions are represented. The executives are cordial and open with one another. There are no turf games. The group reviews the companys executive-level performance metrics. Most of the metrics are shared by at least three of the functional leaders. Where there is deviation from expectations, the group goes through a problem-solving method in which all are vested in successful outcomes. The plant manager conducts the daily production meeting, which involves employees from operations, scheduling, materials, and engineering. They focus on how the shop performed yesterday, what they need to do today, and what issues they anticipate for the next couple of days. There is no finger-pointing. People come prepared to answer questions and address issues. The tone of the meeting is all about getting the job done for the customer. Emotions are in check. Midmorning the phone ringsbut this time, the response is different. A customer conveys his concern about a problem with product fit-up. This sends the company into action. The customer service person serves as a focal point to coordinate an initial response between engineers and operations to assess the validity and magnitude of the fit-up issue. Everyone goes into the investigation with an open mind and with problem-solving intent. The customers engineering or supplier development personnel are brought into the loop to confirm the findings and agree to corrective action, as necessary. The boundaries fade as all parties seek out root causes and appropriate countermeasures. After lunch theres another meeting, not in reaction to a customer complaint. Instead, a cross-functional kaizen teamincluding staff from operations, engineering, maintenance, and accountingworks on a process flow issue. Using current-state analysis and data, they develop an objective assessment and identify potential solutions. Job titles and organizational affiliations are checked at the door. Everybody comes to the event with a customer focus and what is best for the company mindset. They develop a plan, and they implement what they can and seek approvals from leadership as necessary for funding or potential conflict resolutions. Organizational boundaries, whether functional or hierarchical, do not get in the way of solving the problem. Serving the customer is the common denominator for all. There are no major disruptions or firefights. People are working to anticipate issues and resolve problems in a positive way. Processes are executed with smoothness and precision. Why? The silos have been blasted. Jeff Sipes is principal of Back2Basics LLC, 9250 Eagle Meadow Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46234, 317-439-7960, www.back2basics-lean.com.
70 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Chief Concerns

So you want to sell?


How metal fabricators can increase their business valuations

By Christopher Geier

arlier this year Kopetz Manufacturing, a pressure vessel and heat exchanger fabricator, completed a recapitalization provided by a private equity firm. A few months prior, Mueller Industries, a high-volume manufacturer and distributor of flow control and industrial products, acquired Westermeyer Industries, a specialty fabricator in the HVAC space. These are just two recent examples of fabricators that were able to successfully sell or recapitalize their companies. Although fabricators may be extremely profitable, many generate less than $10 million in revenue, a fact that makes selling or restructuring a challenge. However, fabricators that truly are profitable, even small ones, typically will have an audience of potential buyers. Currently investment bankers are seeing renewed interest from large corporate buyers with strong balance sheets seeking growth and improved margins by acquiring specialty manufacturers. A seller wants to improve the business to drive higher EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) multiples. EBITDA indicates the profitability of a company and is considered when assessing its valuation during the sales process. As a companys EBITDA consistently moves higher, so will the value of the company. For example, the multiple on a $3 million EBITDA company will not be as high as the multiple on a growing $10 million EBITDA company. First Steps Before even contemplating a sales process or EBITDA multiples, though, a fabricator should take steps to help ensure a smooth process while maximizing value. 1. Determine the Reason for Selling. A fabricator should determine its reasoning and motivation for selling. Do the owners want to retire or reduce personally guaranteed debt? Do assets need to be
72 The FABRICATOR September 2013

diversified? Is there a need for growth capital or talent? No matter the reason, identifying the underlying motivation will help guide the sales process. It is equally important for owners to determine their collective and individual goals. What is the ideal timing for a sale? Will the owners retain any ownership post-transaction, and if so, what percentages are they comfortable owning? If they do not plan on retaining ownership, do any of the owners plan on remaining involved at all, and if so, in what capacity? What do owners expect in terms of valuation? How do owners want to be compensated for the sale? These are just a few of the questions that should be asked as part of a much longer discussion before engaging in a sales process. 2. Grow Revenue and Profitability. Fabricators should do everything possible to grow revenue and profitability in the two or three years prior to engaging in a sales process. Specialty manufacturing is very fragmented with many small players. The buyer market is broader and will reward those companies that are larger in scale with a size premium. A broad audience and greater scale both help to drive a higher valuation. Regardless of the type of buyer, high growth potential is attractive. If a buyer can see opportunities to sell into additional or tangential markets, the value placed on that business can move significantly higher. 3. Overcome Customer and Product Concentration Problems. Fabricators need to conduct a thorough analysis to identify customer concentration problems and ways to mitigate them. Dependency on only a few customers will weigh negatively on the companys valuation. Think about it through a buyers eyes. Would you buy a business that has only one customer? Imagine the scenario where that single customer terminates its relationship with the company. Without quickly replacing that customer with a new one, the business would likely fail. Not only will customer dependency issues decrease a companys valuation, it will also adversely affect the universe of potential buyers. So if a com-

pany is dependent on only a few customers, it should determine its best course of action in obtaining as many new customers as possible, and refrain from going to market until such time as the dependency issue is mitigated, if not entirely rectified. Although uncommon, a company may operate in an industry that does not have a significant number of customers. In that case, merely adding one or two new customers may be enough to allay concerns about customer dependency. Many contract fabrication shop owners also may want to develop their own product line. Over time the business may grow, and eventually that one product may provide a majority of shop revenue. To a buyer, this also can be a red flag. Having but a few products is as problematic as having very few customers. With that said, fabricators should take the same action to address product dependency as they would with customer dependencyrefrain from going to market until the company can add multiple products to its mix. Preferably, this would include creating a product line for which the company owns the intellectual property. Consider a fabricator who makes a part for an OEM, then proposes a new part design that ends up saving that OEM millions. The fabricator then protects that design with patents. With this money-saving idea, the fabricator becomes the go-to source for this part. In general, having a unique offeringsuch as a protected niche, intellectual property, or patented processes or designscan increase the companys valuation and attractiveness to prospective buyers significantly. 4. Build a Strong Management Team. A fabricator should evaluate its management team and make adjustments if necessary, or create a strong team where none currently exists. Unfortunately, many fabricators are too small to afford complete management teams, but a strong management team is a key consideration from a buyers perspective, particularly a financial one. Ideally, the team will form well before the sales process begins, allowing the company to develop a track record with the management team and mold the members into a cohesive unit. Additionally, if something happens to the owner, or the owner or key senior leaders plan to exit the company after the sale, it is important to have identified potential, top-quality successors to fill those positions. 5. Document, Document, Document. Company data, including financial statements and customer information, must be well-documented. Clean financial statements are of utmost importance. These days many buyers will not consider companies that lack reviewed, or even audited, statements; similarly, investment banks typically will not represent these sellers. In most cases, a fabricator will have to provide the seller with three to five years of monthly financial statements, including an income statement,

balance sheet, and cash ow statement. Ideally, the income statement will include only revenue and expenses related to the fabricators operations. Many owners tend to live out of their business checkbooks, which is a mistake. While buyers often understand that some non-business-related expenses may be on the income statement, they may not make allowances for these items by adding back these expenses in an adjusted EBITDA calculation. is ultimately means that the sales price could end up being lower than expected. is is why the companys balance sheet should also contain only business items. To truly ensure that its nancial statements are up to par, a company should enlist a public accounting rm to conduct an auditor a review, at the very leastfor multiple years in advance of a sales process. A company also should have documented customer information and sales data. Keeping detailed records on customers and their purchasing habits is a competitive advantage; it demonstrates that the company is in touch with its customers needs and can properly plan for demand. Good customer information also will be quite helpful to guide efforts in attracting new customers. An organized company that can provide a potential buyer with access to these records will be much more attractive than one that cannot. 6. Assemble a Transaction Team. Finally, a company should assemble a transaction team that has proven experience in driving an auction process. Although this may be di cult if the company has limited funds dedicated to the sales process, an experienced transaction team will drive the highest possible value by creating a competitive dynamic among potential buyers. ink about this in terms of selling a home. Would you receive the best deal from the rst person who makes an o er on your home? Possibly, but a realtor has the expertise to promote your home, contact potential buyers, obtain and manage multiple o ers, and guide the nal negotiation. e same goes for a sales transaction team, typically comprising an investment banker, legal counsel, tax adviser, and wealth manager. Each of these individuals should have at least one characteristic in common: proven experience in mergers and acquisitions. The Competitive Dynamic Once a company properly prepares to enter the sales process, creating a competitive dynamic is essential. Not every potential buyer will look at a fabricator for the same reasons. e best way to negotiate the highest value is by having multiple potential buyers that all want the same thing or see di erent things in the company that others may not. Di erent types of buyers have their own wants and needs, so a company and its transaction team must play to each of those by promoting the most positive attributes relevant to the individual prospects.

Buyers generally are classied in one of two categories: strategic and nancial. Strategic buyers look to purchase a company for a specic reason, and they often proactively seek out companies interested in selling in order to add to their alreadyestablished operations. Consider the Westermeyer/Mueller transaction described previously. Westermeyers specialty is fabricating components for air conditioning and refrigeration customers, a focus that was strategic to Muellers business of manufacturing plumbing and industrial products for customers in the same space. Since purely strategic buyers are more inclined to purchase a company and hold it indenitely, they may only require the company to maintain stability, rather than demonstrate huge growth potential. Financial buyers, on the other hand, are typically private equity groups that may own similar companies within their portfolio. Financial buyers may be willing to acquire small companies, including fabricators, but only after they have acquired a platform. A platform company is the rst company in a specic industry that a nancial buyer acquires. In order to be an attractive platform, a company must generate in excess of $2 million of EBITDA. If a private equity group does not already own a similar company, it may make an investment in a new platform business. A key di erence between strategic and nancial buyers is that nancial buyers will likely want to buy a company, grow it, and then sell it within ve to seven years. For this reason, fabricators must appeal to nancial buyers di erently than strategic buyers, and they must demonstrate steep growth opportunities. The M&A Landscape Although the M&A climate has heated upanecdotally, at leastmany recent reports have shown that it has been up and down in the last few quarters. At the peak of the recession, the number of strong-performing manufacturing companies was minimal, reducing the number of M&A transactions in the industry. e good news is that manufacturing companies, including fabricators, are seeing encouraging M&A signs due to a couple of factors. One, manufacturers are able to begin rebuilding inventory to pre-recession levels; and two, less ight to foreign countriesparticularly China because of its rising labor costsis beginning to help draw work back to the U.S. Realistically, though, fabricators and other specialty manufacturers were less in danger of losing core customers than manufacturers producing higher-volume work. Overall, while the climate is not ideal at the moment, the forecast is promising. e bottom line is that while many fabricators are small companies, they can be very attractive to certain buyers. Custom fabricators build things complete assemblies, subassemblies, or parts that go into other productsand they remain an im-

portant part of Americas culture. is, in and of itself, helps fabricators of any size stand out among many other companies. Christopher Geier is partner-in-charge at Sikich Investment Banking, 123 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60606, 312-648-6666, www.si kich.com. Securities are o ered through Sikich Corporate Finance LLC, a registered broker dealer with the Securities Exchange Commission and a member of FINRA/SIPC.

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September 2013 The FABRICATOR 73

As the technology progresses, beam delivery has played a central role

real and sustaining. One feature, exceptional beam quality, has presented some challenges in materials processing, and here, processing head design has become one key for success. Developments in Beam Delivery Beam qualityspecied as an M-squared (M2) value, beam parameter product (BPP), and sometimes referred to as brightnessessentially measures how well a beam can be focused. eoretically, the ideal beam quality with ultimate focusability (the ability to produce the smallest possible focus spot size) is called di raction limited and has an M2 value equal to 1. Because of their design and construction, ber and disk lasers produce what is essentially a di raction-limited beam. In single-mode operation, the lasers energy is most highly concentrated in the beams center, forming what is known as a Gaussian prole. Although mode and beam quality both tend to degrade at higher powers, multikilowatt 1-micron lasers provide the most intense, tightly focused, highest-energy-density, and lowest-diverging beams ever applied to material processing applications. Fiber-delivered lasers have always required collimating, and the high-powered 1-micron laser is no

By Mike DelBusso

little more than 10 years ago, commercially available 1-micron lasers crossed the kilowatt-level power threshold and became viable tools for industrial processes. Although claims at the time that these lasers would completely replace all other lasers did not bear out, this once disruptive technology has become mainstream, with high-powered solid-state ber and disk lasers now accounting for 20 to 25 percent of the industrial laser market. Over the decade, the lasers inherent advantageshigh e ciency; exceptional beam quality; aircooled, maintenance-free operation; and low operating costhave demonstrated themselves to be
74 The FABRICATOR September 2013

exception. Collimating takes the beam energy from the delivery ber and changes it into a beam size anywhere from 5 to 45 mm in diameterthat can be directed and focused with lenses and mirrors (see Figure 1). e high-powered 1-micron lasers earliest processing heads had the same optics that worked with pulsed Nd:YAG lasers because the wavelengths were similar and they were readily available. is led to many mirrors, lenses, and cover slides disastrously damaged or destroyed from the intense energy density of the small-diameter, high-quality mode of the beam. So the industry switched substrate materials to optical-grade fused silica with better thermal characteristics and higher damage thresholds. Focusing lens geometries were recalculated to better match the lasers focusability attributes. Although simple plano-convex lenses worked for a number of applications (and are still preferred due to their low cost, simple design, and ready availability), aspheric and asymmetric doublet lenses became more common. Unlike plano-convex, which is at on one side and rounded on the other, these lens alternatives incorporate alternative shapes that help achieve truer collimation and precise focusing (see Figure 2). Finally, the antireective

Laser processing heads, such as this robotic automatic height-sensing cutting head, have been optimized for the unique characteristics of high-powered 1-micron lasers.

a rewarding validation of the lasers potential. In metals less than 4 mm thick, the laser cuts 25 to 50 percent faster than a CO2 laser with half the power. One-micron lasers also outperform CO2 lasers in cutting highly reective materials such as copper and aluminum. For precision cutting, and production cutting in thinner materials, 1-micron lasers equipped with noncontact height-sensing cutting heads have gained large acceptance and are beginning to dominate the market. With thicker materials, basic physics begin to work against the 1-micron laser. A key factor in laser cutting is a materials energy absorption rate, which is based primarily on two things: wavelength and angle of incidence. e short wavelength of the ber and disk laser (around 1 micron) is better absorbed at low angles of incidence. In thicker materials, cut at slower speeds, the angle of incidence of the burn front increases, so the scales are tipped in favor of the longer wavelength (around 10 microns) of the CO2 laser (see Figure 3).

Figure 2 Alternative lens designs, including doublet and even triplet designs (that is, two or three lenses put together), have helped achieve truer collimation and precise focusing.

Fiber Diameter
Feed
A laser beam cuts thin sheet at a low angle of incidence.

coatings (or reective coatings in the case of mirrors) were tailored to handle the lasers 1-micron wavelength. Processing head mechanisms also required additional attention and renement. e cover slide location was brought closer to the bottom of the lens to capture the largest beam diameter with the lowest energy density possible. It has been long known that the focus spot position is one of the critical parameters for cutting di erent materials, and the resolution, precision, and automation of this feature were enhanced. Gaining a Cutting Edge Anyone who has set up a successful laser cutting process knows that it is a balancing act of at least 15 in-play parameters: wavelength, beam quality, spot size, depth of eld, spot location, assist gas type, assist gas pressure, nozzle stando , nozzle orice, material, material thickness, cutting speed, motion accuracy, beam alignment, and contaminant control. Even after a technician nds a successful combination, the real test is the setups stability for a repeatable, robust industrial application. When the 1-micron laser was combined with a processing head designed to maximize the output of its unique beam characteristics, the results were

Collimator Focal Length


As material thickness increases, so does the angle of incidence.

Feed

e operating cost of a CO2 laser is signicantly higher than for a 1-micron laser. In 3 mm thickness, the 1-micron laser is three times faster (power levels considered equal), drastically reducing the price per part. In the next range of material thickness, up to about 8 mm, the cut quality is still fairly comparable between the two wavelengths, but the lower speed and higher cutting gas consumption the 1-micron laser requires begin to negate the price-per-part advantage. icker yet, and the CO2 currently o ers better cut quality and faster cutting speed. Overtaking the thick metal cutting (or plate cutting) market obviously is a holy grail for 1-micron laser manufacturers, and there is plenty of activity toward this goal. Isolated instances of good results in thicknesses 25 mm and higher are coming out of some of the labs, but the trick is in nding a stable, robust production solution with speeds comparable to CO2. Increasing 1-micron laser power levels may be a factor (the latest reported being an astonishing 100 kW), but with power increases also comes a corresponding decrease in the beam quality. Here, processing head developments may again be key. Investigations are being made with supersonic assist gas nozzles in small-kerf-width conditions and, more exotically, in custom optics that could alter the angle of incidence of the beam along the cutting front. Progress in Welding Welding with high-power 1-micron lasers has been a challenge, again in part because of the wavelength and exceptional beam quality. ere are basically two types of laser welding: conduction welding, such as spot welds with relatively low power, wide bead, and low penetration, and keyhole welding with high power, a narrow bead, and deep penetration. Keyhole welding is very similar to laser cutting, but rather than expelling molten material through the kerf with assist gas pressure, the molten material is allowed to resolidify, forming the weld. Many have studied the dynamics within the keyhole, and maintaining it requires a delicate equilibrium. Beam absorption determines weld temperature, and vapor (plasma) pressure keeps
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 75

Focus Focal Length

Spot Diameter
Figure 1 Collimating takes the beam energy from the delivery ber and changes it into a beam size.

Feed

A laser beam cuts thin sheet at a low angle of incidence.

the keyhole open while allowing molten material to reow smoothly. Unstable keyholes often produce weld spatter, or molten material ejecting from the weld pool. During initial trials of deeper keyhole welding, 1-micron lasers produced signicantly more spatter than previously seen with CO2 lasers. Because of the 1-micron lasers exceptional focusing, the keyhole it produces has a very high aspect ratio (very deep with a narrow opening) with a relatively straight front wall and very little distance to the back wall. e lower absorption at these high angles also results in a narrower top to the keyhole, increasing its instability.

As material thickness increases, so does the angle of incidence.

Feed

Over the decade, the 1-micron lasers inherent advantageshigh efciency; exceptional beam quality; air-cooled, maintenance-free operation; and low operating costhave demonstrated themselves to be real and sustaining.

Figure 3 e short wavelength of the ber and disk laser (around 1 micron) is better absorbed at low angles of incidence. But as material thickness increases, so does the lasers angle of incidence during the cut. However, the industry is developing various methodsincluding beam tilting, focal-position shifting, and custom opticsto reduce the beams angle of incidence in thicker material.

Remedies such as inclining the beam angle, elongating the keyhole, and providing assist gas directly into the weld helped mitigate spatter, but these didnt address the fundamental problem: keyhole instability from changes in the focused spot size and location due to focal shift and beam scattering. Focal shift, or thermal lensing, is caused by the absorption of energy into the focusing lens. As the lens increases in temperature, its index of refraction and radius of curvature change or distort, and the focus position shifts.

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tial. Visual inspection is not completely adequate because submicron contamination, invisible to the naked eye, still can influence the laser beam. This requires frequent inspection by microscope, cleaning, and replacing the optics as necessary. Various methods can protect optics, such as cross-flow air knives, purge chambers, and reduced apertures. Airborne debris in the beam path also can cause scatter of the 1-micron beam, so the machine design of a laser welding system should incorporate effective fume removal and, in some cases, additional air knives close to the process.
Figure 4 Reflective parabolic welding heads eliminate focal shift and offer a robust, durable solution for deep-penetration welding with 1-micron lasers.

Dramatic Impact The emergence and increasing power levels of 1-micron lasers have happened faster, and with more impact, than any other development in the history of industrial lasers. The concurrent development of laser processing heads designed to maximize laser performance has enabled their ability and acceptance for an ever-increasing range of industrial applications. Mike DelBusso is senior sales engineer, Laser Mechanisms, 25325 Regency Drive, Novi, MI 48375, 248-4749480, www.lasermech.com

All optics absorb some energy from the laser. The energy absorption into the lens can increase if the lens material and coating are inadequately rated for the laser power directed onto them. And with contaminants or debris on the lens, energy absorption can increase dramatically. This starts a self-perpetuating process whereby lens debris causes a focal shift, creating a bad weld condition that creates even more debris and more focal shift. Here again, processing head advancements have helped. Most laser processing heads use a transmissive focus, where the beam passes through a lens to achieve focus. An alternative is to use a reflective focus, which uses a mirror (typically a parabola machined from copper) that focuses the beam as it reflects it. Reflective parabolic mirrors have long been used in high-power CO2 applications because they are more robust, less susceptible to damage and debris, and easier to clean than a transmissive lens. They also do not exhibit thermal lensing and have virtually no focus shift (see Figure 4). Polished, uncoated copper can provide excellent results, and enhanced coatings increase reflectivity even moreall beneficial for the 1-micron wavelength of fiber and disk lasers. Eliminating focal shift with reflective optics provided stability to develop viable laser welding, but there remained the one issue that plagues all welding applications: managing the debris, like smoke and soot, that welding generates. The 1-micron wavelength is far more susceptible to, and far less forgiving of, debris on the optical elements or even floating within the beam path. Keeping the optics clean and protected is essenSeptember 2013 The FABRICATOR 77

Figure 1 Bending large panels in a press brake is not a one-man operation. However, material handling tools and advanced control technology can help make it a more efficient process. Photo courtesy of LVD Strippit.

The sheet lifters do a good job with the thin material. They support it during the bending and bringing it back down, said Paul LeTang, bending product sales manager, LVD Strippit. If a fabricator is working with material nearing 0.1875 in. thick, the press brake operator probably doesnt have to worry about using a sheet follower. At that thickness, the material is strong enough to support itself. No. 3: Bring on the Crane A more familiar sight in metal fabricating settings is the use of a crane (see Figure 3) for these awkward bending jobs in the press brake. Often cranes are a very cost-effective means to move the material to the press brake window for bending. One of the things that I would recommend are cranes near the machine or on it, both front and back. The parts are big and awkward, and having some kind of little, portable crane makes them quite easier to handle, LeTang said. It should be noted that typically cranes are not integrated into the control software. The press brake operator and potentially someone else helping with the material movement need to place the workpiece in the right position against the backgauge for the proper bend to take place. No. 4: Push It The world of utility pole manufacturing does not involve light-gauge steel, but it does involve a material handling option that is noteworthy: automatic positioners. These positioners, also called pushers, move the workpiece according to directions from the press brake operator. This positioning aid introduces an element of exact movement in the press brake bed so that precise bump bends can be made to create poles out of sheets that might be 60 ft. long and 10 ft. wide. The pushers bring the plate in from the front, and the operator moves it forward with a joystick in increments. They bend the plate, and when they are done, they take it out with a crane and bring in the next one, said Gordan Baker, vice president and director of product technology, Pacific Press Technologies.

6 ways
B
By Dan Davis, Editor-in-Chief
ending a large sheet in a press brake is never a one-person job (see Figure 1). In some instances, it can be a three- or four-person job. For some bending departments, that might translate to all hands on deck. Of course, that fabricating scenario flies in the face of todays manufacturing reality. Workforces at fabricating shops have been trimmed down to essential personnel. There arent a lot of extra people hanging around for the sole purpose of assisting with awkward bending jobs. Thats why not too many shops can take on largepanel bending. The jobs arent huge in volume, and it takes the right press brakewith the appropriate tonnage, open height, and window widthto do the job correctly. Shops have emerged as specialists in this area. Having said that, more fabricators are showing an interest in large-sheet bending. Some see the potential to diversify their customer base. Others simply want to get away from the welding required to join several smaller pieces together to create large forms. Those metal fabricators involved in panel bending on a press brake or thinking about adding the capability should realize that material handling tools and advanced control technology have emerged over the years to assist with this big job. This type of fabricating operation doesnt have to overwhelm a bending department.
78 The FABRICATOR September 2013

to make large-sheet bending

Material handling and advanced controls help to make an awkward job more manageable
No. 1: Get out in Front It sounds like a no-brainer, but you dont see front sheet supports on all press brakes in the U.S. At a minimum, front sheet supports allow you to rest the part, turn it around, or manipulate it more easily, said John Kemp, manager of applications and training, Bystronic Inc. Many fabricators that work with large panels might think they can get away without having such a permanent attachment on the press brake because volumes dont warrant the investment. Instead, they might rely on a nearby table or some other ad-hoc material handling assist. Kemp added that without a doubt front sheet supports can make the job easier for the press brake operator. In some instances, it also might mean that the operator can do the job without any assistance. These supports can have different surfaces for specific jobs. For example, nylon inserts can be used for general-purpose bending and brush inserts for stainless steel work. No. 2: Follow the Sheet On thin-gauge panels, a large section of material protruding from the press brake window during a small flange bend can pose a problem. If left unsupported, the material back-bends, meaning the material bends in the opposite direction of the bend the press brake tooling is performing. Most fabricators rely on multiple sets of hands to support these jobs, but sheet followers can free up this labor (see Figure 2).

easier

Figure 2 Sheet followers can be used to prevent back-bending of thin-gauge metal during the bending process and can help to free up labor when working with large panels. Photo courtesy of Bystronic Inc.

Figure 3 Cranes are almost a necessity in certain large bending jobs. As a result, machine operators must maintain a heightened sense of awareness when using them to ensure worker safety and protect the material and machine from damage. Photo courtesy of LVD Strippit.

Even with the automated movement of the large workpiece across the die, this type of job usually involves two people anyway, Baker said. Because the sheet is so wide, the press brake operator is going to want to have someone at the end opposite of the control panel to ensure that the sheet is centered prior to the ram coming down. Its just a mitigation of risk. Thats what the person is there for, he said. Camera technology can be used to check for proper positioning of a large workpiece before bending commences, allowing the job to be done by one person. That adds a lot of capital expense, however, which prevents fabricators from following up on that type of quality check, according to Baker.

have been the logical machine of choice for fabricators that had to deliver high-tolerance parts but didnt have the highly experienced operators to guarantee good results on a consistent basis. Automatic crowning adjustments are made on-the-fly as the bend is taking place. This advanced feature helps inexperienced operators deal with material factors such as tensile strength, grain direction, and hardness. These modern press brakes even make off-center bending an easy task; the press brake determines where the bending location is by measuring the pressure on each side of the bed, and the multiple crowning cylinders adjust accordingly to ensure a consistent bend angle. When those variables change, the machine has to adapt to those, or the operator would have to adapt by making corrections, Kemp said. Those operators who can be relied onand are experienced enoughto adjust the crowning on older press brakes with the use of shims and knowledge found in a little black book are an extremely rare breed. Shops that do have that expertise, however, still cant match the productivity of machines that can adjust crowning on-the-fly. In the end, no fabricator is interested in scrapping a large panel of sheet metal that was bent incorrectly on a press brake. Thats an unacceptable result. Editor-in-Chief Dan Davis can be reached at dand@thefabricator.com. Bystronic Inc., 200 Airport Road, Elgin, IL 60123, 847-214-0300, www.bystronic.us LVD Strippit, 12975 Clarence Center Road, Akron, NY 14001, 716-542-4511, www.lvdgroup.com Pacific Press Technologies, 714 Walnut St., Mount Carmel, IL 62863, 618-262-8666, www.pacific-press.com

No. 5: Control the Bending Speed As parts get longer, a press brake operator and anyone assisting him have to worry about possible whip-up, in which the material outside of the press brake window quickly whips up as the material inside the press brake is bent in the die. Such a quick whipping action can startle and possibly injure someone responsible for handling the material, but who may not be totally engaged in the activity. Luckily, most modern press brakes have programmable ram speeds, which means the large sheets can be bent at a much slower pace than small parts. The slower pace means that the longer part will not so much whip up as slowly rise up. The same thinking applies to programming the speed of the ram in the up direction. So rather than fully releasing the part and having it drop, you can program it to go up at whatever rate you want. It can either set down the heavy part slowly or you can position yourself or the part manipulator to help with larger thinner sheets so they are not going to flex back when you release the brake, Kemp said. Newer press brakes also have angle correction to ensure that the first bend meets the original specifications for the job. This feature relies on lasers, sensors, or mechanical probes to check that the appropriate angle was made before the ram fully retreats to its starting position and the material is moved out of the press brake. The biggest advantage of this adaptive system is that you dont have to rehit the part, LeTang said. Often on a press brake you make a trial hit, take it out of the machine, measure the angle, put it back in, make another hit, take it out, measure, and put it back in. Every time you take the part in and out of the machine, you have material handling issues. Every time you bring down the ram, you also run the risk of an error of maybe overbending the part or damaging it. No. 6: Control the Crowning Any time a part is bent in a press brake, the machine is subject to deflection. As the press brakes ram is driven down on both sides, the workpiece material acts as an impediment to the ram achieving its full downward cycle when compared to the sections of the ram unencumbered with material interference. This causes the ram to deflect in the vertical plane. When this occurs and the press brake operator does not address it, large parts run the risk of becoming canoe-shaped in the center. Now press brake manufacturers could build a machine that doesnt flex at all, but it would require an upper beam that is about 2 ft. thick. Thats not a machine that would interest a fabricator. So, many manufacturers focused on automatic crowning. Since the 1990s, these press brakes, which employ a hydraulic system in the bed and precise control of the ram stroke to counter the deflection that results from any bend,

September 2013 The FABRICATOR 79

When nesting, does it pay to be the early bird?


Not alwaysespecially in the job shop

By Adria Iles

ountry music legend Willie Nelson is credited with saying, The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. Its unlikely that Willie was reflecting on manufacturing. Regardless, his quote still summarizes perfectly one of the greatest challenges sheet metal fabricators face: When nesting, is it better to be early, or just in time? We have all been taught that to be early is to be on time. In fact, being on time is likely the most crucial component of any manufacturing business. Stakes are high, and manufacturing companies win loyal customers with their ability to deliver quickly and reliably ahead of their competition. Being lean is likely the next most critical aspect. Lean businesses reduce waste and thereby cost to win orders with competitive prices. A key lean philosophy is just-in-time (JIT), whereby businesses reduce cost by avoiding the waste associated with overproduction, waiting, and excess inventory all while meeting delivery deadlines. Nesting finds itself at the crux of these two critical business practices. When to Nest? Nesting early does not necessarily mean that parts will be cut early, creating physical part inventory to manage. You can store CNC programs of nests for later use. Once you nest parts, you know the optimized material requirements. Being the early bird (nesting early), you know precise raw material requirements in advance. With these optimized requirements, you can buy material needed in time for the work to be done, and be selective in shopping for a supplier. Your operation can consume these raw materials right away and eliminate the costs associated with warehousing raw material inventory. Money is then not tied up in stock materials, extensive warehouse space, or inventory management. In this manner, your operation can have the right material at the right time. In other words, you can be lean.
80 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Nesting too early, though, or being the first mouse, can be lethal. The geometry of any part in a nest might change, as could the due date. Say you nest several jobs together, all with a due date three weeks away. Then you get a call from the salesperson; one customer needs his part sooner than expected. So you send that entire nest to the laser or punch. That customers part is cut on time, but all those other jobs arent needed for several weeks, so they are placed into inventory. The same thing can happen if the due date is postponed. Then, as your cut parts sit in inventory, one customer calls with a design change. Design changes to a part already cut leads to outof-process rework. If rework isnt possible, those parts become scrap. So in essence, parts nested too soon can cause substantial waste as nests must be recalled, parts scrapped or reworked, nests reprogrammed, and CNC files remade. Nesting too early can also waste material. You might decide to nest parts early on a certain day, because the shop workload seems to be a bit light, and the material yield may be acceptable. By getting a head start on this job, you keep the people and machines on the floor busy. So you cut the job early, and the parts sit in WIP as they wait several days to be formed in the press brake department. The next day a small order comes in that requires the same material, but with a tight deadline. You have no choice but to buy another batch of the same material. Moreover, the material yield may be very poor. Had you not nested those parts the previous day, you could have nested both jobs on the same sheet, increasing your yield. You also would have made just one raw material purchase, saving time in your purchasing, accounting, and administration departments. You also may have gotten a discount for purchasing material in bulk. This would have saved not only freight costs, but also your receivers time. Waiting to nest all the parts together certainly would have reduced programming time and the time required to load and unload machines.

Of course, nesting too late also can be a problem. You may nest at the last minute to avoid problems from last-minute changes, but this also might delay a material purchase, creating a shortage. Waiting for materials to arrive is wasteful and certainly not lean. Thats why businesses that nest late usually buffer against a shortage with minimum stock, purchased based on historic estimates or gross part weight. But this requires a certain level of demand certainty for specific parts and material types. If you dont manage your stock carefully and ensure your operation consumes the buffer stock steadily, that buffer can become an expensive disaster. Demand Stability Many manufacturing businesses aspire to be early birds to ensure on-time delivery. But early-bird nesting isnt for everyone. To nest early and still be lean requires demand stability, where parts ordered are known and the flow of orders for parts is consistent. Demand stability is possible for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or an upper-tier supplier whose primary business is making consistent products with only minor variation. The demand stability allows the manufacturer to determine the right number of days to hold demand to nest efficiently, buy the right material, and have it delivered on the right day. For job shops, though, demand stability is not possible. In fact, demand can fluctuate dramatically, even with blanket orders. Existing orders can change regularly as well. Nesting too early in this environment is the same as being the first mouse and getting caught in the trap. It leads to many small material purchases (sometimes several in the same day for the same material), expediting fees, and, ultimately, a full scrap bin or large variety of small-quantity raw materials stagnating in stock. If you nest early in this environment, you probably will alter that nest to accommodate changes. This can cost a tremendous amount of manual labor and rework.

Bird
1 My company typically designs the products we manufacture. My company sells multiple quantities of our products (sometimes customized) to multiple customers. My customers are similar, and many are from the same industry. The prices of parts my company manufactures are generally fixed. My company typically has several weeks to meet a manufacturing deadline. My company cuts sheets from a coil. My company stocks multiple grades and sizes of materials that we are sure to use.

Mouse
My company typically receives Or parts designed by a customer. My company sells small to medium quantities of different parts to each Or customer. My customers are diverse and Or represent a variety of industries. Quoting and estimating the cost Or of a part or job is critical in our competitive market. Quick turnaround is crucial for Or winning an order: the sooner the better at my company. Or My company orders all raw materials from a variety of suppliers.

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My company stocks some standard grades and sizes of materials that we Or hope to use. We also have leftover quantities of various materials.

If you checked more boxes from If most of the boxes you the second column, your business checked are in the first colprobably doesnt have demand umn, your business has stability. It is important to establish demand stability. Nesting a great supplier relationship for early will allow you to pursupply stability, and to nest as late chase and allocate the right as possible to optimize material material in time to reduce utilization. costly inventory. Is your company a bird or a mouse? Check the statement from each row that most applies to your company.

To be lean and on time, your job shop has to be the second mouse. You need to nest at just the right moment to combine orders and optimize a range of raw materials. And you must place raw material orders at the last safe moment to receive material in time to meet deadlines. Supply Stability and Demand Visibility As the second mouse, you also need supply stability, or the ability to receive required raw materials on time readily, consistently, and cost-effectively. For this, you need a great relationship with a reliable vendor. Instead of always shopping around for a closeout from an unknown and potentially unreliable vendor, try reducing the number of vendors you work with and trusting their costs. This saves time and helps build good business relationships. To know when to nest, you must know if youre a bird or a mouse, and plan accordingly. With demand stability, nesting early can have great benefits. With supply stability, nesting later becomes practical and offers a tremendous savings. To build a good supplier relationship, you also need demand visibility, or the ability to see exactly whats occurring on the factory floor, in real time. No doubt, demand visibility can be challenging. In fact, without effective software tools that present real-time information, visualization is nearly impossible. An enterprise-level system that shows orders as they are received, and includes part geometry for those orders, allows programmers to consider all required production, without leaving their desks in search of new sales orders and associated part geometry. Having visibility of more demand allows programmers to incorporate more parts and achieve better yield, requiring fewer raw material purchases. Good to Be the Mouse A job shops highly variable demand makes demand visibility all the more important. Demand visibility allows your business to plan accurately. If you can visualize both demand and WIP, you can accurately predict the next available delivery date. Job shops dont have the luxury of demand stability. But with demand visibility and supply stability, your job shop can be the second mouse. You can nest late and still get the cheese. Adria Iles is vice president at Lantek Systems Inc., Mason Technical Center, 5155 Financial Way, Mason, OH 45040, 903-258-9422, www.lanteksms.com.
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 81

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Figure 1 On most hardware insertion presses, one bowl feeds only one type of hardware piece at a time. The Haeger 824 OneTouch 4e can accommodate four different hardware types at one time.

Automation meets hardware insertion


Star Precision Fabricating has always performed hardware insertion, but not quite like it does now
By Dan Davis, Editor-in-Chief
That led to the hiring of Maria Mira Mendez, a 5-ft.-tall bundle of fabricating energy, who celebrated her 20th anniversary along with Star Precision this year. (Umatiya called her Mira for the longest time because he didnt realize that other Spanishspeaking employees, who were hired in ensuing years, were actually telling Maria to look here, not calling her name. By the time he realized the mistake, the Mira name had stuck.) The hiring also marked the first of many other steps taken to keep up with expanding business opportunities. With Expansion Comes New Equipment If a company is to grow its business, it also needs to grow its capabilities, which also typically means an expansion in floor space as well. Star Precision was no different. It built a 19,000-sq.-ft. building in 1997 and eventually pushed out until it had 50,000 sq. ft. under one roof. During that time the equipment mix changed dramatically as well. The fabricator expanded its punching capabilities to the point where it added two Amada Vipros, the most recent being a Vipros 358 King with automatic material loader, to go along with its original Amada Pega. Lasers have replaced the shears as the main tool for cutting; Star Precision purchased an Amada Apelio laser/punch combination machine about eight years ago and has since added two 4,000-W Amada FO 3015 laser cutting machines served by a 10-shelf automated material storage and retrieval tower. With laser cutting power, the metal fabricator found itself with the ability to cut thicker materials. Today it actively pursues jobs that involve 0.75-in. mild steel, 0.5-in. stainless, and 0.375-in. aluminum.

yarali P.R. Umatiya is quite direct when asked what a fabricator needs to start up a shop: a punch press, a press brake, a hardware insertion machine, and a shear. He forgot one key ingredient, however: motivation. In 1993 he and his partner came face-to-face with the need to consider a change in employment. The shop they worked for as the production manager and vice president of manufacturing, respectively, had new owners who were experiencing cash flow problems. Umatiya had worked his way up from shear operator at the shop, and as an employee nearing 40 years old, he knew that it would be difficult to find a similar position in the Houston area. It was just the right time to take a plunge into the sea of entrepreneurship. Star Precision Fabricating was born 20 years ago in a small, 5,000-sq.-ft. facility. Umatiya, his partner, and one other employee tackled light-gauge fabricating projects with its Amada punching machine and press brake, a Haeger hardware insertion machine, and a 1966 Cincinnati shear. We were in the industry for 14 years, so some customers knew us, Umatiya said. The company we had worked for was having trouble getting materials and parts out on time. They were going down; we were opening up. The early days of Star Precision were like any other new business. Everybody did everything they could to help get jobs out. Umatiya was working in the shop most of the day, spending a lot of time finishing parts. I got so tired one day I said, I need to hire someone to help me. I cant deburr forever, he said.
82 The FABRICATOR September 2013

As a result, Star Precision had to boost its forming capacity. It acquired a 14-ft., 242-ton and a 10ft., 100-ton Amada press brake to go with its five lighter-tonnage brakes. Also during this time, the metal fabricator took on more machining jobs. It now has seven automated CNC lathes and seven CNC milling machines for basic machining operations. We have four different businesses under one roof: a machine shop, medium- to heavy-gauge fabrication, large fabrication, and electronics and electrical assemblies, Umatiya said. The latter is the one business that Umatiya and his partner never really envisioned in their skinny business plan 20 years ago. Today they fabricate parts and assemble products as complex as computers and audio systems. Some of these products have panels with as many as 20 to 40 pieces of hardware inserted into them. These types of jobs have kept Mira and her colleagues very busy at the hardware insertion presses over the years. A couple of years after we started, we had to buy another machine. We couldnt keep working six days a week, 12 hours a day, Umatiya said. Well, my partner said hed come in on weekends to make sure wed keep up with the hardware. I told him, If youre planning to work Saturdays and Sundays, dont count on me because Im not coming. About a month later, he said, Yeah, I think youre right [about the need for a new hardware insertion machine], he added. Since then Star Precision has added five more presses. The latest addition, however, has given the shop a new level of efficiency that it hasnt enjoyed before. The Next Level of Hardware Insertion Umatiya saw the Haeger 824 OneTouch 4e at the 2012 FABTECH in Las Vegas. He first noticed the four automated hardware feeders attached to the insertion press. He made a deal for the machine right there. The units four bowls (see Figure 1) can accommodate fasteners from M1.5 to M10 with a maximum length of 40 mm. The machines software dictates the sequence in which the hardware is fed and then inserted into the workpiece. Umatiya said that the machines placement of hardware helps to make the hardware insertion process mistake-proof. An operator cant insert the next round of hardware on a workpiece until the first round of hardware insertion is complete. If its 12, then you have to put in 12 before you go to the second, Umatiya said. So it cuts down on missing hardware. When you have so much hardware installed on anything, its easy to miss a piece here or there. Once parts are finished and you find out there is hardware missing for that part, in some cases you just cant fix it, he added.

If an operator needs to replace a bowl with new fasteners, he or she has easy access to the thumb screws that hold the bowls in place. No Allen wrenches are needed. Changeover can be performed in 10 seconds, not minutes. When a different type of hardware is needed, say a nut instead of a standoff, the machines bottom anvil and top tooling change automatically to accommodate the new piece of hardware. The machine software also controls and adjusts the feed rate, air eject time, and air pressure for feeding the hardware to the tooling prior to actual insertion. If the operator needs to change out the tooling, he or she can access a built-in tool storage cabinet contained within the equipment. Changeover is aided by ease of access to the tooling and a quick-release mounting system. The manufacturer of the equipment said the cycle time for delivery of a full-load insertion is about 2.5 seconds. Taking that into account and features like the automated tool changeover, this hardware insertion press is designed to reduce overall process Figure 2 Maria Mira Mendez has worked the same time by 20 to 30 percent when hardware insertion press at Star Precision Fab- compared to previous models. ricating for the last 20 years. If you have an auWhen Im walking the shop, tomated machine next to her, she can almost keep up with it, said Star Precision Fabricat- I shake my head. I started in 79, when they came out with turret ings Pyarali P.R. Umatiya. presses. Before that there were duplicators and kick presses. I used to run the machines, Umatiya said. Now these machines are so complex and sophisticated. My old boss, retired 22-plus years, came to my shop, and he cant believe it, he added. How do you run these? he asked. I said, I dont run them. We have good employees, send them out, and get them trained. Automation Makes a Difference The bar feeders on the lathes, the material storage and delivery system for the laser cutting machines, and the hardware insertion press that can accommodate multiple fasteners without stopping the job until its completeall are examples of how automation is keeping Star Precision competitive not just domestically but internationally as well. The company was contacted recently to produce a small, 10-gauge stainless steel fabrication that called for laser cutting and bending. The company requesting the quote was a broker in China. In the end, the low wages in China couldnt compete with Star Precisions automation and proximity to the North American end user. The Chinese broker went with the Houston metal fabricator. I believe to compete with low-cost regions, you need automation, Umatiya said. Today Star Precisions management team, which includes Vice President Barkat Umatiya and Plant Manager Vic Manoukian, and the companys 85 employees are working to surpass the $20 million mark in annual sales. To improve on that figure in future years, they will rely increasingly on the latest technology. Umatiya estimated that the company purchases at least one piece of new equipment a year, and that plan is unlikely to change in the coming years. Meanwhile, the shop has enough hardware insertion capacity to accommodate the current workload, but there certainly will be an opportunity to add another state-of-the-art machine in the coming years. Umatiya told Mira (see Figure 2) that when she retires, she can take her hardware insertion press and place it in her living room to remind her of her career at Star Precision. Editor-in-Chief Dan Davis can be reached at dand@thefabricator.com. Star Precision Fabricating Ltd., 5410 Brystone Drive, Houston, TX 77041, 713-983-8883, www.star-precision.com Haeger Inc., 811 Wakefield Drive, Oakdale, CA 95361, 209-848-4000, www.haeger.com
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 83

Automating OEE for the job shop


How automated data collection enhances overall equipment effectiveness

By Jim Finnerty

Quality rate = Good parts / Total parts 100

verall equipment effectiveness (OEE) has emerged as perhaps the most reliable and accurate way to track the effectiveness of production machinery. The practice combines measurements of machine availability (running time versus available time), performance (actual production rate versus maximum production rate), and quality (good parts versus total parts) into one simple, easy-to-understand percentage. OEE originally was conceived as a quick, back-ofa-napkin method to objectively track the factors that contribute to productivity loss. It was intended to be a paper system, with operator-entered part counts and manual time tracking. Unfortunately, one of the areas that can benefit the most from tracking OEEshort-run, high-mix contract manufacturingis also where it is most difficult to implement in its traditional manual form. Fortunately, OEE can be tracked automatically in a way that can be used by shops with frequent product changeovers. OEE and High Product Mixes Low-product-mix manufacturers dedicate machines and processes to one product or product family. This makes it straightforward to measure machine cycle times, since the operations dont change significantly from day to day. All this makes the OEE calculation simple. Different iterations of OEE formulas exist, but just to illustrate a point, consider the following version. Again, OEE incorporates machine availability, performance, and quality. Specifically:
Availability = Running time / (Total time Planned downtime) 100 Performance rate = Total parts/ (Ideal performance rate Running time) 100 84 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Multiply these three percentages together, and you get the OEE, as in:
OEE = Availability Performance rate Quality rate

operation, which can benefit most from improvements gained with OEE, also presents the greatest challenge for implementation. Your OEE effort is only as good as the data you have, and retrieving this data manually in a job shop environment can be arduous. In a typical scenario, you enter production data manually at predetermined times, such as at the end of a shift or job. The data is then made available in the form of reports and used for analysis. For long-term analysis, viewing the data after the fact is usually sufficient. However, the factory floor is a dynamic environment, and knowing only what happened after the fact can be a detriment to productivity. Manually collected data also can be inaccurate. An operator may first write data down by hand. He or another person then may enter the information into a database. Typographical and transcription errors can abound, and once errors become part of the data set, they become difficult to detect and eradicate. This makes all the resulting production reports suspect. In a short-run environment, data is often incomplete when you need it, because the actual data entry task falls to someone with many other responsibilities. Lets be honest: Data entry is tedious, boring, and often put off for as long as possible. Reams of data may lie around for hours if not days before being entered into the system.

Now consider applying these factors in a highmix, low-volume operation. The machines quality rate percentagethat is, the number of defects compared to the total number of parts runremains straightforward, regardless of the part mix. It isnt a perfect metric, because some parts are harder to manufacture, some more expensive. A few scrapped titanium parts can cost more than dozens of small mild steel brackets. But with modern machine tools and design-for-manufacturability efforts, many best-in-class fabricators have been able to maintain extremely low defect rates across their entire product mix. But how about availability? This involves more than just tracking machine uptime, or running time. The planned downtime factor in the formula refers to schedule lapses, allotted breaks during a shift, and the like. In all manufacturing environments, but especially in job jobs, some causes of downtime negatively affect OEE, but others do not. If a machine is down a long time because an operator cant find the right tools to set up the machine, that prolongs setup time and, hence, negatively affects OEE. But say a machine is idle simply because it has no more work on the schedule, though is still available if needed. Depending on the situation, this may not have a negative impact on OEE. What about the performance rate? For this, you need a standard ideal performance or cycle time. But in a job shop, nothing is standard. Every job can have its own ideal cycle time, and this again makes a true OEE calculation extremely challenging. Manual Data Collection All this presents a dichotomy. A high-product-mix

Figure 1 This interface connects to one or two commonly available machine control signals, allowing it to count parts or machine cycles for OEE data collection.

Figure 2 At this shop, the injection molding system and shear are experiencing downtime. The operator selects the reason for the downtime from a drop-down menu.

Figure 3 Real-time data collection allows the system to immediately recognize machine stoppages and to constantly recalculate and update key performance indicators (KPIs) for your machines.

Calculating the Performance Rate Even with the availability portion of OEE automatically collected, traditional OEE comes up short in high-product-mix, low-volume manufacturing applications. is again goes back to determining the performance rate factor, where the true, ideal production rate, or cycle time, depends more on the parts being fabricated than on the machine itself. Consider the following example: A machine making Part A produces 6 parts per hour. After a job change the same machine produces Part B at a rate of 12 parts per hour. Since standard OEE compares a machines actual performance to a single ideal rate, it would indicate that Part B is running at twice the e ciency of Part A. However, lets say that under ideal circumstances, the machine actually is capable of producing Part A at 7 parts per hour, and the much simpler Part B at 30 parts per hour. In actuality, the machine was running

If an OEE report lacks the latest data, its inaccurate. To properly track a highproduct-mix, short-run environment, you must enter the data frequently. is causes the manual data entry task itself to become a measurable source of production loss. Manually collected data also is biased. It is unrealistic to expect a machine operatorwhose livelihood may depend on the very numbers hes reportingto be unbiased when recording uptime and production counts. Automatic Data Collection e key to getting timely, accurate, and unbiased data is to collect as much information as possible without any human involvement, and then make it easy for the operator to provide any missing required information. Automatic data collection refers to a system that tracks the actual running time, or uptime, of a machine and records production counts without any operator input. e system itself consists of centralized software that collects, stores, and creates reports from the information, as well as machine-mounted electronic hardware that counts parts or machine cycles, and detects whether or not the machine is running. While you may prefer to get this information directly from an existing machine controller, it is often impractical or impossible to modify proprietary electronics to communicate with generic data collection software. Instead, most OEE systems employ a dedicated machine interface (see Figure 1). ink of the machine interface as a data collection appliance with built-in network capability and communication drivers that talk to the data collection software. Since the machine interface only needs to count parts (or machine cycles) and detect whether or not the machine is running, it can be installed on any machine by tapping into one or two commonly available machine control signals. Getting the Why While automated OEE data collection can detect when a machine is down, it cannot always determine why it is down. To use the collected information in a downtime reduction program, some operator involvement is necessary to identify the reasons for downtime. e easiest way to obtain this information is to place a menu of downtime reason choices on the machine interface. Whenever the machine stops, the operator selects the appropriate reason from the list (see Figure 2). Each reason can a ect the OEE calculation in di erent ways, and how certain categories are classied can depend on company practice. For instance, when a job is nished and there is nothing left on the schedule, you can identify the downtime as a lapse in the schedule. Your company may classify a lapse in the schedule as planned downtime. e machine may be idle, but it can still jump into action if needed; that is, it wont negatively a ect availability in your OEE calculation. On the other hand, time spent on machine setup means it is tied up for a specic job (and hence unavailable for anything else), but not producing a productwhich is why, in lean parlance, setup is classied as non-value-added time. In general, the longer your setup time, the lower your OEE. To ensure that the operator species a reason for each signicant downtime event, the machine interface can inhibit further machine operation until the operator selects a reason for the downtime. is minimizes the amount of time attributed to an unknown reason, which, of course, isnt very useful.

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September 2013 The FABRICATOR 85

at 86 percent efficiency while making Part A, and only 40 percent efficiency for Part B. You theoretically could factor out these errors manually for each job, but this becomes extremely difficult when youre trying to summarize OEE over a long period. The calculations required to weight jobs of varying length also become very complex. Automation can help here too. Instead of trying to apply a single ideal performance by machine only, a unique ideal performance rating can be applied to each machine/ part combination. To do this, OEE software stores a table

of parts that each machine is capable of producing, along with an ideal rate for each machine/part combination. To calculate OEE, the software applies the appropriate ideal rate for each part being produced by the machine. This allows the system to calculate the number of parts that could have been run under ideal circumstances, while properly weighting disparate jobs with different cycle times. Setup Optimization Every manufacturer wants to reduce setup time, but few look at optimization, which takes a broader perspective.

At its foundation, machine changeover entails the end of one job, the tool changeover, and, finally, the beginning of the next job. Setup time reduction involves the procedures between the two jobs that is, the tool changeover. Are tools labeled correctly and staged for the next job near the machine? Are standard work instructions complete? Is material for the next job staged? How much time is spent running test pieces? Setup optimization, however, also includes the sequence of the jobs themselves. Automated OEE systems can interpret setup times and tools necessary for each job, and group similar jobs together so an operator can transition from one job to the next quickly. This immediately improves efficiency and can run in parallel with a standard setup time reduction program. The more frequently you change jobs, the more important this type of optimization becomes. Diminishing Importance of OEE Over Time Your goal is to improve the efficiency of your equipment, and a robust OEE tracking system enables you to identify underperforming equipment quickly. By tracking OEE along with the reasons for downtime, you identify the leading causes of availability losses. Once the reasons are identified and quantified, you can begin to address the root causes of your downtime, and then use your OEE tracking system to measure the efficacy of your improvements. As you make your processes more efficient, three things happen: You increase profitability, you decrease lead-times, and you make your OEE tracking system less important. Thats right. The more improvements you make, the less important it is to track OEEat least this has been the traditional thinking with manual data collection. With any OEE program, you get the most bang for your buck at the beginning, when you identify and eliminate the most serious and easily correctable issues. Once youve picked the lowhanging fruit, further improvements become more complicated and expensive. This is one of the reasons that OEE was originally conceived as an informal paper system: Once OEE had served its usefulness, you simply
86 The FABRICATOR September 2013

stopped measuring for it. The savings from process improvements just werent enough to offset all the time it took to collect the data manually. Automated data collection changes the situation. Like with manual systems, the most rapid and dramatic improvements occur early on, and over time the improvement becomes incremental. But unlike manual systems, automated data collection doesnt demand much time from the operator. Some operator input remains, like selecting the reason that a machine is down, but this doesnt take long, and its more than offset by even small, incremental improvements gained in a mature OEE program. Moreover, an automatic collection system records events as they happen, in real time (see Figure 3). This allows the system to immediately recognize machine stoppages and to recalculate constantly and update key performance indicators (KPIs) for your machines. The realtime data allows you to continue to benefit from your data collection system, even if youve made all the lowhanging-fruit improvements. Once all of your improvements are in place, the efficiency of any given job on any given day will depend in large part on how quickly operators or maintenance personnel can respond to normal machine stoppages. A real-time system can notify the appropriate people quicklythrough text/e-mail messages and large-format displays around the factorywhenever a machine stops. Also, manufacturers that display KPIs in real time as they begin their improvement program see an average increase in OEE of 9 percent without making any hard improvements to their equipment or processes. The reason for this is human nature. When operators see their performance displayed on a scoreboard for all to see, their natural competitive instincts kick in, and efficiency improves because nobody wants to be at the bottom of the list. Why OEE Matters Managers of job shops and contract manufacturers work with forever changing product mixes. The product mix in the morning could be completely different from the one in the afternoon. It makes the job fulfilling, because every day presents a different challenge. But its also an environment that can go out of control

quickly, which is why process measurement like OEE can be such an essential tool. Consider the press brake department, a bottleneck operation for many metal fabricators. Whats the uptime? Whats occurring during the downtime? How long does setup really take? All this can be extremely time-consuming to measure, so much so that you might question why youre measuring for OEE at all. Software and automated data collection change the situation. By calculating the ideal rate and actual running uptime for each job, the software can track how many

parts could have been made, and can then calculate the performance percentage by comparing this to the number of parts that were actually made. This is powerful information for any manufacturer to haveand especially the job shop. Jim Finnerty is product manager for ShopFloorConnect at Wintriss Controls Group LLC, 100 Discovery Way, Unit 110, Acton, MA 01720, 800-586-8324, www.shopfloor connect.com.

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What Keeps You up at Night?

What Keeps You up at Night?

2013
36%
Economy

Availability of skilled workers

2009
Economy

48%

19%

Availability of credit

14%

Availability of credit Growth of federal government debt

10%

Availability of skilled workers Meeting increased customer expectations 6% Other

6%

9% 9%

26%

Meeting increased customer expectations Other

(Editors Note: Cost of raw material was not provided as a choice in the 2009 survey.)

17%

2011
Economy

34%

Availability of credit

19% 8%

Availability of skilled workers

12%

Cost of raw materials

Meeting increased customer expectations 5% Other

22%

With this question, subscribers were asked to rank a series of concerns from 1 to 13 according to what was the most important issue that kept them up at night. More fabricators appear to be concerned about the availability of skilled workers as the economy has improved over the last several years, but the concerns about the economy have yet to subside. Also, although few survey respondents listed cost of raw materials as their main concern, 20 percent did cite it as their second major concern in this years survey.

In which of these areas do you expect to devote major resources in the next 3 to 5 years?
By Dan Davis, Editor-in-Chief Its been more than four years since the end of the Great Recession, at least according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the folks in charge of determining such things. With all that time to bring back workers, re-establish relationships with customers, invest in new capabilities, and attract new business, metal fabricators must be incredibly optimistic about the near future. Not quite. Despite two or three terrific sales years for many metal fabricators, they arent ready to talk about any future golden days. They are taking a conservative approach to their businesses, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. In general, they dont know what to expect. The results of The FABRICATORs What Keeps You up at Night? survey reveals that very cautious optimism. Everyone recognizes that business is pretty good, but they have no idea how long that can continue. Many believe that any future prosperity is held hostage by the unknowns that might be lurking around the next corner. For many metal fabricators, it boils down to an ineffective federal government. One metal fabricator didnt mince words when asked what the biggest problem facing the metal fabricating industry is: Government. They need to stay out of small business and let capitalism work. If we could be more in control of our own destiny and not have to worry about what regulation is coming next, then we could spend money on equipment, hire more workers, and grow our brand. Instead, we have to sit on money, worry about regulations, and waste time planning for what if scenarios, like health care, minimum wage, taxes, etc. Its ridiculous! Of course, that opinion was one of many. To give you a better idea of the general mood and outlook of the metal fabricating industry, we have decided to share some of the results of this years biannual survey, which was sent to more than 6,800 subscribers of The FABRICATOR and generated a response from slightly more than 1 percent of them. Its not a scientific survey by any means, but it does provide valuable insight into todays metal fabricating community. 88 The FABRICATOR September 2013 Automation 29% Capital equipment acquisition 22% Cost reduction 16% Safety 12% Quality control 6% R&D/Engineering and design 6% Other 8%

Survey participants were asked to rank 11 areas of organizational improvement over the next several years according to importance, and they responded in such a way that suggested few companies are interested in adding labor right now. Lead-times throughput and industry standards/codes ranked high for a handful of FABRICATOR readers, but were deemed less important by a majority of respondents.

Do you think the message that the government needs to implement policies that support U.S. manufacturing is being heard in Washington, D.C.?

Yes No

2013

15% 85%

Yes No

2011

13% 87%

Not too much has changed from the 2011 to the 2013 survey.

Would you recommend metal fabricating as a career choice to someone in your family?
Yes No

2013

73% 27%

Yes No

2011

77% 23%

2009
Yes No

64% 35%

In all likelihood, the support of metal fabricating as a career choice decreased when compared to the 2011 survey because of the uncertainty that surrounds the economic and regulatory environment in the U.S.

What areas do you expect to devote major resources to in the next 3 to 5 years?
Finding new customers 39% Capital equipment 37% Process improvement (lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, etc.) Employee development 5% Other 5%

How would you sum up your current attitude about working in metal fabricating?

14%

2013
Satisfied Dissatisfied

63% 6%

2009
Satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

31%

57% 26% 17%

Somewhat satisfied Dissatisfied

When asked to rank several activities from 1 to 7 according to what they considered to be the most important area of resources deployment in the near future, metal fabricators focused on the bottom line: They need a diversified customer base to survive. Focus on areas such as green initiatives and information technology didnt rank as important to a large majority of the survey respondents.

2011
Satisfied

63% 8%

Somewhat satisfied Dissatisfied

29%

How much does your company pay entry-level welders per hour?
Less than $10 4% $10-$12.99 25% $13-$14.99 31% $15-$16.99 15% $17+ 24%
Many experienced manufacturing workers and labor pundits believe the skilled-worker shortage is more of a cheap-skilled-worker shortage. In this survey, readers revealed that entry-level wages for welders run the gamut. Differences in the starting wages probably differ greatly according to industry and geographic location, but somebody looking for a start in a new industry has the chance to make a decent wage if they look for it.

Metal fabricators may not be the profession to pursue in search of riches, but it appears to be a good choice for job satisfaction.

What end-use markets is your company targeting in an effort to diversify business?


Construction Aerospace

41%

Oil & gas industry/OCTG

29%

33% 28% 24% 25%

Bus, heavy truck & trailer/RV

Food processing & food service/Beverage Military equipment & munitions

Do you see your business


Growing 54% Staying the same Shrinking 4% Ending

42%

Of course, metal fabricators are targeting many more industries, but these scored the highest after survey respondents were asked to choose all that were applicable. Obviously, many companies are waiting for the structural steel market to climb back to the levels prior to the Great Recession. Also, even with the constant threat of further government cutbacks, many fabricators still see the defense industry as a possible place to expand.

0%

In a glass-half-empty world, these results have to be pretty encouraging for the rest of 2013. Right?

What actions should the government take to support U.S. manufacturing?


Reform the tax code 40% Reduce regulations 18% Support industrial tech programs 17% Impose more import tariffs 14% Negotiate more trade agreements 6% Formulate national energy policy

5%

Survey participants were asked to rank these six actions according to importance. One respondent had a more targeted idea when asked for general comments, Lean, Six Sigma, and theory of constraints applied to state and federal governments.

In the areas of human resources/workforce development, what areas do you expect to devote major resources to in the next 3 to 5 years?
Finding and retaining skilled labor 51% Establishing/offering apprenticeships/internships 26% Technology training for shop floor employees 13% Sales training 8% Other 2%

Join the revolution. Choose APCs Next Generation High Speed Lens.

In ranking these areas of human resources/workforce development according to importance, readers focused heavily on getting new blood in their operations.
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 89

Figure 1 Waterwall tubes operated without surface protection become severely corroded.

Electric arc wire thermal spray process can defeat failure mechanisms

By Chad Wagner

oal-red and waste-to-energy boilers are exposed to complex corrosive and erosive forces that can damage their waterwalls, superheaters, and ue gas desulfurization systems (see Figure 1). ese attacking mechanisms can lead to reduced operational e ciency and failures that result in unscheduled outages for component replacement. e industry has recorded more than 30,000 boiler tube failures, and 80 percent of those have resulted in forced plant shutdowns. Replacing a large boiler system can cost millions for material and installation. Even more signicantly, though, plant downtime can cost an operating utility or company millions of dollars a day in lost revenue.

Whats Attacking the Boiler Waterwalls? Boiler tubes are subjected to a great number of failure mechanisms. Following are some of the more common mechanisms that can combine to cause complex failure of the boiler components. Fireside corrosion fatigue usually is seen in coalred boilers as a series of circumferential cracks on tube ODs that appear as crazing or have an elephant hide appearance resulting from corrosion intensied by thermal stresses (see Figure 2). Fly ash erosion is caused by y ash impingement on tube walls, particularly in superheaters, resulting in tube wall thinning. Waterwall reside corrosion typically occurs in the lower part of the boiler and sometimes is associated with the combustion process. e result is thinning of the tube wall, leading to eventual failure. ermal fatigue most often is seen in the superheaters of coal-red boilers. Stresses result from thermal cycling and uneven thermal gradients in the components. Distortion in the components

can set up a series of opposing compressive and tensile stresses, eventually resulting in cracking that can propagate to failure. Erosion corrosion is metal corrosion accelerated by erosive uid conditions. On the reside of waterwalls, erosion is caused by circulating gaseous media at high velocity, which carries the corroding media to the components. e result generally is pitting or ongoing erosion of the metal that simultaneously is undergoing corrosive attack. Falling slag erosion causes impact damage as large chunks of slag impact waterwalls in the lower sections of the boiler. Soot blower erosion occurs when high-velocity compressed air or steam is used to blow soot o the superheater or waterwall surfaces. Over time it can erode and corrode those surfaces, thinning the component walls. Short- and long-term overheating generally cause longitudinal stress fracturing or splitting of the tube walls. Chemical cleaning damage occurs when corrosive caustic or acidic cleaning chemicals aggressively attack the metal. Pitting can be aggravated when cleaners are not rinsed away quickly or thoroughly enough, causing damage that can lead to eventual failure. Pitting corrosion, a localized galvanic corrosion, can occur as a result of chemical attack from the boiler atmosphere, such as with the use of sulfurcontaining fuels or from coal ash constituents. How Can Boiler Surfaces Be Protected? Protecting the surfaces of boiler components can extend their useful service life, thereby reducing replacement costs and outage times. e electric arc wire thermal spray process (see Figure 3) is an alternative to the traditional weld overlay approach for protecting boiler components and systems. Two metallic wires, usually of the same composition, are charged electrically with opposing polarity and are fed into the arc gun at matched, controlled speeds. When the wires are brought together at the contact point, the opposing charges on the wires create enough heat to melt the tips of the wires continuously. Compressed air is generally

Figure 2 e elephant hide appearance of the middle boiler tube may be the result of reside corrosion fatigue. 90 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Figure 3 e electric arc wire thermal spray process is an alternative to traditional weld overlay.

used to atomize the now molten material and accelerate it onto the workpiece surface to form the coating. Coatings. The process applies nickel-chromium alloys, the same materials used for weld overlay, at a quick pace. As thermal spray coatings bond to the substrate materials with an intrinsic mechanical bond, there is no possibility of base-metal dilution or detrimental changes to the substrate grain structure. Electric arc wire spray is a relatively cool application process, elimiFigure 4 A worker manually applies electric arc wire spraying to a nating concerns about waterwall distortion. coal-fired boiler waterwall on-site. When properly applied, the coatings provide full coverage and are well-bonded to the substrate. They provide lasting corrosion protection and can be reapplied as needed. Thermal spray coatings are compatible with weld repairs and can be applied over the welded area. Spray units are compact and portable, requiring only electrical service and clean, compressed air to operate. Process Flexibility. The process can be used in the shop or on-site. Long-length hose and wire stands can be used to allow for convenient placement of the power Figure 5 supply unit remotely The thermal spray-coated boiler tubes on the bottom have the same appearance after one year in service as from the wire feed and the tubes on the top, freshly coated and ready for instal- spray gun in on-site aplation. plications (see Figure 4). Although hand spraying can be used for large areas with even coating thickness, the use of X-Y traverse units is recommended for spray gun manipulation. Application Time. The total time required to apply electric arc wire coatings can be 30 to 40 percent less than that required for traditional welded overlay coatings. For a large utility boiler, this means surface protection application can be completed two to four days faster. Costs. With quicker application time, fewer labor hours are needed to complete a job when compared to the more traditional wire overlay process. Also, jobs can be turned around more quickly. Typically, wire material usage for thermal spray is about 60 percent that of weld overlay.

Service Life. Service life for the protective coatings can be very long, but it varies significantly depending on the boiler type, areas coated, and the plant operating conditions (see Figure 5). Electric arc wire coatings do not cause dilution and heat-affected-zone (HAZ) changes to the base material grain structure, which can lead to premature tube failure. Since no welding is involved in the process, it doesnt initiate sites for cracking and microcorrosion or cause through-hole pores that can lead to premature attack of the base metal. How to Ensure the Process Works? As with any technology that involves changing the surface characteristics of a metal workpiece, surface preparation and how the material is applied are critical elements. Because the adhesion of the coating to the substrate predominantly consists of mechanical bonding, careful cleaning and pretreatment of the surface to be coated are extremely important. After the removal of surface impurities by chemical or mechanical methods, the surface is usually roughened using a blasting procedure, with an abrasive such as aluminum oxide. This activates the surface by increasing the free surface energy and also offers the benefit of increased surface area for bonding of the sprayed particles. In addition, its important to use a clean source of compressed air. The compressed air should be purified by means of oil and water separators. Oil or water in the thermal spray may result in poor coating quality or reduced adhesion. Chad Wagner is product manager, thermal spraywires, Sulzer Metco Inc., 1101 Prospect Ave., Westbury, NY 11590, 516-334-1300, www.sulzer.com/en/ products-and-services/coating-services.

September 2013 The FABRICATOR 91

Figure 1 When the dry, opaque mark of a temperature-indicating stick changes to a melted appearance, its temperature rating has been reached.

Monitoring surface temperatures with phase-change materials


Melting point standards simplify measurement in welding, manufacturing

By Claude Bedingeld

or measuring surface temperatures, one of the simplest and most e ective methods is the use of temperature-indicating products based on the absolute, predictable phase change (solid to liquid) of a pure chemical compound. Melting pointthe temperature at which phase change occursis a physical property; nothing a ects it, and it occurs, simply and reliably, every time the exact temperature is reached. Phasechange temperature indicators are not inuenced by external factors such as static electricity, ionized air, time, humidity, or impact. e melting point never needs calibration. Types of Phase-Change Indicators The rst phase-change temperature indicator was a stick used to mark the workpiece in welding applications. Temperature-indicating sticks now are available for measuring exact temperatures, from 100 to 2,000 degrees F. While they come in a variety of identifying colors, the color has nothing to do with the temperature-indicating process. When the dry, opaque mark changes to a distinct, well-dened melted appearance (see Figure 1), the temperature rating of the stick has been reached. Pellets are another option. ey are placed on or inside the workpiece, such as in an annealing furnace. Liquids, which are painted on the workpiece, are composed of phase-change materials suspended in an inert, volatile, nonammable vehicle. ey may be used to mark polished metals, glass, and other smooth or shiny, di cult-to-mark surfaces or those not readily accessible for application of a crayon mark during the heating process. Both pellets and liquids change from dry to wet (melted) when they reach their temperature rating (see Figure 2). Temperature-sensitive labels are coated with temperature-indicating material and a xed to a component to measure temperature exposure. e center of a heat-sensitive indicator, sealed on the label under a transparent window, turns per92 The FABRICATOR September 2013

manently from white to black at the temperature rating. Labels provide rapid data acquisition without any wires or readout boxes. ey are suitable for measuring temperatures in isolated systems, on moving or rotating assemblies, or wherever other recording instruments are impractical. Applications include monitoring the operating conditions of electronic parts, transformers, resistors, and circuit-board components. Accuracy e accuracy of phase-change materials for surface temperature indication is usually within 1 percentfor example, within 3.5 degrees at 350 degrees F. is accuracy is achieved because the stick, label, or liquid is in direct contact with the workpiece and thus in thermal equilibrium with the surface to be tested. A phase-change indicator does not, of course, tell the exact temperature as a thermometer would. However, it does determine exactly when a preset minimum or maximum temperature has been reached. For checking one or a few limit points, phase-change material is an accurate, cost-e ective method. Applications Phase-change materials are used to measure temperatures in welding preheat, interpass, postweld

heat treatment, cool-down, and annealing. ey also are used to measure the temperature of equipment used on a job, in applications varying from racing car engines to electronic componentsparticularly where the surface may be moving, rotating, or inaccessible. And they are used to determine temperatures for diagnostic work and warranty information. Preheat almost always is required or recommended for welding, particularly for surface welding and joining of thick or hardenable, higherstrength alloys. Bringing the base metal up to heat before welding reduces the danger of crack formation. Since preheat is an inexact science, with metal thickness and other factors a ecting the necessary duration before the desired temperature is reached, the temperature indicators are used to ensure the recommended level of preheat has been achieved and maintained. A phase-change indicator of a desired calibrated temperature can be used to mark the workpiece before heating begins, or it may be stroked on the piece as heating proceeds. Pellets occasionally are placed on the surface of the workpiece for preheat indication, but they typically are employed in higher-temperature and more prolonged heat-treating applications.

Phase-change materials are used to measure temperatures in welding preheat, interpass, postweld heat treatment, cool-down, and annealing.
Maintenance of minimum and maximum interpass temperatures promotes ductility, reduces brittleness, increases toughness, improves weld controllability, reduces hard zones next to the weld area, and reduces distortion of surrounding surfaces. It also increases di usion of hydrogen from the metal to limit weld contamination and tends to vaporize moisture that might be present. Following machine welding, a workpiece might need to be stress-relieved to an appropriate ductile condition by annealinga process of controlled reheating that returns the overhardened metal to the approximate hardness of the rest of the material. Correct temperature is extremely important; too much heat will decrease weld strength, while insu cient heat will prevent annealing and leave the weld overhardened and brittle. Temperature-indicating products are useful tools for the entire welding process. Claude Bedingeld is a welding instructor at Gillette College, Northern Wyoming Community College District, 300 W. Sinclair St., Gillette, WY 82718, 307-686-0254, cbeningeld@sheridan.edu.

Figure 2 Temperature-indicating liquids, which are painted on the workpiece, change from dry to wet (melted) when they reach their temperature rating.

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AND MORE

Forming & Fabricating 2013 3-D Laser Cutting Machine Buyers Guide
Number of Controlled Axes (Max.) Work Area Travel (Max.) Without Repositioning Laser Head Rotation (Degrees) With Repositioning Machine Configuration Resonator Type and Maximum Power (kW) Diffusion-cooled Accuracy and Repeatability (in.) Without With Repositioning Repositioning

Maximum Positioning Speed (IPM)

Workpiece Specifications
Max. Thickness (in.) With Max.-Power Resonator

Model

ALTAMAR LASER AND CONTROL, Fridley, MN


LT2400 LTH2024 LT2410 LT2012 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 24 6 288 6 24 6 4 4 4 6 4 360 288 144 312 4 4 3 .4 3.5 2 .004 .002 .003 .001 .001 .0008 .001 .0004 .002 .004

Enter reader service code 884317 at www.ffid.net 2,000 800 800 .50 .125 .625 .50 .50 .08 .38 .27 .38 .06 .25 .2 300 100 400 150

1,000 1,000 1,400 .0015 3,000 1,000 1,000 3,000 1,000 1,000

AMADA AMERICA INC., Buena Park, CA


LC3015C2 (Theta) 4 6 120 60 20 370 135 4

Enter reader service code 122726 at www.ffid.net 3,150 3,150 4,455 .625 .312 .250 2,000

BLM GROUP USA CORP., Wixom, MI


LT Fiber Lasertube LT120 Lasertube LT722 Lasertube LT823 Lasertube LT8 Lasertube Jumbo 14, Jumbo 20 LT5 Fiber 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 5 6 9 13 15+ 6 334 256 335 335 335 700 255 6 6 6 6 8 6 6 6 6 8 360 360 360 360 360 360 360 45 45 45 IPG 2.0 Fiber DC020 2.0 DC025 2.5 DC035 3.5 DC035 3.5 .004 .004 .004 .004 .004 .001 .001 .001 .001 .001 .002 .001

Enter reader service code 841889 at www.ffid.net .250 .250 .375 .375 .625 .625 .187 .160 .180 .180 .180 .375 .375 .125 .160 .160 .160 .160 .300 .375 .125 300 215 300 300 700 1,000 300

14/20 14/20 6 6

DC035 .008 3.5 IPG 1 .004

ESAB WELDING & CUTTING PRODUCTS, Florence, SC


Alpharex AXD 4 5 1,200 198 12 Inf. 45 6 .006/80 .001 x 80

Enter reader service code 128605 at www.ffid.net 1,000 1,000 1,000 1 .625 .5 16,000

HAN-KWANG USA, Lombard, IL


TL6015 4 4 4 303 6 6 360 2.5 .004 .001

Enter reader service code 621910 at www.ffid.net 4,724 1,574 .25 .20 .16 300

MAZAK OPTONICS CORP., Elgin, IL


SG-U442D/3D/ 3D-Rotary Space Gear Mark II 48 2D/3D/ 3D-Rotary Space Gear Mark II 510 2D/3D/ 3D-Rotary FG-220 MkII 3D FG-400 MkII 3D FG-400 MkII L 3D 4 6 50 50 16.53 360 135 4 .0004/ .0002 20 .0004/ .0002 20 .0004/ .0002 20 .0004/ .0004 20 .0004/ .0004 20 .0004/ .0004 20

Enter reader service code 136506 at www.ffid.net 945 945 1 .5 .375 695

109

50

16.53

360

135

945

945

.5

.375

1,388

131

61

16.53

360

135

945

945

.5

.375

2,050

11 11 11

352 333 576

8.6 dia. 360 16 dia. 360 16 dia. 360

135 135 135

4 4 4

3,937 1,417 1,181 945 1,181 945

1 1 1

.5 .5 .5

.375 .375 .375

728 1,036 2,400

MC MACHINERY SYSTEMSMITSUBISHI LASER, Wood Dale, IL


1515VZ10 3122VZ10 1515VZ20 3122VZ20 4 4 4 4 6 6 5 5 59.8 122 59.8 122 59.8 86.6 59.8 86.6 33.4 33.4 33.4 33.4 360 360 360 360 180 180 135 135 3 3 4 4 .00059 .00059 .00059 .00059

Enter reader service code 199945 at www.ffid.net 1,772 1,772 2,505 1,378 1,378 1,950 1,772 1,772 2,505 1,378 1,378 1,950 .50 .50 .625 .625 .25 .25 .312 .312 .25 .25 .312 .312 1,543 4,400 1,543 4,400

NTC AMERICA CORP.NTC LASER, Novi, MI


TLM 404 TLM 408 TLM 610 TLM 614 TLM 914 TLH 408 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 8 8 8 8 8 6 51 98 122 169 169 51 51 75 75 110 24 28 35 35 35 200 200 200 200 200 720 180 180 180 180 180 135 6 6 6 6 6 .001 .001 .001 .002 .002 IPG Fiber 6 .002 kW .0002 .0002 .0002 .0002 .0002 .001

Enter reader service code 187833 at www.ffid.net 1,575 1,575 1,575 1,575 1,575 1,575 1,378 1,378 1,378 1,181 1,181 1,181 787 787 787 .750 .750 .750 .750 .750 1.0 .625 .625 .625 .625 .625 .75 .375 .375 .375 .375 .375 .5 4,400 4,400 4,400 4,400 4,400 3,000

98.43 49.21 19.69

3,937 3,937 3,937

This information is provided by the manufacturers. For more information, use the corresponding advertising code at www.ffid.net or the links in the online buyers guide at www.thefabricator.com. Copyright 2013 by FMA Communications Inc. Reproduction in full or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Buyers guides are a part of the Forming & Fabricating Industry Directory.

94 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Max. Weight (lbs.)

Laser Head Tilt (Degrees)

Stainless Steel

Traverse Flow

Simultaneous

Repeatability

Repeatability

X Axis (in.)

Y Axis (in.)

X Axis (in.)

Y Axis (in.)

Z Axis (in.)

Axial Flow

Mild Steel

Aluminum

Cantilever

Accuracy

Accuracy

Robotic

Gantry

Rotary

Bridge

Hybrid

X Axis

Y Axis

Other

Number of Controlled Axes (Max.)

Work Area Travel (Max.) Without Repositioning Laser Head Rotation (Degrees) With Repositioning

Machine Configuration

Resonator Type and Maximum Power (kW) Diffusion-cooled

Accuracy and Repeatability (in.) Without With Repositioning Repositioning

Maximum Positioning Speed (IPM)

Workpiece Specifications
Max. Thickness (in.) With Max.-Power Resonator

Model

PRIMA POWER LASERDYNE, Champlin, MN


Laserdyne 795XS Optimo Evoluzione Rapido Evoluzione 2 Laserdyne 795XL Laserdyne 795XLZ Laserdyne 450 Laserdyne 430 4 4 5, 8 opt. 5 40 177 40 98.4 40 40 900 360 150 135 6 5 20 .4 .001 Pa .001 Ps

Enter reader service code 1749940 at www.ffid.net Inf. 1,968 1,968 3,355 .5 .5 .5 880 part/ fixture for turntable Inf. Inf. 1,000 1,000 Enter reader service code 100798 at www.ffid.net 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 79 158 79 158 118 59 or 78.5 59 or 78.5 59 or 78.5 59 or 78.5 51 29.5 29.5 29.5 29.5 23.6 Inf. Inf. Inf. Inf. Inf. 135 135 135 135 135 8 8 6.6 6.6 4 .0015 .0015 .0015 .0015 .0015 .0005 .0015 .0005 3,930 3,930 6,810 .0005 .0015 .0005 3,930 3,930 6,810 .0005 .0015 .0005 3,930 3,930 6,810 .0005 .0015 .0005 3,930 3,930 6,810 .0005 .0015 .0005 3,930 3,930 6,810 .6 .6 .75 .75 .75 .35 .35 .47 .47 .625 .25 .25 .75 .75 .5 2,200 2,200 2,200 2,200 770

160.6 60.25

30

360

135

.001 Pa .001 Ps

3,937 3,937 6,889

.5

.5

.5

4 4 4 4

5, 8 opt. 5, 8 opt. 5 3, 8 opt.

80 80 14 23

40 40 14 16

40 54 14 20

900 cont. 900 cont. 360 360

150 150 150 150

6 6

20 20

.4 .4 .4

.4

TRUMPF INC., Farmington, CT


TruLaser Cell 7020 TruLaser Cell 7040 TruLaser Cell 7020 w/ TruDisk SSL TruLaser Cell 7040 w/ TruDisk TruLaser Cell 8030 w/ TruDisk SSL 4 4 4 4 4

TUBE TECH MACHINERY, Cazzago, San Martino, Italy


TL 312 Speed 3D 4 480 120 6

Enter reader service code 972206 at www.ffid.net 5,500 Enter reader service code 156731 at www.ffid.net

YASKAWA AMERICA INC., Miamisburg, OH


HP20D MC2000 4 4 4 4 6 6 50 120 105 175 360 360 140 140 50 120 .1 .002 .07

750

750

750

.5

.35

.1

DALCOS punching machine

Electric, Efcient, Ecological. Coil fed.

dalcos.com
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 95

Meet us at the Fabtech Show From November 18th to 21st MMT International Booth S3984

Max. Weight (lbs.)

Laser Head Tilt (Degrees)

Stainless Steel

Traverse Flow

Simultaneous

Repeatability

Repeatability

X Axis (in.)

Y Axis (in.)

X Axis (in.)

Y Axis (in.)

Z Axis (in.)

Axial Flow

Mild Steel

Aluminum

Cantilever

Accuracy

Accuracy

Robotic

Gantry

Rotary

Bridge

Hybrid

X Axis

Y Axis

Other

Your leading educational resource www.fmanet.org

IN THE KNOW

News and information from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International

Award Program to Honor Industry Success Stories


Call for nominations ends Oct. 15
FMA seeks applicants for The FABRICATORs Industry Award 2014. The program is open to individuals or companies in the metal forming and fabricating industry that have successfully improved operations, attained business growth, and contributed to both the local and industry communities. The winner will be recognized on the cover of the February 2014 issue of The FABRICATOR and will be featured in a high-profile article in the issue. Plus, one company representative and one guest will receive complimentary registration, travel, and hotel accommodations to accept the award at The FABRICATORs Leadership Summit taking place Feb. 26-28, 2014, at the Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas. To make a nomination, visit fmanet.org/industryawards. The deadline is Oct. 15, 2013, at 5 p.m. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the following: shop floor improvements; safety; training; business success; customer satisfaction; new products/services; support of manufacturing as future career choice; and philanthropic activities. Call 888394-4362 for more information. n

FMA Communications Inc. Editor-in-Chief, Dan Davis with recipient of The FABRICATORs 2013 Industry Award, Steve Hasty, president of A&E Custom Manufacturing Technologies Inc.

Registration Now Open for 2nd Annual RUN4MFG at FABTECH


The Fabricators & Manufacturers Associations Young Professionals Council is collaborating again this year to plan the 2nd Annual RUN4MFG 5K, a charity race set to kick off FABTECH week on Sunday, The run will raise funds to support manufacturing education and the educational foundations of the FABTECH show partners. Create a team and challenge your friends and co-workers to help a great cause! Participants have the opportunity to collect pledges on behalf of Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the Foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. NBT donations raised from the RUN4MFG will fund grants for manufacturing camps for middle school and high school students and help to provide

Nov. 17, 2013, in Chicago. The route proceeds through Lincoln Park along the beautiful Chicago lakefront.

trade school and college scholarships to students planning to pursue careers in manufacturing.

More information is available at fabtechexpo.com/run4mfg or by calling 815-227-8232. n

FABTECH 2013 Mobile App Now Available


The official FABTECH mobile app is available for download and designed to enhance your show experience. The app puts important show information in the palm of your hand so you can access it anytime, anywhere. Search exhibitors, navigate the show floor, view and build your schedule, and stay connected via social media. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and other web browser-enabled devices. FEATURES INCLUDE: Searchable exhibitor list that makes it easy to find companies and products Interactive maps so you can visually browse the exhibit floor Agenda planner you can use to create a list of must-see exhibits A full schedule of sessions and events and the ability to add to your planner Real-time alerts that remind you of whats happening at the show Easy access to the events social media channels Chicago information with dining options and things to do And much more! n

Mobile App Sponsored By:

Download the FABTECH 2013 App Now at fabtechexpo.com/mobile


96 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Summer Mfg. Camps

FABTECH trade show

Continuing Education

Networking Events

Dont miss The FABRICATOR s Technology Summit & Tours Oct. 1-2, 2013, in Atlanta
Production Velocity Is the Speed of Success!
is 4th annual summit features the unique opportunity to tour six fabricating shops in a day and a half that will showcase their lasers, press brakes, turret punches, robotic welders, nishing processes, and more. Transportation will be provided to and from all tours. Day one includes tours of MNdustries in Suwanee, Metcam in Alpharetta, Impulse Manufacturing in Dawsonville, and Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp. in Gainesville. Southern Metalcraft (SMI), Lithonia, and Tie Down Engineering/Industries, Atlanta, will be toured on day two.

TRAINING

ALERT

Conferences & Workshops

VELOCITY
Valuable networking opportunities will be available during the roundtable sessions, where attendees will have the chance to discuss topics of interest within the group. Dan Davis, editor-in-chief of

October 1-2, 2013

PRODUCTION

VELOCITY

Roll Forming Certicate Program


Sept. 17-18, 2013 Grand Haven, Mich.

Precision Press Brake Certicate Courses


Sept. 23-24, 2013 | Lenexa, Kan. Sept. 26-27, 2013 | St. Louis, Mo. Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2013 | South Bend, Ind. Oct. 3-4, 2013 | Wood Dale, Ill.

THE SPEED OF SUCCESS


e FABRICATOR, will moderate popular roundtable sessions during the summit. For more information, visit fmanet.org/training or contact Jen Christian at jen@fmanet.org or 815-227-8207.

Environmental Footprint Reduction Workshop for Finishing Operations


Sept. 24, 2013 Grand Rapids, Mich.

Optimize Efciency With Two Upcoming FMA Programs


LeanFab Workshop & Tour
Oct. 22-23, 2013 Amada America Inc., Schaumburg, Ill. phases of their lean journey, providing valuable insight to take your own unique operation to the next level. Each tour will be followed by a debrief roundtable discussion. You will also have the opportunity to share your challenges and nd solutions from peers and facilitators Dick Kallage, KDC & Associates Ltd.; Tim Heston, e FABRICATOR; Dave Lechleitner, Exact JobBOSS; and Laura Glick, Wells Fargo. access to industry-leading providers. Panel discussions and vendor sessions encourage exploration of best practices and current ERP issues, extending your nesting and machine controls software investment and helping you to acquire the right system. Observe an ERP system in action during a di erent plant tour each day. Sites will share how they have utilized their software to streamline operations. Network with peers and discover what ERP systems can do for your business. ese workshops are co-located. FMA and TPA members are eligible to attend both events for one discounted rate! Visit fmanet.org/ training to learn more and register, or call 888-394-4362 with questions.

The FABRICATORs Technology Summit


Oct. 1-2, 2013 Cumming, Ga.

LeanFab Workshop & Tours


Oct. 22-23, 2013 Schaumburg, Ill.

SoftwareFab Workshop & Tour


Oct. 23-24, 2013 Schaumburg, Ill.

It has been proven that lean manufacturing can help decrease downtime, reduce scrap, cut inventory, and improve overall quality. Attending this workshop will show you not only how to begin a lean initiative, but how to sustain it. e event features plant tours of fabrication shops and OEMs that will share their success stories. You will see shears, turrets, lasers, press brakes, painting, welding, and assembly in action. Youll observe and hear from companies in di erent

SoftwareFab Workshop & Tour


Oct. 23-24, 2013 Amada America Inc., Schaumburg, Ill.

Electronic Sensors for Error-Proof Metalforming, Fabricating & Assembly


Oct. 29, 2013 Park Ridge, Ill.

New this year! SoftwareFab was developed to give you the opportunity to explore your options for ERP software systems with direct

Designing Parts for Metal Stamping


Oct. 30-31, 2013 Park Ridge, Ill.

FMA and TPA Welcome New Members That Joined in July:


Du Fresne Mfg Co. Gametime Inc./ Playcore Wisconsin Inc. Material Sciences Corporation Richards Sheet Metal Sterling Process Engineering Union Corrugating Company Richard Barker, Kitmondo.Com Jim Bice, NASA Pier Farinetti, Stahlmak LLC / TECMUT Jack Holliday, Holliday Sheet Metal R. J. Hughes, Versa Fab Inc.

Green Online Class: Continuous Commissioning


Sept. 19, 2013 1-2:30 p.m. CT

or call 888-394-4362
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 97

details at fmanet.org/ training

Your leading educational resource www.fmanet.org

IN THE KNOW
crude. Import levels are much lower now, and the U.S. actually exports a great deal of refined product to the rest of the world, mostly from the Dakotas and Texas. The trade gap narrowed by more than 22 percent the best

News and information from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International

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The U.S. just registered the best trade deficit numbers since 2009. There has been relatively little in the way of import expansion, while exports have surged again. The most
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2\ L

It Really Matters Where the Oil Comes From


startling numbers are those regarding oil. The U.S. imported much less oil than it has in decades, which has changed the dynamics of the import business dramatically. The U.S. used to run a huge trade deficit because it imported nearly 60 percent of its performance in years. Three factors stand out. First is the oil situation noted above. This would not be a big deal if the overall economy were in sad shape, but this reduction in oil imports is taking place at the same time that there has been some nominal economic growth. At around 20 million barrels a day, the U.S. is consuming nearly the same amount of oil it did prerecession. The difference now is the domestic production. Second, the U.S. is selling more abroad. Exports are not quite what they were a few years ago, but they are returning to those numbers a good sign. The U.S. manufacturer is at the forefront of this resurgence moving products like aircraft and aircraft engines as well as heavy machinery and farm products. An even better piece of news for the U.S. producer is that the weak dollar is making imports more expensive, which has convinced more than a few producers to shift some of their operations to the U.S., and has convinced many U.S. consumers to steer away from imported goods in favor of domestic. Finally, the U.S. export sector is coming back to life even without substantial assistance from the weak dollar. All the other major currencies are just as weak, and so the advantage for the U.S. has been limited. The draw for the foreign buyer has been based on the value proposition, which has more staying power than a weak currency. The sense is that the U.S. exporter will hang on to its share of the market long after the dollar regains strength. n

A 360 VIEW OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY AND PROCESSES. FABTECH 2013.

OS

98 The FABRICATOR September 2013

METAL FORMING | FABRICATING | WELDING | FINISHING


FABTECH represents every step of the metal manufacturing process from start to nish. Its where new ideas, products and technology are highlighted through interactive exhibits, education and networking. Compare solutions from 1,500+ exhibitors, find machine tools to improve quality and productivity, and learn ways to increase prot. REGISTER NOW for the show with a degree of difference.

November 1821, 2013 | Chicago, IL | fabtechexpo.com


Would you like more economic insights twice a month, delivered straight to your e-mail? FMA members get Dr. Kuehls Fabrinomics e-news as one of their benefits. Join as an individual Dr. Chris Kuehl or a company member FMA Economic Analyst at fmanet.org/join or call 888-394-4362. If you want to ask a question to be answered in this column, send it to Fabrinomics@fmanet.org.

North Americas Largest Metal Forming, Fabricating, Welding and Finishing Event

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Product News
GMAW gloves
Trick-Tools carries the Ringers welding gloves for GMAW. ey feature the companys Ucomfort nger construction to help reduce fatigue and have reverse inside seams to help increase comfort. e fully lined interior o ers thermal protection for welding jobs. e outside of the glove features a highvisibility color with red palm for hand signaling.
Trick-Tools 877-826-7268 www.trick-tools.com

The FABRICATORs Metal Market


Your Single Source for WELDING CHEMICAL PRODUCTS

GTAW rod

Cor-Met Inc. o ers QWP ux-coated GTAW rod for pipe welding. It forms a slag on the backside of a pipe, protecting the weld from oxidation and eliminating the need for gas purging and backing. Available grades are 308H, 308L, 309L, 316L, 347, 2209, 625, 80SB2 /B6/ B8, and 90SB9. Special chemistries are available by request.
Cor-Met Inc. 800-848-2719 www.cor-met.com

Leak Detectors Cold Galvanized Zinc Spray Dye Penetrant Inspection Anti-Spatter Solvent Nozzle Tip Dip Lube Pads Cooling Fluid

w w w. c a n t e s c o . c o m
See us at FABTECH Booth #N955

Punch technology
Wilson Tool Intl. o ers EXP punch technology for Fab/thin turret-style tooling. It features a standard holder with universal punches, allowing fabricators to replace only the punch to speed punch switching times. e punches come standard with the companys Ultima premium tool steel, resulting in twice as much life as most standard punches, according to the manufacturer.
Wilson Tool Intl. 651-286-6150 www.wilsontool.com

Integrated attening technology

Servo-electric turret punch press


Prima Power has introduced the third generation of the servo-electric E series turret punch press. According to the company, the press o ers energy e ciency, versatility, accuracy, and low maintenance costs. e servo mechanically actuated punching stroke is numerically controlled for accurate forming capacity. High repeatability facilitates forming, roll forming, and marking. A redesigned turret is available that can be customized for any requirement. e turret can hold up to 384 tools, and the maximum number of index tools has been increased to 128.
Prima Power North America 847-952-6500 www.primapower.com

TRUMPF has introduced a new integrated attening concept, available on the TruPunch 5000 punching machine and the TruMatic 7000 punch/laser combination machine. e process allows punching of a large number of holes in thin sheet metal without distorting the panel. Opposing stresses are introduced to keep the sheet metal panels at, thereby eliminating an additional step to even out the material. To help the sheet metal maintain its atness, the convex die works in tandem with a stripper featuring a recess and special coating. e convex die presses the sheet metal against the stripper from underneath, which overbends the material. e concave stripper counteracts by pressing the material raised by the convex die back downward at the edge of the die. e overbending creates counterstresses that o set the compressive and tensile stresses caused by the punching process. In this way, the sheet metal is at when it leaves the machine.
TRUMPF Inc. 860-255-6104 www.us.trumpf.com
September 2013 The FABRICATOR 99

PROTECT FROM ARC FLASH OFF BUTTON


Safely breaks load UL Switch-Rated

SAFETY PLUGS

Rated up to 200A 600V

(on receptacle)

SAFETY SHUTTER

Protects from live parts Avoid cumbersome PPE! Keeps NFPA 70E HRC=0

meltric.com 800.433.7642

is an official Web site of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl.

Product News
Flap discs
3M Abrasive Systems has introduced 3M Cubitron II flap discs for weld grinding, deburring, rust removal, edge grinding, and weld seam blending. The discs use the companys proprietary precisionshaped grain technology. The uniformly sized triangular grains are evenly distributed onto the backing, allowing them to slice through the substrate. They continuously fracture during use to form sharp points and edges. This technology requires less pressure from the operator to help reduce fatigue. The backing enables controlled, even wear, allowing full use of the disc with no premature dulling or glazing. The discs work in low-, medium-, and highpressure applications.
3M 888-364-3577 www.3M.com/cubitron2

Permanent magnetic belt conveyors

Machines manufactured for: Hole Saw Blades Exhaust Systems Water Heaters Electrical Motor Casings Chimney Flues ... and many more applications where parts need to be round
If you roll parts sporadically or in small quantities, Acrotech will custom roll them for you! For a quote, contact one of our machine engineers at: www.acrotechinc.com

See us at FABTECH Booth S1923

800-345-0583 651-345-3362 www.acrotechinc.com

Permanent magnetic belt conveyors from Eriez provide a quiet, highspeed, low-profile system for moving and elevating ferrous materials in vertical, inclined, or horizontal material handling situations. The conveyors use Erium 25, a permanent magnetic material with a circuit designed and energized by the company. Stampings, parts, and containers made of or containing steel are held firmly. The strong magnetic field eliminates the need for side rails or side wipers. Sharp scrap and small pieces are kept from beneath the belt, nearly eliminating jamming and manual handling. The 1.625-in. depth fits under dies and at the discharge of many production machines. In addition to custom designs, three off-the-shelf standard lengths and four widths are available.
Eriez 888-300-3743 www.eriez.com

Upcut circular cold saw


Scotchman Industries has introduced the SUP-500 NF upcut circular cold saw designed for cutting nonferrous material. It features a 20-in., 120-tooth carbide blade that can produce round cuts up to 7 in. dia. and rectangular cuts up to 11.75 by 5 in. Standard features include an adjustable feed rate, four pneumatic clamps to secure material being cut, and integrated debris collection. Standard safety features include dual-hand operation and a safety interlock that will prevent the saw from operating if the safety hood is not closed.
Scotchman Industries 800-843-8844 www.scotchman.com 100 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Product News
Dry lube, degreaser, cleaner spray
WD-40 Co. has added three new products to its WD-40 Specialist line. All of the products are VOCcompliant in all 50 states. e 10-oz. Dirt & Dust Resistant Dry Lube is formulated for reducing friction and wear. e NSF Category H2 product dries quickly and resists dirt, dust, and oil. It helps release molded parts and can be used to lubricate slides, rollers, and hinges. e 18-oz. Machine & Engine Degreaser delivers a stream that sprays up to 5 ft. Its penetrating foaming action removes grease, oil, dirt, and grime. Authorized for use under NSF Category C1, it is suitable for use on engines, gears, chains, industrial machinery, power equipment, and metal tools. e 11-oz. Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray is an NSF K2-registered product for use on plastics, rubbers, and metals.
WD-40 Co. 619-275-1400 www.wd40specialist.com

Waterjet machines
WardJet Inc. has introduced the J-series and L-series waterjet cutting machines. e J-series is an economically priced, water-only waterjet. Using belt drive technology, it can cut at speeds of 2,500 IPM with an acceleration and deceleration rate of 0.2 m/s2. It is suitable for companies cutting high part volumes with low margins and less demanding tolerances. e modular system can accommodate the addition of loading and o oading tables, as well as optical sensors to control chain feed tables or pinch feed rollers. e L-series uses a linear-motion drive system to cut at speeds of 7,000 IPM with an acceleration and deceleration rate of 1m/ s2. e frame is made of thick-walled steel tubing to accommodate multiple 5-axis cutting heads.
WardJet, 330-677-9100, www.wardjet.com

Twin-dam purging system


Booth S3984

Weldwide Solutions Ltd. o ers a twin-dam purging system, available in sizes from 2 to 72 in. It features two ination dams connected by a single tube, an ination system that inates both the dams and exhausts the atmospheric gas from the weld space, and exhaust ports to vent out atmospheric gas. e system is suitable for use with multiple welds and in spaces where access is restricted. e dam and other components collapse so that the access point can be considerably smaller than the nal inated dam size. With its exible hose system, the twin-dam system can be used for welding around bends. It has a luminous strip for positioning under the root gap to help ensure the system is centralized.
Weldwide Solutions Ltd. 44-1554-700-350 www.weldwidesolutions.com

3 & 4 Rolls CNC Models Auto Load & Eject

Plate Rolls
Providing Superior Rolls for Over 20 Years
30 Models, from 1" to 10" In-house tooling for fast delivery
Consistent Performance comes from the Most Dependable Components

Angle Rolls
Find us at FABTECH! Booth S3101
www.carellcorp.com
True Quality & Real Value are always in our Details.

251.937.0948

September 2013 The FABRICATOR 101

Product News
Work boot
Keen Utility offers the Milwaukee WP waterproof work while reducing the chance of outsole delamination over boot. Made with a full-grain leather upper, the boot fea- the life of the boot. It also features oil- and slip-resistant tures a Keen.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane and nonmarking rubber outsole and patent-pending, asymhydrophobic/hydrophilic two-zone comfort lining that metrical steel toes delivering lightweight protection. allows moisture out but not in. Keen Utility The boot features a patent-pending construction that 866-676-5336 blends the flexibility of a welted product with the du- www.keenfootwear.com rability of a rubber outsole and signature toe-bumper OLfmaAd2_OL 1/4Page 7/29/13 1:26 PM Page 1

Spinning flare nuts

Precision Parts & Assemblies.

Just-In-Time
With millions of pounds of material inventory and a wide array of cutting equipment for tube and flat laser processing, including Trumpf flat and tube laser cutting machines, and value-added welding and fabrication capabilites including press brake forming and robotics, count on Ohio Laser for all your parts and assembly needsjust-in-time.

Pure power
High-performance drives with flexible shafts from SUHNER - for high torque applications. Flexible and easy to use.

Call: 1-614-873-7030 Visit Us: ohiolaser.com ISO 9001: 2008 Certified

SUHNER Industrial Products Corp. Rome, GA 30162 Phone 706 235 8046 www.suhnerabrasivesusa.com

Regional Name. National Coverage

New PEM type SFN spinning flare nuts from PennEngineering are designed to rotate freely when permanently captivated in thin metal sheets for quick attachment to mating hardware and reduced need for loose fasteners such as flange nuts. When they are paired with a self-clinching stud or other fixed, externally threaded hardware, all loose hardware can be eliminated from an application. The one-piece flanged steel hex nuts install in steel, stainless steel, and aluminum sheets of any hardness and as thin as 0.04 in. Upon installation, the nut becomes permanently captive and will spin freely in the sheet to accommodate mating hardware for final component attachment. The user inserts the fastener into a properly sized, prepunched, and embossed mounting hole and then applies sufficient squeezing force to flare the shank. When installed, the nut will appear identical to a standard flanged hex nut above the sheet and will remain flush on the other side.
PennEngineering 800-237-4736 www.pemnet.com

Protective eyewear

Laservision has introduced the new Ice protective eyewear. The white frames come in a variety of laser protective filters. The lightweight, strong frame provides comfort and durability for all-day wear, the company reports. The hypoallergenic, soft nosepads are flexible and adjustable for pressure-free, no-slip fit.
Laservision USA 800-393-5565 www.laservision-usa.com 102 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Product News
Downdraft tables
Extreme Air downdraft tables from Micro Air Clean Air Systems are selfcontained, powered downdraft tables that do not require external exhaust hoses, offering flexibility and portability without the need for ducting. The tables are designed for welding, grinding, soldering, sanding, painting, and pouring applications. They draw contaminants away from worker vision and breathing zones and reduce hazards to workers in surrounding areas. The downdraft table features 99.99 percent efficiency with HEPA afterfilters. It comes with a built-in tool tray, an energy-efficient EPACT motor, the Roto-Pulse cartridge cleaning system, and quiet operation. An optional backdraft hood is available.
Micro Air Clean Air Systems 866-566-4276 www.microaironline.com

Steel-base leveling mounts

J.W. Winco Inc. offers series GN 343.1 tapped-type, steel-base leveling mounts, with or without a plastic or rubber base cup, in metric sizes. The RoHS-compliant leveling mounts can bear high static loads, but for high loads, they should be used in conjunction with screws of high tensile strength. The base and tapped socket are zinc-plated, blue-passivated steel. The hex nut is zinc-plated, blue-passivated steel, ISO 4032. The mounts are available without a base cap, with a white technopolymer plastic (DELRIN) base cap, with an electrically conductive plastic base cap, with a black thermoplastic TPE rubber base cap, or with an electrically conductive rubber base cap.
J.W. Winco 800-877-8351 www.jwwinco.com

September 2013 The FABRICATOR 103

Classied Advertising

USED MACHINERY FOR SALE

PRODUCTS FOR SALE

Classied Advertising
Integrate your efforts to maximize your effectiveness by combining print ads with online classieds for added visibility and reduced costs. Reach thousands of fabricating professionals with the strongest print and online publications in the market. Use classied ads in the industrys leading magazines to build exposure for your: Used equipment or rebuilt machinery Financing services and business opportunities Auctions, open positions, machine time, and more Standard Classied Rate: $120 per column inch (8 lines of copy at approximately 30 characters per line, including spacing). One inch minimum. No border, background and limited bold faced type. Display Classied Rate: $140 per column inch. May include border, background, shading, reverse type and/ or company logo. No photographs, drawings, clip-art or color will be allowed. Column Width: The FABRICATOR: 1.73" Practical Welding Today: 2.13" TPJThe Tube & Pipe Journal: 2.14" STAMPING Journal: 1.97". Box Numbers: c/o FMA Communications Inc. may be used in place of your company name and address. Add $15 to cover the cost of handling and postage. Frequency Discount: The same copy used in 3 or more consecutive issues in a calendar year earns a 10% discount per ad. All such ads payable in advance. Classied advertising is not subject to commission. Payment must accompany order. Major credit cards accepted. Send Copy To: Classied Advertising, FMA Communications Inc. 833 Featherstone Road Rockford, IL 61107-6302.

Specialists in Fabricating Equipment


www.PrestigeEquipment.com

Use 36% Less Argon!


go to: www.uselessargon.com

JORDAN CRAIG MACHINERY Intl.


AMADA PUNCHES

Huge Inventory of Fabricating Machinery!

VIPROS 368 King, 18P, 1999 VIPROS 367Q, 18P, 1999 APELIO III 357V, 2kW, 1998 PEGA 367, 04PC, 1993 VIPROS 3510NT, 2004 VIPROS 358 King II, 18P, 1999 VIPROS 358 King, 04PC, 1995 VIPROS 357Q, 04PC, 18P, 1996 PEGA 357, 04PC, 1996, 2000 (2) PEGA 345Q, 04PC, 2000 PEGA 345K, 04PC, 1990 APELIO III2510V, 2004 EM2510NT, 2004 VIPROS 255, 18P, 1997, 1999 FC1250H20, 50" x 100", Thin, 1999 FC1250S, 0P, 1991, 1994 (2) FC1000S, 0P, 1995
TRUMPF PUNCHES STRIPPIT PUNCHES

LASERS, PRESS BRAKES, TURRET PUNCHES, TUBE BENDERS, WATER JETS, FLAME CUTTERS
email :

WANTED TO BUY
Fabricator Wanted
A leading global manufacturer and supplier of steel bridge components, with considerable experience overseas, seeks facility in the New York City Metro Area for the fabrication of its products. We are prepared to enter either into a lease for a facility that suits our needs, or into some sort of agreement with a compatible existing operation. Ideally, we need 10-20,000 ft2 with a 20' ceiling height, an entrance door through which a 65 ft. truck can enter, adjacent storage yard, ability to incorporate sand blasting and painting capability, and possible o ce space for up to 10 people. Access to water (some of our products can be huge & heavy) a plus.

sales@PrestigeEquipment.com

phone :

631.249.5566

fax :

631.249.9494

PRE-OWNED METAL FABRICATING EQUIPMENT


2002 TRUMPF TC 2020, with Load/Unload Durma 110 Ton Press Brake, New 2009 TRUMPF TC 200 Punch, 50" x 80", New 1998 (2) Haeger Insertion HP6 Presses Hydmech S-20P BandSaw, New 2008 Peddinghaus Peddimaster 44/66H Ironworker Strippit 1250XP CNC Turret Punch Steelmaster 2 Head Wet Deburring Machine, New 2004 Techni Techjet i35 Waterjet, New 2006 Bema Tube Bender, New 2002 6332 Flank Drive | Harrisburg | PA | 17112 Email: bcondran@midatlanticmachinery.com Phone: 717-541-1633 Visit Our Website for a Complete Listing of Equipment www.midatlanticmachinery.com

TC 500R, 1999 TC 200R, 1998

TC 3000, 2011 TC 2020R, 2003

LASERS

Contact: searchforfactory@gmail.com

TANAKA LMX V30, 6kW, 2003 TRUMPF L6030, 4kW, 2000 TRUMPF L4030, 4kW, 2002 TRUMPF L2530, 3kW, 2000 TRUMPF L2530PLUS, 3.2kW, 2003 TRUMPF L3050, 5kW, 2003 TRUMPF L3030, 4kW, 2009 BYSTRONIC BYSTAR 3015, 2001 MAZAK STX510, 4kW, 2005 AMADA LC3015 F1NT, 4kW, 2008 AMADA F04020NT, 4kW, 2005 AMADA PULSAR 2415NT, 2kW, 2005 AMADA GEMINI F03015NT, 2007 MAZAK NTX510, 1.5kW, 1999
CNC PRESS BRAKES

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
AVAILABLE IN ALL REGIONS
Metal fabricating companies, $1-$40 million sales. Also, companies in metal stamping, powdered metal, foundries.

Will@SahleinAssoc.com Ph: 781-259-0614

SERVICES
ATTN: BACKGAUGE USERS
DRC Dynabend/DB-1/DB-3/D-Ann/ Unicorn/Unicorn II/Select A Flange Buy/Sell Reconditioned Units Parts & Technical Advice System Repairs & Overhauls

PACIFIC, 500 Ton x 20', 1974 AMADA HFE2204, 2000 AMADA HFB2204/8, 1993 ACCURPRESS 725012, 1997 TRUMPF 5170S, 2008 ACCURPRESS 515012, 2004 AMADA FBD1253NT, 2004 AMADA HDS1303NT, 2004 AMADA RG100, NC9EXII, 1997 PACIFIC J90-8, CNC 1000 TRUMPF TRUMABEND V85S, 2005 AMADA FBD8025, EXII (2) AMADA FBDIII8025NT, 2001 AMADA RG80, NC9EXII, 1989 CINCINNATI 60CBII4, 1997 AMADA RG50, EXII, 1997 AMADA RG35S, EXII, 1990 Check our website for a complete listing of equipment. Ph: 845-398-0073 Fax: 845-398-0074 jc@jordancraigmachinery.com www.jordancraigmachinery.com

USED EQUIPMENT FOR SALE


Used Equipment For Sale
Control Automation Beamline Model #: B.F.C.530 update w/2013 controls

BUSINESS FOR SALE

HATCH COMPANY FOR SALE


Owner retiring. Best for someone in aluminum welding and forming. (33% profit with outsourcing.) Great potential for growth! Visit www.versahatch.com

ATS West (714) 532-6267

Contact: 225-275-7040 or 225-335-4955

Contact Bernie Mares at 503-287-9822

For more information, contact Patricia DAmico at 815-227-8278 or e-mail at patriciad@thefabricator.com.

EQUIPMENT FOR SALE


American Machine Tools Corp.
Nationwide distributor of machinery
Shearing Metal Bending Line Boring Lathes Mills Ironworkers Saws Surface Grinder Plate Rolls Drills

HELP WANTED
MACHINE TOOL SALES ENGINEER
A leading distributor of sheet metal & plate fabricating equipment is currently seeking qualied candidates for the position of Sales Engineer in Central and Northern Indiana. The individuals must have a strong knowledge of the fabricating industry, management skills, PC skills and a desire to be well compensated. Be a part of an established sales team that represents the top manufacturers in precision, plate and structural fabrication machinery. Benets package and expenses included.

Phone 773-334-5000 Fax 773-442-0314


www.AmericanMachineTools.com

Qualied Candidates only should e-mail their condential resume to: MachineToolSalesRep@gmail.com

104 The FABRICATOR September 2013

Advertisers Index
Please visit our advertisers showrooms by entering their reader service codes at www.ffid.net
RS Code* 469242 115377
www.us.abb.com

Page ABB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Acrotech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100


www.acrotechinc.com www.ajancnc.com

RS Code*
www.fabtechexpo.com 866-322-8665 Toll Free www.faccin.com

Page FABTECH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

RS Code* 199945
www.mitsubishi-world.com

Page Mitsubishi Laser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40,67

197912 898815

Fab Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Faccin USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

1180012 MMT Intl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49,95,101 112282 156731 857706 100154 880614 119051 435039 186757 125962 Modern Machine Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
www.modernmachinetool.com www.motoman.com www.multicam.com

1137920 Ajan Elektronik Servis San Ve Tic . . . . . . . . . . . 71 140085 122726 A M Machinery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


www.ammachinerysales.com www.amada.com

1640333 Fedtech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
www.fedtech.com 410-588-5800

Motoman Robotics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Multicam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Multicyl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102


www.multicyl.com

Amada America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,18,19

886625

FICEP Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

1279772 American Biltrite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 1637227 American Photonics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 592867 131641 100292 256955 111528 100420 575001 575001 548658 American Punch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
www.americanpunchco.com www.americantorchtip.com www.anver.com www.ati-ia.com

2286278 GE Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
www.gecapital.com/metals www.goffscurtainwall.com

647307 558379 621910 111862 564906 461901 100646 129915

Goffs Curtain Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 Greiner Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20


www.greinerindustries.com

Ohio Laser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102


www.ohiolaser.com

Peddinghaus Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
www.peddinghaus.com www.plasmacam.com

American Torch Tip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Anver Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 ATI Industrial Automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Atlas Welding Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
www.atlasweld.com www.automec.com

Han Kwang . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
www.hankwang.com www.heckind.net

Plasma Cam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Porth Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62


www.porthproducts.com www.primapower.com

Heck Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Hodgson Custom Rolling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INSERT


www.hodgsoncustomrolling.com www.hougen.com

Prima Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Hougen Mfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Hypertherm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25


www.hypertherm.com

1480926 ProVent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
www.proventilation.com

Automec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 BandSawBlades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
www.bandsawblades.com www.bandsawparts.com www.fab-line.com

1123930 Radan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
radansales@radan.com www.RAS-Systems.com www.rell.com

II - VI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
888-558-1504

177512 147707 101042 271000 166545 138453 842265

RAS Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Richardson Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Salvagnini America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55


www.salvagnini.com www.sigmanest.com

BandSawParts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Baykal Makina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 112922 929559 473487 459021 112061 112084 188963 279971 108189

1508716 Imperial Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86


www.isystemsweb.com www.magnetics.com 847-301-9005

Industrial Magnetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 International Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 JMT USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


www.jmtusa.com

1105556 Beckhoff Automation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24


www.beckhoffautomation.com www.bluco.com

SigmaTEK Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Striker Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12


www.striker-systems.com www.suhner.com

200844 123762 855986 546800 578883 200835 104523

Bluco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Brake Mill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101


www.brakemill.com

JW Winco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
www.jwwinco.com

Suhner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Tigerstop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36,37


www.tigerstop.com

Camfil Air Pollution Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


www.camfilapc.com www.cantesco.com

Kalamazoo Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
www.kalamazooindustries.com

Cantesco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Carell Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101


www.carellcorp.com

Kalamazoo Metal Muncher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102


www.kalamazoometalmuncher.com 269-944-1552

1144983 Trilogy Machinery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12


www.trilogymachinery.com info@us.trumpf.com www.upmet.com

K.I.W.O.T.O., Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Laser Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43


www.lasermech.com

100798 155951 900017 141269

TRUMPF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59,108 United Performance Metals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Ursviken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53


www.ursvikengroup.com victortechnologies.com www.voortman.net

COLE-TUVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
877-989-0700 Toll Free www.comeq.com www.cy-laser.us

COMEQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

Lincoln Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
www.lincolnelectric.com

1142815 Cy Laser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 435282 308304 179241 465486 548629 DAVI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26,27,32,33


www.davi.com/us

1104633 LISSMAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51,99


www.lissmac-corporation.com

Victor Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

102149 118714 115588 136506 119298 560657

LVD Strippit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
716-542-4511 / 1-800-828-1527 www.sawing.com www.mate.com

1003168 Voortman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 145521 Wayne Trail - A Lincoln Electric Company . . 14


www.waynetrail.com

De - Sta - Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
www.destaco.com

Marvel Mfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Mate Precision Tooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Mazak Optonics Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107


www.mazakoptonics.com www.wawhitney.com www.meltric.com

Diamond Ground Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50


www.diamondground.com www.eriez.com

1261592 WD-40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
www.wd40company.com www.wilausa.com

Eriez Magnetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 Ermak USA Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23


www.ermakusa.com

856173 462891 100443

Wila USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Wilson Tool International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5


www.wilsontool.com

Megafab-Piranha-Whitney-Bertsch . . . . . . 16,34 Meltric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Fabricators & Manufacturers Assn., Intl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44,52,70 .76,81,83,103


www.fmanet.org

Wintriss Controls Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35


www.shopfloorconnect.com

September 2013 The FABRICATOR 105

The Back Page


Amanda Carlson, contributing editor, can be reached at amandac@thefabricator.com.

Metal portraits that pop

People and metal serve as three-dimensional artists muse


Metal artist Alan Derrick doesnt conne his 3-D metal pop art portraits to celebrities; he also captures the likenesses of political and historical gures and events.

etal artist Alan Derrick of Gurley, Ala., has had the urge to work with metal ever since he was a young man tinkering in his parents garage. e 20-year veteran of the construction industry has always been drawn to the artistic side of things and even found his knack for creativity useful on the job. Even though he enjoyed his construction job, metalworking never left his blood. Fabricating with metal is much more challenging than fabricating with wood. It was the challenge that drew me back. Derrick got the itch to putter around his garage in 2001. At that time he purchased a lathe, a milling machine, an automotive paint spray gun, and a few welding power sources and made larger-than-life bird feathers that were anywhere from 2 to 9 ft. tall. He hand cut each one and sold them through art galleries. In 2008, just as his feathers gained traction in the ne art community, the economy collapsed. Galleries started going out of business and things stopped selling. I had a couple of people working for me at the time, so I had to let them go and re-evaluate what I was doing and where I was going to go next. The Making of 3-D Metal Pop Art Derrick revisited skills he acquired in Photoshop, CorelDRAW, and architectural CAD. In college he learned how to create a silhouette image from a photograph, and that led to the idea of creating 3-D portraits with multiple layers of steel. So he drew a design and cut each layer by hand using a pneumatic shear, a nibbler, or a grinder. He made koi sh, trees, and a dog and graduated to portraits
106 The FABRICATOR September 2013

of Michael Jackson and Madonna, and put them up for sale on e-Bay. ey sold quickly, and I got good feedback, so I made some more. At that point I knew I had to do something about how I cut them out. After some research, Derrick purchased a CNC plasma cutting table, familiarized himself with a few new CAD programs, and got to work. He draws each layer, loads them into CAD, and cuts them separately, which can be di cult at times, especially since each layer is designed to give the illusion of a light source. I have to be able to visualize the top layer, the middle layer, and then the back layer all working together in color to create the illusion that I want. Sometimes I get myself a headache trying to get these things to work out. Even with all of the technology out there, sometimes it comes out in a way that I dont like, so Ill have to start over. A vast majority of the time I can draw these things, tweak them in the computer, and see onscreen how the layers interact with one another. A metal stando threaded cylindersprovides the -in. separation between each layer. Derrick carefully locates each stando and welds it in place with gas metal arc welding (GMAW). Once each layer is secure, he might give one of the layers a once over with a grinder to give it a textured appearance, like on Seize the Day. From there he takes the portrait into the spray booth and adds color, typically starting with the darker colors in the back layers and saving the lighter colors for the front. e color enhances the illusion of the perceived light source.

Tug of War Derrick now receives requests faster than he can accommodate, and nearly every one of his portraits is met with criticism. If he portrays anyone remotely polarizing or political, President Barack Obama, for example, his motivations are questioned and criticized immediately. Even though art that generates so much passion in viewers is essentially a good thing, thats really not Derricks end game. e truth is, while he has his own political and social beliefs that he prefers to keep to himself, he is, at the heart of it all, just a guy who enjoys people and likes learning about what makes them tick. If it were up to him, hed capture the images of everyday people who are unique, quirky, and fascinating. eres this tug of war that occurs between creating the art that I want to make and creating art that people want to buy. Ill bet Ive never sold two copies of one of the better pieces Ive made. He researches everyone he features, which gives him ideas on how to make the portrait unique to that individual, as was the case with his Nelson Mandela piece. I learned about how he spent 27 years in prison objecting to apartheid. If you look in the backgroundand its a lot more evident in person theres a big 27 sitting behind the text. I never would have done that if I hadnt done my research. And as far as portrait subjects go, the sky is the limit. And a le folder at least an inch thick full of requests from customers and fans of his work means hes got plenty to do. Alan Derrick, www.alanderrick.com

Derrick used gas metal arc welding (GMAW) to secure the metal stando s to the top layer of Nelson Mandela to create the 3-D pop that makes his portraits so unique and intricate.
e FABRICATOR (ISSN 0888-0301) is published 12 times yearly by FMA Communications Inc., 833 Featherstone Rd., Rockford, Illinois 61107-6302. e FABRICATOR is circulated free upon request to those who qualify and who are involved in metal fabricating; subscription to all others is $75.00 per year. International subscription is $140.00 per year. Periodical postage paid at Rockford, Illinois, and additional mailing o ces. POSTMASTER: Send address change to e FABRICATOR, 833 Featherstone Road, Rockford, Illinois 61107-6302. Printed in the U.S.A. Copyright 2013 by FMA Communications Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 12345678 (41467014) RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: Pitney Bowes Intl Mail Svcs, Station A, 11PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Email: returnsIL@imex.pb.com

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