Tag Archives: fabrication

  • Plasma Cutters & Plasma Cutting FAQ

    plasma cutter can cut anything that is electrically conductive, which means all metals. Some metals conduct better than others, or melt at a lower temperature and therefor cut easier, but pretty much all of them can be cut. You would be surprised at just how thick of a piece of structural steel can be easily cut with the most basic of plasma machines.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • How to make a Custom Metal Hood Scoop from Scratch- With Ron Covell

    Ron Covell is a master of forming sheet metal by stretching, bending and shaping. He has made a series of how to DVDs which Eastwood carries, in which he teaches you how the things he makes look so easy. He also does classes and workshops all over the country, including at Eastwood headquarters in Pennsylvania. He uses our tools, and for several years now he has attended the SEMA show in Las Vegas and demonstrated them, from hammer, sandbags and dollies to the English Wheel. One of the projects he likes to use as an example is a traditional styled, hot rod hood scoop out of 1/16 inch thick aluminum, from start to finish in less than an hour.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Tech Tip- Making Dimple Holes without a Press

    Dimpled or flared holes in panels not only strengthens the panel, but also adds a "industrial" look to a panel that is really hot right now. This process dates back to the WWII era when panels for aircraft were done this way to add strength and save weight. That look trickled down to post-war race cars and eventually has become mainstream in styling into custom cars.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • How to build a gas tank from scratch- Save Money and replace that Rusty Tank!

    Now that we're thawing out here in Eastwood country I've decided to get this old gal back on the road and I decided to tackle the mechanics. The problem with any "barn find" like this is that they normally have mechanically deteriorated just from sitting for so long. Normally people don't plan to park a vehicle for a long time, just until they get time to fix it up. This means all of the fluids are left in the vehicle and those fluids over time tend to break down and cause issues. The worst thing to do if you park a vehicle for a long period of time (more than 6-8 months in my opinion) is to leave fuel in the tank. Over time the fuel breaks down and turns back into it's original fossilized state. The temperature changes and the gas in the tank also promotes corrosion over time and the tank eventually rots out.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Snapshot of the Future of Metal Fabrication

    Snapshot of the Future of Metal Fabrication
    By: Monica Gomez

    Anyone who wants to know where career possibilities exist, as well as where their current job is going, would benefit from paying attention to industry forecasts; the industry of metal fabrication is no exception. The metal product industry has been going through quite a bit of change over the last decade, reinventing itself quite a bit after significant changes occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, which reduced the number of mass production assembly plants nationwide. Today’s industry is often managed by smaller outfits that operate with far more nimble programs and functions, that take on quite a bit more of custom work, and that are spread out in far more places geographically. Let’s take a look forward to see where the industry might be headed.
    Recycled Metal

    One of the first big trends that appeared (and that continues to grow) is the use of recycled metal. Where recycled metal was once may be 10 or 20 percent of supply, today it makes up more than half of the material used, up to 60 percent. That means there are jobs and careers on both sides of the recycling picture, from sourcing material to be recycled to those consuming it and recreating used metal into new products and constructs.

    At some point this figure will likely increase more, but the general demand for metal still far outpaces what is available from recycled sources. So there will continue to be some portion of new virgin metal supply provided. That said, understanding how to source, work with, and manipulate recycled metal is here to stay, especially as companies find themselves sourcing from farther and farther away for new raw supply.
    Steel

    In terms of actual product manufacturing, steel is still a hot commodity and has a healthy demand. This is expected to continue going forward because nothing has been produced so far that would replace the function and purpose of steel on a broad scale. Granted, there have been some interesting inventions with carbon fiber, aluminum and other materials, but steel remains the main building product for infrastructure strength and framework. In fact, steel has been booming in architectural design due to desire for a neo-modern appearance. Naked interiors of rooms and building showing the structural framework have been very popular in new building lobbies, restaurants and more.
    3D Printing & Technology

    On the production process side of metal manufacturing, technology is king. Knowing the various tools, software, types of systems applied, and how new tools are being invented for automated assembly is key. Those seeking to reinvent their career or start a new one in metal manufacturing will be well served to become as much of a related tech guru as possible. Computers and robot assembly have already established themselves as the replacement for hand labor in large facilities. These same tools are now starting to make inroads to medium and smaller facilities because the cost of the technology is coming down, making it far more affordable. 3D printing allows users to expand the realm of possibilities and could also potentially cut costs and manufacturing time, writes weldingschool.com. 3D printing trends mean there will be a growing demand for those who know how to run and operate such equipment and software.
    Worldly Knowledge

    Finally, the metal fabrication world and related markets are becoming more and more global. Having knowledge of other languages and cultures will go a long way for anyone looking to not just be in fabrication, but manage it from an international customer perspective. This includes remote quality control, sales, manufacturing training, multi-vendor supply system management, and more. The ability to work with different people in different time zones will become more and more important, especially as much of communication is changing to a round-the-clock status in terms of working with people and exchanging information.

    So, metal fabrication isn't going anywhere. Instead, the industry is healthy and will continue to see demand in the future, but it will require far more technical knowledge with a heavy reliance on technology for accuracy and engineering.

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