Reports on Taxi 2000 Corp. and Bauer Welding and Metal Fabricators Inc.'s use of Bauer short-run prototype cell to engineer, fabricate components and final weld Taxi 2000's Personal Rapid Transit. Advantages of Bauer's system in terms of time and cost; Design challenges.
Presents information about Caterpillar Inc.'s new 3-D graphics welding process simulation software called Virtual Fabrication Technology. Reduction in the number of prototypes that produced waste and weld fumes before creating a successful new fabrication process; Prediction of weld distortion in large and complex structures by the software; Combination of sequential coupling of thermal and mechanical analysis in the simulation software.
Focuses on the installation of the Cincinnati 2000W Model CL-6 laser cutting system at the manufacturing facilities of Lexmark in Lexington, Kentucky. Plan of the company to improve its prototyping capabilities; Increase of industrial productivity; Engineering flexibility of the company to respond to innovative products.
Explores the use of Laser-Engineered Net-Shaping (LENS) rapid-prototyping technology for the maintenance and repair of military aircraft, combat vehicles, artillery and small arms in the U.S. Military readiness; Performance of LENS; Collaborative partnership involved in the LENS project.
METAL industry, WELDING industry, METALWORKING industries, WELDING, RAPID prototyping, COMMERCIAL products, and INDUSTRIAL research
The article discusses how metal fabricators can create competitive business in tough economic times. According to the author, even in tough economic times, shops have numerous resources for help with these and other pressing business concerns. For example, companies can consult industry experts and advisors, study successful shops, participate in technology networks, contact industry organizations, and attend trade shows. Then shops should set goals; evaluate markets, customers, and competitors; identify growth opportunities such as developing a new product, putting an existing product into a new market, and acquiring another business or selling; and implement a plan.