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.
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.