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United Performance Metals

Practical Tips to Improve Your Operational Efficiency

Everyone is looking for tips on how to improve their business. United Performance Metals has observed first-hand what leading manufacturers are employing as best practices. As a company with over 35 years of experience serving the needs of metal fabricators, we’re sharing the most effective tactics observed in the field. Though they may not seem revolutionary, their impact on efficiency is definitely worth sharing.

Read the entire Practical Tips to Improve Your Operational Efficiency white paper.

ESAB Cutting Systems

ESABplasma

How to troubleshoot plasma cut quality

Like any cutting process, there are a lot of variables that affect plasma cut quality. Some of these variables include:

- Torch Type
- Torch Alignment
- Condition of consumables
- Arc Voltage, or cutting height

...and more.

Most of these variables are interdependent, meaning that if you change one variable, it will affect the others. Figuring out how to fix cut quality issues can be difficult, so the following information was assembled to provide the usual solutions to some typical cut quality problems.

Read the entire ESAB Plasma Cutting white paper.

ESAB Cutting Systems

gas-supply-pipe-line-regulators-for-oxy-fuel-cutting 01

How to select a gas supply system for a thermal cutting machine?

Selecting the best type of gas supply system for a CNC shape cutting machine will depend primarily on how much gas you will use, but there are some other factors that might affect your decision also.

Topics covered:
Cylinders, Liquid Tanks, or Bulk Tanks?
Gas Consumption
Advantages & Disadvantages of High Pressure Cylinders, Portable Liquid Tanks, and Bulk Cryogenic Systems

Read the entire ESAB Cutting Systems white paper.

United Performance Metals

Guidelines for Making Informed Stainless and High Temperature Alloy Purchases

Metals and Alloys that contain the element Nickel present a real challenge for today’s buyer.  The volatility of element pricing creates large and rapid fluctuations in pricing – therefore the decision to make or delay a metal purchase can have significant impact on finished product costs.  A few simple tips can help savvy buyers and purchasing agents better time purchases to achieve the best pricing.

Read the entire UPMET - Guidelines for Making Informed Stainless and High Temperature Alloy Purchases white paper.

Losma

Filtering Grinder Coolant Leads to Better Blades

Whether a knife maker is creating a high-end chef’s knife that retails for hundreds of dollars or a discount pocketknife, the manufacturer needs machine tools to grind the blade into a fine edge. The grinding process, however, creates swarf -- or flecks of metal -- that compromise the operation of machinery and the treatment of fluids used. Also, the coolant can help maintain optimum machining temperature during the grinding process. Exposure to high heat would undo the tempering process that makes steel less brittle.

Knife makers need to be mindful of the grinding process because it represents an opportunity to better manage costs, improve productivity and mitigate manufacturing’s environmental impact. Losma creates industrial air and fluid filtration systems, which are intrinsic to operating manufacturing equipment under ideal conditions. As robotics, lasers and precision instruments guide manufacturing, it is paramount to have the equipment operating at its peak. In the case of grinding knives, it means keeping the equipment cool and clean. Under these circumstances, the grinders require lower levels of maintenance and the knives produced have fewer defects. Grinders require a system to collect swarf consisting of a filter made with non-disposable or disposable type media and possibly a magnetic separator pre-filter to maintain the purity of the coolant and keep machines from overheating. Without the filters, lubricating and cooling liquids would need to be replaced, leading to higher material and waste disposal costs. Manufacturers also must consider the efficient use of space, since inefficient coolant set-ups can curtail the number of grinders available to work.

Read the entire Losma - Filtering Grinder Coolant Leads to Better Blades.

GE Capital, Corporate Finance

Back in the early 2000s the metals industry faced oversupply, plummeting prices and a wave of consolidation. Once-mighty companies such as the now-defunct Bethlehem Steel saw their credit ratings decline and failed to meet covenants on their cash-flow credit facilities. A sea change in financing tactics ensued. Lenders and metals companies turned away from cash-flow credit facilities to asset-based lending (ABL) because ABL offered the companies the flexibility and liquidity necessary to compete in a highly cyclical, global marketplace.

To illustrate why cash-flow loans fell out of favor, consider the business model of service centers, which act as distributors. They hold inventory for a short period of time, approximately 30 to 90 days. In a rising price environment their margins will improve, but in a falling price environment those margins may contract and perhaps turn negative. As a result, a company with a cash-flow facility that has financial covenants could quickly find itself in default if commodity prices tumble and cash flows drop.

Today, ABL is the predominant way companies in the metals industry finance their working capital. With ABL, the amount of credit extended by lenders is based on the liquidation value of the assets owned by the business. Asset-based revolvers help companies to bridge the gap between the cash flow they eventually will receive from sales and the amount of their current expenses. Download the White Paper >

To learn more about GE Capital, Corporate Finance, click here.

Kerf Developments Ltd \ Plasma Cutting

Plasma- The Cutting-Edge Technology Irrespective of the scale of the project, having tools that slice through tough metal can go a long way in increasing efficiency and saving time. You will find that this is true if you are a die-hard DIY fan who loves working metal or you are at the helm of a massive shipbuilding project that incorporates tons of steel, The machinery you use must provide you with one basic thing - precision.

Read the entire Kerf Developments Ltd \ Plasma Cutting white paper.

This article has been written on behalf of Kerf Developments Ltd, who are a leading British supplier of many different cutting machines such as plasma cutting machines (http://www.kerfdevelopments.com/plasmacutting.html) from brands like Kaliburn.’

Epicor

Top 10 Technologies Small and Midsize Manufacturers Can’t Afford to Ignore

Download now

Samuel Strapping Systems

Shipping is an essential part of any product-based business, but it comes with an assortment of risks. Of these, product damage is one of the most common and costly. Freight can shift while in transit or handling, or be jolted out of position by shocks or sudden movements.

Strapping helps alleviate this problem by providing a cost-efficient, readily available means of securing packages and pallet loads. There are many types of strapping available, such as steel, polyester, and polypropylene, each of them with their own gauges and recommended applications.

This handbook will explain the most common types of strapping, their advantages and disadvantages, and help you determine which strap is the right one for your needs.

Download now

Idatix

Discover how forward thinking manufacturers are integrating their ERP with new solutions to manage their operations end-to-end. Integrating with another technology, such as an Enterprise Content Management solution could allow a company to forgo “a multimillion-dollar purchase and avoid significant organizational disruption,” states Craig Le Clair of Forrester.

Discover the top 4 struggles organizations face when attempting to solve their ERP problems, how to manage all of the vital business processes that happen outside of the ERP: procurement, production, shipping, etc. and steps to leverage greater value out of your ERP without a costly replacement, a risky investment or significant disruption

Download now

Steel Reality

View or download a PDF to learn more about Laser Mech's Industrial Beam Delivery Solutions.

Current Issue

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September 2014

ON THE COVER: 
Tense trade
Reaching a tipping point in volume, steel imports face the weight of politics.

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