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As 2013 comes to a close, the editors of This Week in Welding would like to wish the industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 7.

Why 3-D printing is overhyped — I should know, I do it for a living
Gizmodo
From May 21: Everyone's now aware of 3-D printing — they've read about it in the papers, on blogs or seen it on TV. The mentality now seems to be that, in the future, we'll be able to download our products or make them ourselves with CAD programs, apps and 3-D scanners, then just print them out, either at home, or in localized print shops. Which, in turn, will supposedly decentralize manufacturing and bring it back to the West. But 3-D printing is severely overhyped — and Nick Allen, the founder of 3-D printing company 3-D Print UK, should know because it's what he does for a living.
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9 materials that will change the future of manufacturing
Scientific American
From April 30: The future of manufacturing depends on a number of technological breakthroughs in robotics, sensors and high-performance computing, to name a few. But nothing will impact how things are made, and what they are capable of, more than the materials manufacturers use to make those things. New materials change both the manufacturing process and the end result.
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Watch the construction of a Dodge Viper in just 4 minutes
The New York Times
From Jan. 15:VideoBrief Despite its status as the Motor City, Detroit has only two automobile plants entirely within the city limits. One is Chrysler's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, which reopened in December after being closed for more than three years during the automaker's bankruptcy. Later this month, the factory's first Viper — considered a "halo" vehicle, built to enhance a company's image rather than drive sales — will roll off the line.
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These 19 states lead the US manufacturing resurgence
Area Development Online
From Jan. 15: With new advances in technology, lean manufacturing techniques and best practices, American manufacturing is becoming cost-competitive with offshore locations, resulting in more companies bringing their operations back to the United States — or near-shoring to Mexico. We have identified 19 states where manufacturing is leading the way.
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Welding a bright future: Austin, Texas, woman sparks her way onto
HGTV show

The Austin Chronicle
From Aug. 6: The Austin Chronicle recently caught up with Austin, Texas, native Inez Escamilla about her journey from Austin Community College art school to welding on television. She is currently competing for a $50,000 grand prize on the HGTV home renovation reality show "Brother vs. Brother" as a member of Team Jonathan. Escamilla reveals some dirty secrets of the metal arts world as a woman in a traditionally male profession.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Upgrade Your Welding System Now!
Beginning February 2013, the well-known 3M™ Speedglas™ 9000 Series welding helmet systems will become obsolete making room for the next generation of welding helmets, the 3M™ Speedglas™ 9100 Series. Find the necessary tools and resources to guide you through your transition from a 9000 system to the new 9100. MORE
 


Welcome to the 'jobless' US manufacturing boom
The Fiscal Times
From March 26:VideoBrief Recently, Chris Budnick, the CEO of Vanguard Plastics in Southington, Conn., needed a new employee for his 30-person factory to help with the 24-hour schedule. He could have done what managers and CEOs have done for decades: post a job ad, sort through hundreds of resumes, interview dozens of potential candidates, conduct second or third interviews and pay for background checks, then offer a wage of $9-$15 an hour and health benefits, a profit-sharing program and more. Instead, Budnick hired someone else — or something else. His name is Baxter, a humanoid robot from Rethink Robotics.
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Red Bull's F1 manufacturing video is delightfully wonderful
Jalopnik
From Feb. 12: VideoBriefThis is Red Bull Racing's launch video for their 2013 F1 car. It shows an obsession with high-tech manufacturing on par with Metropolis. The problem with Formula One is that the technology is so advanced, that it's hard to get a sense of what the cars are actually made of, and what they're doing. Well, this video shows you perfectly. We can't stop watching them make the transmission. There's something about those tiny gears and forks coming together like a watchmaker's high-speed fantasy.
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Check out this augmented reality welding mask that will show you how sloppy your welds really are
BoingBoing.net
From Jan. 22: VideoBriefThe creators of the MannVis augmented reality welding helmet have come up with a set of complex algorithms which allow real-time processing of HDR videos at 120 frames per second — in stereoscopic 3D, no less. The process creates an effective contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1 which is far beyond natural human capability. This incredible contrast ratio is used in an augmented reality view to show the welder inhuman detail as they weld.
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5-step plan to attract next-generation manufacturing talent
Manufacturing Business Technology
From May 28: As manufacturing specialists visits facilities throughout the U.S. each week, one consistent theme continues to come into focus: the knowledge and skill-level that is exiting organizations through retirement is becoming increasingly difficult to replace with today's applicant pool. In fact, it's the buzz in manufacturing media almost daily now. In order to kick start your organization toward the goal of attracting the next generation, here are five steps to get you on the path.
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SPOTLIGHT
  Kemper Systems America, Inc.

We manufacture our products under the CANTESCO® brand and also under private label arrangement; provide research and development in response to customer requirements; assist in developing market areas which includes product seminars for support staff, literature preparation, technical support, development of sales training manuals; and provision of health and safety information. MORE
 


This is the way blue-collar America ends
The Atlantic
From June 11: Take a close look at Rockwell Automation, and you'll understand why the modern manufacturing industry manages to be both a tremendous economic driver and a tough business in which to get a job. It's becoming standard for many manufacturing companies to require employees to have college degrees — and some jobs require a Ph.D. Factory-floor openings are scarce and often require specific credentials.
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Study: China manufacturing costs rising to US level
CNBC
From April 23: VideoBriefWalk onto the shop floor at Prince Industries in Shanghai, China and it looks like most other manufacturing plants in this country. It's busy running two shifts, cranking out components that will be shipped to major manufacturers like Caterpillar, Siemens and Honeywell. But change is in the air. The cost of manufacturing in China is going up and rising quickly.
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How are your vendors doing? Tell us in the AWS Welding Buyer's Guide.


Skills gap: Jobs open, no workers
WXIA-TV
From June 4: VideoBriefInside the welding classroom at Atlanta Technical College, Julie Wolfe yells over the sound of a large fan dissipating heat from flying sparks. Work stations are separated by black plastic. Behind masks, students concentrate on practicing their skill. It's a look at one of the hardest jobs to fill in the United States right now.
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Choose the right plasma for your small CNC table

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Industry's Leader in Welding Consumables

CenterLine is an established manufacturer of welding consumables offering a variety of standard and custom electrode products that satisfy North American and European standards. All products are available in an extensive range of copper alloys and are manufactured to the highest quality standards. We stock an extensive inventory of standard products.
Siegmund Welding Tables: Highest Stability, Strength, and Precision

For high precision, heavy duty modular fixturing solutions, the german made Siegmund Welding Tables provide unsurpassed quality in stability and strength at an affordable price. Every Siegmund Table features a plasma nitride finish for superior performance and long life.


Exotic, useful metals are about to become cheap and plentiful
The Economist
From Feb. 19: Aluminum was once more costly than gold. Napoleon III, emperor of France, reserved cutlery made from it for his most favored guests, and the Washington monument, in America’s capital, was capped with it not because the builders were cheapskates but because they wanted to show off. How times change. Now, the founders of Metalysis, a small British firm, hope to do much the same with tantalum, titanium and a host of other recherché and expensive metallic elements including neodymium, tungsten and vanadium.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  WELDERS-RENT BOOTH TIME NOW!
Arclabs and SparcAcademy provide opportunities for skilled welders to rent booth time ($20/HR-8 Minimum) to prep for welding tests and improve proficiency. Price includes carbon steel plate. Other metals extra. Take advantage of this great opportunity in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, SC; Houston, TX and Portsmouth, VA. Visit our websites www.arclabs.com or www.sparcacademy.com for details and to reserve booth space now.
 


Your future will be manufactured on a 3-D printer
Bloomberg
From May 14: Consider the Urbee 2, a car being produced by Kor Ecologic using a 3-D printer. When completed, it will weigh some 1,200 pounds. Made with about 40 pieces of thermoplastic, it will be resilient, aerodynamic and mind-bogglingly efficient. Its designers can employ unorthodox shapes and materials to maximize efficiency, mold the lightweight plastic with precision to strengthen vulnerable areas, and fit most pieces together without joints or welding. In effect, they're compressing much of an automobile assembly line into a printing device.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Best Weld Heads on Earth!

Frontline nut & stud weld heads. Tested and proven by a panel of welding experts. Try them and you'll agree, Available in any size you like.

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WEH® Gas Connector Solutions

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A sweet Iron Man helmet tops this list of cool custom welding helmets
Ranker
From April 23: Are you a fan of shows like "American Restoration," "American Pickers" and "How It's Made?" Perhaps you are a welder yourself? One thing that we can probably agree on is that welding hoods are pretty cool. We scoured the Internet for some of the coolest customized hoods we could find.
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SPOTLIGHT
  E3® Tungsten Electrodes
E3® tungsten is engineered to outperform other types of electrodes. The unique blend of oxides causes it to start more consistently and run cooler, therefore lasting longer. E3® is the best replacement for 2% thoriated as well as other tungsten types. Technology - not old habits!
 


Houston, we have a welder shortage
Houston Chronicle
From Oct. 1: The Houston area needs welders. Demand far outstrips supply, thanks to the continuing strength of the oil and gas industry as well as the large number of skilled workers reaching retirement age. Houstonians looking to enter the field have multiple opportunities for employment and for the education needed to obtain it. "Houston is definitely the hub. More welders are needed here than anywhere else," said Tom Tynan, program director for the construction and trades department at Houston Community College.
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Buffalo
Welding Corp

Buffalo Welding Corp has been providing businesses with the latest in welding technology, welding supplies, and friendly fast professional service for over 60 years. MORE
Advertise here!

To find out how to feature your company in the AWS eNewsletter and other advertising opportunities, Contact Geoffrey Forneret at 469.420.2629.
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As manufacturing bounces back from recession, unions are left behind
The Washington Post
From Jan. 22: U.S. manufacturers have added a half-million new workers since the end of 2009, making the sector one of the few bright spots in an otherwise weak recovery. And yet there were 4 percent fewer union factory workers in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to federal survey data. On balance, all of the job gains in manufacturing have been nonunion.
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Myths of post-industrial America
The Washington Post
From April 9: Almost everyone seems to yearn for a manufacturing renaissance. This would, the reasoning goes, kick-start the sluggish recovery. By providing well-paying jobs, it would strengthen the middle class. By restoring a heritage of "making things," it would reduce U.S. trade deficits and re-establish our global economic pre-eminence. No doubt, millions of Americans endorse this appealing vision. It's make-believe.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
3-D printing with metal: Engineers create DIY welding 3-D printer for under $1,500
International Business Times
Currently, the commercial 3-D printing landscape is dominated by contraptions that create everything from toys to watchbands out of plastic. But there’s another manufacturing revolution in the making: metal 3-D printing.

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FABTECH 2013 was largest show in its history
PRWeb
FABTECH, the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America, recently announced that its show in Chicago set records for numbers of attendees and exhibitors as well as for floor space.

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AWS names 2013 Image of Welding Award winners
AWS
The American Welding Society (AWS) and WEMCO, an association of welding manufacturers, have announced the recipients of the 11th annual Image of Welding Awards. Issued in seven categories, these awards recognize individuals and organizations that have shown exemplary dedication to promoting the image of welding in their communities.

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Is fracking creating a 'manufacturing renaissance' in the US?
Marketplace
From Oct. 29: The technology known as fracking or hydraulic fracturing has environmentalists deeply concerned with groundwater pollution. Then there's the effect on global temperatures of burning the resulting fossil fuel. But is it possible that America's new energy boom could bring factory jobs back from overseas? Chris Farrell, Marketplace's economics commentator, has been considering what some see as a new manufacturing boom in this country.
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Workstation Bridge Cranes in Fabrication

Production lines and workstation bridge cranes work together seamlessly. When you need to add parts to your project or you have several different phases in production, the workstation bridge crane is perfect for moving things down the line. With our customizable workstation bridge cranes, SPANCO will meet your company’s needs. MORE
AXXAIR-USA, Inc.


Axxair-USA brings expertise in design, manufacturing, sales, servicing and training of the highest quality orbital cutting, beveling and squaring equipment in the pipe and tube industry. With over 30 years of experience in the industrial pipe and tube fabrication industry, we understand your business.

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PipeJacks, PipeClamps, PipePurging, PipeTools

B&B Pipe and Industrial Tools now offers a full line of external Pipeclamps, Pipepurging tools, and additional pipe fabrication tools helping the fabricator work more safely, faster, and with more accuracy. Visit our new website BBPipeTools.com for additional sales and product information.
PythonX Structural Fabrication System

PythonX Structural Fabrication System BeamLine is a complete structural steel fabrication center in one machine. Beams, Channels, HSS, Angle and Plate can all be run through the machine to put in Bolt Holes, Copes, Slots, Cutouts, and cut to length. It can also scribe and produce layout marks. 4 week delivery.
Ecoguard Type M
a.k.a. Spark Buster


The Ecoguard Type M transforms your grinder into a multi-cutting saw that is in compliance with ANSI standards to safely use Metal Cutting Blades. When used with an abrasive cut-off wheel, the Spark Buster safely exhausts the dangerous sparks from the cutting edge for a safer operation. Installation of the blade is very simple with an Easy Blade Change System, as well as a Functional Side Window for viewing while cutting. MORE
 

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