Metal Worker

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FORMERO says an Australian jewellery artist is exploring Selective Laser Melting to create exquisite jewellery from metal powders. Success within the jewellery industry can be challenging, particularly when competing against mass produced items from retail giants or cheap imports. Jewellers are often finding processes and innovative techniques that can achieve exquisite art forms and still boost profits. Cinnamon Lee is using Formero’s SLM technology, which builds 3D models from computer designed files. Parts are produced in metals that can be used for finished products, rather than just prototypes. While SLM was debuted to be used mainly within the manufacturing, defence and aerospace industry, Lee’s adoption of the technology indicates the technology’s applicability to other sectors. Since Formero’s work with Lee, SLM has spread its applications into other unique, custom manufacturing areas, such as producing dental crown and medical implants.

New Welding Training and Testing Initiative launched in South Australia

ADELAIDEAQUA and SA Water together have launched the new Welding Training and Testing Initiative to secure the key skilled resources for the $1.8b Adelaide Desalination Project. According to AdelaideAqua, the joint initiative is specific aimed to attract, train and enhance the skilled resource capacity in the area of specialised welding, welding supervision and welder qualifications. The two training providers selected to design and deliver the training program are Australian Welding Solutions and TAFE SA (Panorama campus). AdelaideAqua says within South Australia, the metal and engineering industry has reported a lack of available skilled workers, with many large contractors often forced to look interstate and overseas to satisfy project-based work. The joint initiative is said to not only build essential capability and capacity to service the needs of the highly specialised area of welding for the ADP, but also build on local SA resources which can service other similar projects nationally and worldwide. SA Water says the desalination project has a need for specialised welding tradespeople, due to the highly-technical infrastructure for its seawater reverse osmosis operations. The project’s construction incorporates well in excess of 4,000m of site run super duplex and other stainless steel pipes and fittings.

thermal spray lab

Swinburne establishes thermal spray lab

SWINBURNE is establishing Australia’s first university-based thermal spray lab, to help Australia’s coatings industry solve thermal spray problems.According to Swinburne Magazine, the research and problem-solving group will be headed by Swinburne’s Professor Chris Berndt.Thermal spray is a coating process in which melted or heated materials are sprayed on to a surface. This process eventually creates a thin coating. It is faster than electroplating and vapour deposition, and can coat metals, alloys, ceramics, and composites.Coating metals and alloys can help prevent corrosion and protect material from high temperatures. They are used in various applications, from car parts to drilling rigs, power station turbines and bridges.The new facility will include training for TAFE and higher education students in thermal spray technology, and provide manufacturing engineers and technicians with coatings technology expertise.According to Richard Moore, CEO of United Surface Technologies, new coating technologies emerge every year, making it essential for the local industry to have access to developments, problem-solving expertise and trained graduates.

ABB’s VirtualArc robot welding

ABB’s VirtualArc robot welding simulation software teaches robots without waste

ABB says its VirtualArc robot welding simulation software allows welding robots to achieve precise, clean, mass-produced welds.Human welders draw on experience, intuition and trial-and-error to establish the right parameters for a welding job. Transferring this skill to robots can be complex.While robots speed productivity, and provide accurate repeatability of tasks, they can only get the welding right if they have been programmed correctly. “Teaching” a robot to perform a arc-weld, means providing it with the knowledge that comes from many years of human experience and the intuition that enables it to choose the appropriate process for a new task.Traditionally, experienced welder set up the welding parameters on robots by performing a series of test welds and adjusting parameters to hone the result. This approach uses up materials, manpower and energy.ABB says its VirtualArc software features on-screen optimization of welding parameters, avoiding real-life trial and error, saving welding materials and energy. It can define the exact parameters then test them virtually, without actually carrying out any welds.The software uses a sophisticated simulator that incorporates information on the equipment available, such as the welding device and the power supply, and application data, such as the materials to be used, the plate thickness, and the required joint configuration.Depending on the results of the virtual test, the operator can adjust parameters such as weld speed, torch angle etc. and optimize for maximum productivity and minimum energy use, while maintaining the required quality of the weld and allowing the plant’s robots to continue with their […]

Stainelec supplies Ogura hydraulic rebar equipment for green project in Philippines

STAINELEC Hydraulic Equipment says it is supplying Ogura hydraulic rebar cutter and rebar bending equipment for a project in the Philippines.The Ogura brand rebar equipment will be used to fabricate rebar deformed bars which will in turn be used in structural concrete structures. The concrete structures will be used to build ethanol and cogeneration plants in the Philippines.According to Stainelec Hydraulic Equipment, the Ogura rebar cutter and rebar bender can cut and bend rebar up to 32mm in diameter.

welding helmet

Sperian’s Galaxy high impact welding helmet now with hard hat adaptor

SPERIAN has launched the Galaxy high impact welding helmet with a hard hat adaptor. According to Sperian, its Galaxy high impact welding helmet is currently the only passive flip front, high impact approved welding helmet on the market. It is tested to Australian Standards, and approved by SAI Global. The Galaxy welding helmet is now fitted with a hard hat adaptor to suit PA620V and MSA V-Guard Elite hard hats. Also available as a spare part, users can quickly convert their standard Galaxy high impact welding helmets to be used with a hard hat. This provides protection for the head without needing to switch helmets and hardhats. The Galaxy high impact welding helmet with hard hat adaptor can be used at construction sites. Welders using the Galaxy high impact welding helmet with hard hat adaptor can change the distance from the Auto Darkening Filter (ADF) to the eye, and the angle of the welding helmet to the hard hat to suit to their personal needs and working environment.

Smelting and metal refining

Smelting and metal refining jobs to bear brunt of climate change legislation

THE MINERALS Council of Australia says 8570 smelting and metal refining jobs could be lost by 2020 under the proposed climate change legislation. According to the Concept Economics report, of the minerals processing job losses, the metal making and refining sector will be hardest hit, with 8570 lost by 2020, and 33,670 lost by 2030. While amendments to the climate change legislation have insulated the aluminium smelting and other refining industries with transition assistance up to 2020, critics say it has only delayed the job losses. The Minerals Council has criticised the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme as being “fundamentally flawed” because of its cost in jobs. It has also pointed to the lack of a global emissions protocol and Australia’s leading position in emission reduction efforts, which it fears will see industry bearing the brunt of the impact.

ASC prepares workforce for destroyer program

ASC will soon start cutting steel as the starting stage for its manufacture of three destroyers. The air warfare destroyers are going to be built at the Techport Australia facility at Osborne on the Port River, South Australia. The first destroyer, HMAS Hobart, will be finished by 2014, with HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Sydney to follow. A further 140 workers will be recruited by ASC for Techport Australia for the $8b Air Warfare Destroyer contract. As the construction program reaches its apex in 2011, there will be a workforce of around 1000 on the site. In February 2009, ASC selected ten apprentices as the first intakes to its Apprentice Development Program, to work on the Air Warfare Destroyer program. The ten apprentices are currently working with third-party host companies, while waiting for ASC to finish upgrading its Osborne shipyard.

climate change

Big steel and aluminium companies lobbying against climate change policy

STEEL and aluminium companies will be lobbying politicians representing coal mining, and metal making and metal working towns in an attempt to overhaul the Federal climate change policy. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata, together with their lobbyists, are targeting the politicians ahead of the 10 March release of the draft laws for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. BHP Billiton and BlueScope Steel are being represented by lobbyist Gavin Anderson and Company, who will push for their cause in Canberra. Big polluting companies are asking for more compensation, claiming to have been unfairly targeted. The Federal Government’s climate change policy has been the target of both sides of industry, with environment groups criticising it for giving away too many free permits and too much compensation.

Western Titanium

Titanium shortcuts lead to fraud indictment

EXECUTIVES of metal supplier Western Titanium have been indicted for fraud over weak titanium parts it supplied to Boeing and the US Air Force. According to a four-year Defense Department investigation, the weak parts were used in active-duty military aircraft, and included flight-safety-critical parts such as engine mounts. Four of the company’s executives were charged with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy for falsifying the quality certificates of titanium supplied to its customers. The prosecutors say Western made short cuts to its process, by using a press to squash the metal and cut it down to a rolled thickness. For aircraft-grade titanium, the ore should be heated and fed through giant steel rollers to result in directional strength.