29 07, 2021

Taber Extrusions’ New Haas VF-12 CNC Machine is Ready to Serve You

2021-07-29T20:43:17+00:00July 29th, 2021|

A digital image of a VF-12 CNC machine made by Haas, which is a long rectangular box with four large connected viewing panels to allow operators to see the interior where a vertical column holds a spindle which is used to create aluminum extrusions.

Taber Extrusions continues to invest in technologies that provide the broadest capabilities in the extrusion industry.  If the job can be done, it can be done at Taber.

With this line of thought, Taber has added a new CNC Haas VF-12 vertical machining center to its operation. This VF series CNC machine allows our top engineers to design final extrusion shapes on specialized software, and then have them made inside of this “self-contained factory,” all in one precise and effective process.

HAAS CNC machines are the cutting-edge of manufacturing prowess and contain several lifetime’s worth of know-how in material engineering, programming, software, and manufacturing. When a company in-bounds a Haas VF-12, it’s a guarantee that the company has hired and developed top talent who will operate these complex CNC machines, and without whom the full potential of the VF-40 could never be extracted.

On the VF-12/40, the tools have travel lengths of 150 inches of an X-axis, 32 inches of Y, and 30 inches of Z. This means that long aluminum extrusions can be precisely made within the machine, cutting down on processing times and costs. With the internal, automatic tool change capacity (30+1), the VF-12 fits the bill for Taber’s focus on precision and effectiveness so customers can rest assured that if they can imagine it, we can form it for the best price.

The 150 x 28-inch table can be loaded with up to 4000 pounds of base material that will be worked on by a high-power, direct-drive spindle equipped with programmable lubrication and coolant hoses. Everything from tool selection, to RPM, to feed rate and coolant flow can be altered to work on different alloys and acquire perfect aluminum extrusions.

A close-up of the spindle and nozzles for lubrication and coolant of a CNC machine in full operation working on a metal “brick.”

With in-house casting solutions, ultra-precision extrusion manufacturing, friction stir welding capacities, and a full range of hard and soft aluminum alloys, Taber continues to align itself as an industry leader in having the broadest available capabilities. The VF-12 propels Taber into the future with increased capabilities and the spirit of continued improvement in the service of customers in the automotive, defense, transportation, and marine industries, and beyond.

 

About Taber Extrusions

Taber is a minority-owned business enterprise which is AS 9100, NADCAP, and ABS certified. Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS, in 1995 which houses a cast house and two additional presses, and multiple expansions of value-added fabrication services. Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes, including 7” billet molds, and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys. In 2018, Taber added ultra-precision extrusions to their capabilities allowing them to further serve customers in electronics, computer, and medical industries. Recently, Taber was proud to announce yet another exciting launch into friction stir welding.

11 01, 2021

Industries That Use Friction Stir Welding

2021-02-11T20:06:29+00:00January 11th, 2021|

4 photographs: upper left – a high-speed white rail train with a red stripe zooming through a bright train station in a dynamic blur. Upper right – Fincantieri Marinette Marine Littoral Combat Ship plowing through a deep, dark ocean. Lower right – the view from a car roof as it speeds down the expressway towards a beautiful orange sunset. Lower left – A jet airplane high in the air creating stark white contrails against a clear turquoise sky.

Amid the screech of saws cutting through metal, the beeping of forklifts, and the clank of metal components, workers in modern shipyards are producing some of the largest vessels in the world. A similar cacophony of sounds as those heard in a shipyard can be heard around the country in automotive, construction, aerospace, and transportation factories.

Neatly organized assembly line workers with electric drills work on large metallic parts, bigger than the men working on them and resemble pvc pipe connectors with structures inside them. Behind them can be seen boxes with materials and in front of them are large metallic shelves for storage.

Yet, one traditional sound associated with industrial manufacturing may soon go silent: the loud cracking, buzzing, electric sound associated with MIG welding. Sometimes likened to the sound bacon makes while frying, the sounds of MIG welding may eventually come to be completely replaced by the low buzzing of the spinning rotating tool used in Friction Stir Welding (FSW).

As FSW becomes faster and more versatile, more industries than ever are moving toward this type of welding.

The Benefits:

FSW shows its high cast as a modern-form joining operation.

A computer operator wearing blue, noise-canceling headphones with a small microphone attachment, sits working in front of 6 computer monitor stacked three on top of three. Behind the monitor is a large structure, which nose-cone to the Orion spaceship, it appears to be a green cylinder surrounded by white pipes and tubes.

Unlike other forms of welding, FSW can be automated which increases precision and reduces manufacturing times. Manufacturing time is further decreased because FSW only takes one pass to weld metals and because there is no filler material nor melting, eliminating the need for post weld work, such as splatter cleaning.

FSW is also hyper-modern by being more environmentally friendly and less wasteful (it does not have consumable parts) and not producing nauseous gases during the process.

Other benefits of Friction Stir Welding include:

  • Increased strength (High tensile, fatigue & bend properties) ​
  • Improved sealing, completely void-free leak proof joints​
  • Reduced thermal distortion and shrinkage​
  • Improved repeatability​
  • The ability to join two different alloys​
  • Good for welding metals such as aluminum alloys that can be hard to weld
  • Cost effectivity

The top users: Marine and Transportation

Both of these gigantic industries – marine and transportation – incorporate FSW into their manufacturing operations. Public transportation alone has a market size of 75.6 billion dollars[i], and for shipbuilding, without considering the other sectors of the naval industry, the market size is 29 billion.

Other key sectors are also keen on taking advantage of FSW. Below we highlight just one benefit FSW gives each of the following sectors:

Air Transport:

The Benefit: Weight Reduction

The long underbelly of an airplane, which has two undulations for engines, and the landing gear down against a completely white backdrop giving the image a classic black & white feel.

One of the simplest ways to increase efficiency in transport vehicles is by reducing weight. Marine, air, and land transport vehicles are foregoing rivets, clinch nuts, or traditional MIG or TIG welding in their manufacturing processes in favor of FSW which doesn’t add any weight to the structure.

“Weight is one of the biggest challenges to aircraft manufacturers. Using FSW to join aluminum alloy stringers to skins for aircraft wings and fuselage structures will reduce weight by the removal of thousands of rivets, and any overlapping aluminum material. A leading aircraft manufacturer estimated that potential weight savings of approximately 2.2 lbs. per meter of FSW could be made.[i]

Aerospace:

The benefit: Easy welding of hard-to-weld alloys.

Space X’s Falcon 9 Flight 17's first stage attempting a controlled landing on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) against an early evening sky as the fiery hot gasses are expelled toward the landing pad, creating a misty exhaust.

Some types of difficult-to-weld aluminums can frustrate traditional welding attempts. In addition, joining dissimilar aluminum alloys has always been a challenge due to the different chemical and physical properties of the metal.

Recently, aerospace companies have begun using FSW, a solid-state welding technique, to surpass these limitations. Today, some fuel tanks for spacecraft – made out of hard to weld aluminum alloys – are premanufactured using FSW[i].

Marine Ships:

The benefit: Better production habits, taking advantage of prefabrication, modular building, and assembly lines.

A scene with a backdrop of green hills covered with small shrubs and trees. On a waterway, a large white cruise ship with one smoke stack creates white foam as its hull breaks through the water.

As if a precursor of things to come, the first commercial use of FSW was on ships, specifically on hollow panels used for freezing fish on fishing boats.

Today, many ships use friction stir welded floors, decks, and bulkheads. By using FSW, shipyards reduce the amount of work needed to be done, shifting the work to assembly-line factories[i]. Many parts can be manufactured in production lines improving safety, accuracy, and efficiency. Not only that, the industry can take advantage of the best pre-fab and modular practices that will further decrease production times.

Today’s cruise ships are light weight structures which allow shipbuilders to build taller ships while keeping the center of gravity lower. Designed with all the heavy machinery at the bottom and lightweight aluminum materials at the top makes them inherently stable even as ship designs are getting taller and taller, demonstrating how sufficient safety can be achieved.

Ultimately this translates to one thing: bigger ships mean MORE FUN!

Whether it’s the freighters that carry the goods from our globalized economy, the military vessels that keep our oceans safe, or the cruise-lines that give families unforgettable vacations, all these sectors are seeing cost and efficiency saving with FSW.

Trains:

The benefit: Safety

a long, white high speed train with orange trim at the bottom. The train disappears into the distance as it rests at an empty platform with tile floors and a metal roof with a long row of lights and a skylight running down the middle on the roof.

This industry in particular has honed in on the advantages FSW offers in crash safety. FSW is the best welding process for creating safe designs:

“Modern passenger rail cars are increasingly produced from longitudinal aluminium extrusions with integrated stiffeners.

This design approach can enhance the crashworthiness of vehicles […] Large aluminum extrusions with complicated shapes are [being used].[i]

Freight Trailers:

The benefit: Stability

Underneath a fiery red sky, a blue lorry and trailer travel along a paved highway road followed by a car while on the other side of the double yellow line, two empty lanes extend off into the distance.

Anyone traveling behind an 18-wheeler on highways knows just how the wind and road shakes the trailers. By using FSW on the floorboard of their trailers, some freight companies argue that their trailers have become more stable than ever. “The aluminum extrusions become one at the molecular level, making the floor a single-piece of rigid aluminum.[i]” The end result? Less wear on the tires and better fuel mileage.

Other industries:

Other industries taking advantage of friction stir welding include the automotive, construction, and defense industries, among others. It has even been incorporated to make stronger snowmobiles and lighter coolant systems.

The strong, lightweight welds that can be used on hard-to-weld alloys have every industry that uses aluminum and aluminum extrusions looking to gain a competitive advantage.

Companies that have specialized in aluminum and aluminum extrusions are the front line for delivering FSW benefits to customers. For more information, please visit Taber Extrusions. With a long tradition of proving aluminum and aluminum extrusion solutions, Taber Extrusions provides companies all the advantages of FSW in one location.

Industries Served by Taber Extrusions:

 

  • Distributors
  • Government | Military Contracts | Department of Defense
  • Aircraft | Aerospace
  • Marine | Shipbuilding
  • Infrastructure | Platforms | Decking
  • Electrical | Power Transmission | Electronics
  • Transportation
  • Sporting Goods
  • Industrial, Agricultural, and Mining Equipment
  • Structural Components
  • Specialty Architectural

About Taber Extrusions: 

Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS., in 1995 which houses a new state of the art cast house and two additional presses, micro-extrusion capabilities, and the fabrication area has been expanded multiple times.

Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes, and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys.

Today, Taber Extrusions has completed the addition of in-house Friction Stir Welding capabilities, and carries on their offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services and raw material supply to the North American market – making them a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never before seen in North America.

Follow Taber Extrusions

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/8843183/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/taberextrusions/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/taberextrusions

Interested in becoming a part of the Taber Team?  Submit your resume to careers@taberextrusions.com.

Become a customer today! Visit us or request a quote: https://taberextrusions.com or call us at (888) 985-5319.

 

______

 

i https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/market-size/public-transportation-united-states

ii https://www.twi-global.com/who-we-are/who-we-work-with/industry-sectors/aerospace/joining-of-airframe-structures/friction-stir-welding-of-airframe-structures

iii https://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/published-papers/industrialisation-of-friction-stir-welding-for-aerospace-structures-december-2001

iv https://www.twi-global.com/who-we-are/who-we-work-with/industry-sectors/aerospace/joining-of-airframe-structures/friction-stir-welding-of-airframe-structures

v https://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/published-papers/creating-a-stir-in-the-rail-industry-november-2001

vi https://www.ttnews.com/articles/fontaine-brings-friction-stir-welding-revolution-trailer

 

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17 02, 2020

Taber: Advanced Friction Stir Welding Capabilities

2020-02-17T19:42:22+00:00February 17th, 2020|

Something big is happening at Taber: Friction Stir Welding has been added to their already extensive portfolio of capabilities. #TheShapeOfEndlessPossibilitiies #Taber #Aluminum Extrusions #FSW

12 01, 2017

How Extruded Aluminum Saved the Canoe

2017-01-26T23:37:27+00:00January 12th, 2017|

canoe-1668538_960_720The canoe is one of the oldest seafaring vessels in human history, but did you know that its history is inextricably linked with that of the American aluminum industry? Without innovations in extruded aluminum shapes, we might not have the modern canoe we know and love today. It all started after World War II, when the U.S. had been producing record amounts of extruded aluminum for the war effort. After the need for automotive and aerospace parts began to lessen, manufacturers and extruders needed to come up with a new use for the material. Enter: the humble canoe.

Nowadays we think of aluminum as a common metal with many household and recreation applications, including but not limited to water sports. However, because aluminum is not a naturally occurring resource but an alloy made up of multiple elements, there was time before the 1940s when finding the right applications and demand for aluminum shapes was a tricky proposition. World War II changed the U.S. economy and workforce forever by employing millions of recession-stricken Americans for primarily manufacturing-based jobs to aid in the war effort. One such employer was called Grunman, a major supplier of aluminum aircraft for allied forces. After the war, Grunman needed to find a way to stay in business while providing extruded aluminum shapes for the public at large. One of Grunman’s employees, an avid outdoorsman, first came up with the idea of an aluminum canoe after struggling with his traditional canvas and wood constructed model. Aluminum, he proposed, would be significantly lighter, watertight, and easy to manufacture using Grunman’s advance techniques gleaned from extruding military aircraft parts. The gamble paid off, and the canoes quickly became Grunman’s most popular product.

Today aluminum is still one of the most commonly found materials for personal watercraft, and Taber is proud to contribute to this legacy of innovation, ingenuity, and American manufacturing. Visit our site here to learn about some of the other industries we serve besides marine; including automotive, aerospace, and agricultural markets. No matter how unique your idea, Taber’s team of metallurgists and engineers are ready to make it a reality. Get in touch today!

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