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Hot Off the Press


Laser Shipments Climbed in 3rd Quarter

Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Third-quarter 2005 shipments of industrial laser equipment and systems for North America and U.S. exports ticked up 10 percent compared to the same period in 2004, according to the Laser Systems Product Group (LSPG) of AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Shipments by the 37 reporting companies of the LSPG totaled $122.3 million for the quarter, while exports were valued at $49.2 million. Cutting applications accounted for 60 percent of shipments. The group expects continued growth. LSPG chairman David Plourde, vice president of sales for Preco Laser Systems, says, “Orders for two of our top four customers (consumer electronics and aerospace) are up 25 percent and 60 percent, suggesting the need to expand production and increase capital investment in 2006.”

New Side Trimmer and Scrap Chopper
Installed on Nucor Pickle Line

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Butech Bliss, Salem, OH, has installed a new side trimmer and scrap chopper on a cold-mill pickle line at the Nucor Steel facility in Decatur, AL. The side trimmer is a driven-turret-head style with closed-loop controls for knife lap, gap and width settings. The scrap chopper is a newly designed shimless helical-knife cutting style with double knife hubs in each head, and includes a second set of chopper heads that allows for offline knife maintenance. The setup can handle hot-rolled carbon steel to 0.375 in. thick at line speeds to 700 ft./min. Learn more at

Educational Foundation Awards Grants

Monday, January 2, 2006
The Precision Metalforming Association Educational Foundation (PMAEF) has awarded a total of $44,500 in grants to three programs created to enhance the U.S. metalforming workforce. PMAEF awarded $24,500 to the Hired program at Hennepin Technical College, Minneapolis, MN; $10,000 to Wire-Net’s School-to-Career program, to be conducted in collaboration with Max Hayes High School, a vocational school in Cleveland, OH; and $10,000 to the BattleBots IQ program. Hennepin Technical College will use its grant to support development of an occupational English project for metalforming students. The Wire-Net program guides students toward future careers with metalworking companies. And, the BattleBots IQ program features an integrated robotics curriculum that includes mathematical analysis, scientific reasoning, team problem solving and effective verbal and written communications.


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