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Hot Off the Press


Die-Design Software Provider
Purchases Machining Software Line

Wednesday, November 13, 2002
VI Group plc, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, a supplier of CAD/CAM software to die designers and builders, has acquired the Machining Strategist business of NC Graphics Ltd., Cambridge, England. VI Group is the parent of Vero International Inc., with U.S. offices in Bingham Farms, MI. The acquisition includes the purchase of the Machining Strategist products together with key development, sales and support personnel, and two of the directors of NC Graphics, Steven Youngs and Ralph Ehoff. Machining Strategist was developed to capitalize on the trends toward high-speed machining, machining with solid carbide and carbide-insert cutters, and shopfloor programming, according to company officials. Machining Strategist reportedly offers features that enhance machine-tool motion and minimize air-cutting, and results in production of smooth, continuous toolpaths that eliminate dwelling, enhance tool life and reduce cycle times. “We have been working to incorporate this product under license since last year and it already forms part of the 3D CAM solution of VISI Series Release 10 (a die-design software package),” said Stephen Palframan, chairman of the VI Group. “The integration of Machining Strategist functionality brings substantial advances in speed and productivity for both our current users and new customers. We will continue to sell and develop Machining Strategist for its principal markets, as we believe there is a significant and growing market for automated shopfloor-based machining. For more, visit the website of Compass Technologies, a VISI distributor, at

Automotive Steel, 23 Million Tons of It,
Going up in Price by 5-10 Percent

Wednesday, November 13, 2002
U.S. steelmakers will receive price increases as high as 10 percent on steel sold on long-term contracts to domestic automobile manufacturers. This year, 23 million tons of the 77 million tons of steel made for the automotive industry was up for contract renewal. The price hike awarded to steelmakers comes on the heels of a recent leveling off in spot-market prices. It's the first increase in at least seven years.

Industrial-Roll Fabricator Names Sales Agent
for North American Auto Market

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
FKM-USA, Glenwood, IL, the North American division of FKM-Walzentechnik, Duisburg, Germany, and Industry Scope, LLC, Grand Blanc, MI, have entered into an agreement assigning Industry Scope as the FKM-USA sales agent for the North American automotive industry. FKM is a fabricator of industrial roll products. FKM rolls are configured for diverse automotive applications: providing support for tailor-welded blank systems; as wash rolls within sheetmetal blank washers and as tensioning rolls for steel mills and toll processors. The FKM product line includes nonwoven roll covers, lightweight carbon-fiber roll-core technologies and patented rotary-cast polyurethane rolls. Industry Scope provides business knowledge, strategic business consultation and training, marketing communications and direct sales representation. For more, visit and


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