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General Motors Moving Met-Fab Operations

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
General Motors has announced plans to integrate its metal-fabricating division into its vehicle-manufacturing operations by January 2005, to increase efficiency. Its metal-fabricating division, created in 1994, is responsible for stamping vehicle sheetmetal and for supplying engineering and testing tools and dies used in stamping plants.

Chicago’s Mapes & Sprowl Steel Expands Southward

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Chicago-based steel-service center Mapes & Sprowl Steel Ltd. has acquired the steel-processing, warehousing and transportation operations of JIT Terminal Inc., Chattanooga, TN, and plans to expand the location’s role in servicing the southeast-U.S. market. Mapes & Sprowl, Elk Grove Village, IL, specializes in electrical steels and steels for porcelain enameling. JIT specializes in toll processing of coils for steelmakers, and operates a 72-in. Stamco slitter and a cut-to-length line with a 72-in. Iowa precision blanking line. Mapes & Sprowl expects to expand the Chattanooga operation to supply cold-rolled, galvanized and other coated-steel products.

Robotic-System Orders Looking Good

Tuesday, November 16, 2004
North American robotics companies posted a 13-percent gain in new orders from the North American market through the first nine months of 2004, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Ann Arbor, MI. The growth in units sold represents a seven-percent gain in revenue. Factoring offshore shipments, RIA measures an overall gain in units sold of 19 percent for a 10-percent gain in revenue. Orders for material-handling robots jumped 36 percent in North America through September, and double-digit gains also were posted in assembly, arc-welding and material-removal applications. Learn more at


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