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Robot-Safety Training Events Slated for 2009

Monday, December 15, 2008
The Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Ann Arbor, MI, announced its schedule of safety-training events for 2009. Included is the 2009 Spring Robot Safety Conference, headed to Knoxville, TN, March 23-25. The event includes a mix of workshops and conference sessions, as well as tabletop exhibits. RIA’s National Robot Safety Conference—the 21st edition of the annual event—is slated for October 26-29 in Dearborn, MI. And, in addition to the two conferences, RIA offers one-day safety seminars in a variety of U.S. cities. First on the schedule are seminar stops in Long Beach, CA, February 2; and Phoenix, AZ, March 30. Learn more at

Cold-Rolling and Galvanizing Plants Closing

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
ArcelorMittal will permanently close its cold-rolling and galvanizing plants in Lackawanna, NY, and Hennepin, IL, inline with its plans to reduce North American output by 40 percent. The firm’s decision to close the two facilities is partly due, it says, to rising costs to transport the hotband coils from other mills for processing. The NY mill, which operates a continuous pickling line and a galvanizing line, will close April 30, 2009. ArcelorMittal has not announced a timetable yet for closing the IL mill.

Toyota Dissolving Interior-Supplier JVs
to Spur Competition

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
According an Automotive News report, three of Toyota’s largest automotive-interior suppliers are dissolving or restructuring their U.S.-Japanese joint ventures that date back to the 1980s. Toyota has until now relied on joint ventures with American suppliers Johnson Controls and Lear Corp. for automotive-interior components. Its affiliated company Toyota Boshoku, which had partnered with Lear Cop. in 1980 to create Total Interior Systems-America (TISA), in Princeton, IN, has bought out Lear’s share of the company. And similarly, Boshoku is phasing out its relationship with Johnson Controls, with whom it partnered in 1987 to create Trim Masters, based in Harrodsburg, KY. Boshoku now owns outright five of the 11 Trim Masters’ plants in the United States and Canada, while Johnson Controls has taken over a Trim Masters plant in Texas. A Lear spokesperson is quoted in the article as saying that,” Lear will continue to supply components to Toyota, but under a new arrangement.” Lear and Boshoku will form a working group to jointly identify and pursue sourcing opportunities for certain seating components, as well as purchasing opportunities for key commodities such as steel.


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