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North American Robot Orders Soar in 2003

Friday, February 27, 2004
North American manufacturing companies ordered 19 percent more robots from North American suppliers in 2003 than in 2002, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). The total of 12,367 robots ordered, valued at $876.5 million, marks the industry’s best showing since 2000. Figures from 2003 show that 68 percent of North American robot orders went to automotive-related applications, with the majority of orders going for material-handling duties, followed by welding, coating, assembly and inspection. RIA estimates 135,000 robots now in use in the United States, a total second to Japan. For more, visit the RIA website at

China Leads Again in Machine-Tool Consumption

Thursday, February 26, 2004
In 2002, China jumped from fourth to first in the world in machine-tool consumption, and it retains that spot in 2003. That’s according to 2004 World Machine Tool Output & Consumption Survey, from Gardner Publications, Inc. Chinese consumption rose 27 percent in 2003 as that country acquired an estimated $6.5 billion worth of machine tools. Most other countries stayed level, with Asian manufacturing economies seeing increases. Beginning in 1993, the United States had led in consumption every year until it experienced a 23-percent decline in 2001, followed by a 36-percent drop in 2002 and only a 1-percent gain in 2003, placing it fourth on the list. Regarding machine-tool output, Japan led in 2003 with total production of $7.7 billion, edging out Germany. The United States placed fifth, behind China.

Specialty-Steel Imports Off in 2003

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The Specialty Steel Industry of North America, Washington, D.C., has released statistics covering U.S. imports, consumption and market penetration for January-November 2003. Imports of specialty steel (stainless steel, alloy tool steel and electrical steel) decreased by one percent, to nearly 611,000 tons, compared to the same 2002 period. Concurrently, total specialty-steel consumption in the United States dropped by two percent for the year, meaning that import penetration increased by one percentage point, to 26 percent year on year. For stainless-steel, imports dropped by 7 percent, domestic consumption dropped by two percent, and import penetration dropped by two percent.


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