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Stamper/Die Builder Adds 6-kW Laser-Cutting Machine

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Rockford Toolcraft Inc., Rockford, IL, a tool and die builder and heavy-metal stamper, has acquired an Amada LC-F1NT laser-cutting machine. The flying-optics-style machine is equipped with a 6-kW laser to handle heavy-gauge fabrication and position the company to take on relatively shorter runs. Learn more at

Robot Sales Slip-Sliding A—
for Automotive Work, that is

Thursday, February 5, 2009
North American-based robotics companies report that new orders sold to North American manufacturing companies fell by 21 percent in units and 16 percent in dollars in 2008 compared to 2007, according to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Ann Arbor, MI. The fourth quarter was particularly dismal, as orders fell by 26 percent in units and 33 percent in dollar compared with the fourth quarter of 2007. Orders from automotive OEMs and their suppliers dropped 37 percent in units and 32 percent in dollars, while nonautomotive orders actually increased by 9 percent in units and 7 percent in dollars over 2007. RIA is online at

Alabama Welcomes New Steel-Coil Processing Plant

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Friedman Industries, Inc., Houston, TX, has opened a new coil-processing plant in Decatur, AL, to convert hot-rolled coils received from the adjacent Nucor Steel Co. mill into hot-rolled sheet and plate. The new 48,000-sq.-ft-. plant houses temper-passing and leveling equipment to provide consistently flat material and tight tolerances. Friedman also operates a coil-processing plant in Hickman, AR, and a tubular-products facility in Lone Star, TX;


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