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Study Shows: Transplant OEMs Pay Less for Tooling

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
According to a new study from automotive-industry analyst Harbour-Felax Group, new-domestic automakers Honda, Nissan and Toyota pay on average eight percent less for vendor tooling than do Chrysler, GM and Ford. The study—Vendor Tooling: The Not-So-Missing Link—also finds that new-domestic tooling costs fall below those of the Detroit Three 62 percent of the time. “This study indicates that vendor tooling is the link between automaker product and process, providing a unique insight into larger industry issues,” says Laurie Harbour-Felax, president of Harbour-Felax Group. “Honda and Toyota have intelligently managed the vendor tooling life cycle,” she adds. Some best practices coming out of the study include early involvement of Tier One and tooling suppliers on programs; mutually agreed-upon standards and guidelines for the tooling request-for-proposal process; reduction in the magnitude and the number of engineering changes throughout the product-development process; and collaboration to reduce overall costs through process improvements. Learn more at

Dahlstrom Launches New Website

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Dahlstrom USA, Warrensville Heights, OH, a member of the Formtek Group, has redesigned its website to showcase its ability to design, manufacture and integrate tooling and machinery for custom rollforming, as well as flexible sheetmetal-fabricating equipment. Users of the site can connect directly with service and support and obtain information on rebuilds and spare parts. Check it out:

Vermont Wind-Turbine Maker
Tapping Michigan Companies to Fuel Growth

Monday, March 09, 2009
Northern Power, Barre, VT, has announced plans to begin contract manufacturing in Michigan, possibly later in 2009. The firm, which manufactures 100-kW wind turbines, plans to open two new production facilities to serve the central United States, and is only 25 percent along the to securing future partners to support its expansion plans. One partner on board, Merrill Tool & Machine, near Saginaw, MI, will supply 20 percent of the content needed to build Northern Power’s 121-ft. turbines. And, Northern Power has met with Grand-Rapids-based Cascade Engineering as well. Merrill Tool & Machine offers engineering, fabrication, assembly, finishing and other services. Cascade Engineering provides engineered plastic systems and components. Northern Machine is looking to source, from Michigan companies, controller cabinets, nacelles, generator builds and engineering and R & D. Learn more at


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