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Orchid Doubles the Size of its Mexican Facility

Friday, March 13, 2009
Orchid International, Brentwood, TN, has moved its Monterrey, Mexico-based aluminum die-casting operation into a new 62,000-sq.-ft. facility in nearby Apodaca. The new facility more than doubles the company’s manufacturing floor space from its original facility, which Orchid acquired from Hawk Motors in November 2006. The Orchid die-casting plant ships more than 80,000 aluminum die-cast electric-motor rotors per week, and the company is considering adding general stamping and assembly to its new and larger facility. Learn more at

Roll Forming Corp. to Supply Structural Titanium
Components for the Boeing Dreamliner

Friday, March 13, 2009
RTI International Metals, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, a manufacturer and distributor of titanium-alloy products, extruded shapes, formed parts and engineered systems, has contracted with Roll Forming Corp. (RFC), Shelbyville, KY, to supply laser-beam welding, forming and inspection of RTI’s structural titanium components destined for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The 10-yr. contract with RFC is estimated to generate more than $120 million in revenue and requires RFC to perform production laser-beam welding for the 787 seat-track program. RTI, along with its supply-chain partners, will machine and assemble the finished titanium components used for the seat tracks, which mount to the floor structure of the 787. Learn more about RTI at Roll Forming Corp., a subsidiary of voestalpine AG, is online at

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


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