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Hot Off the Press


Johnson Controls Contract to Lead to New Plant

Friday, March 7, 2003
Things are looking pretty good for Johnson Controls, Glendale, WI, now that is has won a new contract reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars to manufacture seats for Ford. The new contract resulted from the Visteon decision to stop manufacturing seats for Ford. With its new windfall, Johnson Controls expects to open a new plant in Michigan, and expand work done at its existing Michigan plants.

Tailored-Blank Usage
Continues to Climb in North America

Thursday, March 6, 2003
A recent report claims that 55 million tailored blanks were consumed in NAFTA markets for automotive applications in 2002, and their use will grow at an average annual rate of nearly 13 percent over the next five years. The report, from Global Trade Consulting Co., Indianapolis, IN, describes the tailored-blanks market as undergoing recent upheavals due to manufacturing-sector weakness and a troubled steel industry, “but the newly structured industry is poised for a strong rebound and NAFTA demand will soon surge,” says Kenneth O. Eldib, GTC president. According to the report, new applications are being planned and introduced in the NAFTA market for tailored blanks, with much attention focused on exterior body panels and heavy structural parts such as underbody rails and door rings. Other developments are said to include development of more right-angle welded and nonlinear tailored blanks. Typically, tailored blanks consist of two or more steel or aluminum sheets of dissimilar thickness or grade joined by laser welding prior to forming. For more information on trends in this sector, visit

Fabricator SFI Retains ISO Registration

Thursday, March 6, 2003
SFI of Tennessee, LLC, Memphis, TN, has retained ISO 9001:1994 registration after passing an audit by Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc. SFI, a fabricator of metal parts for the truck/trailer, appliance ground-support-equipment and transportation industries, operates a 600,000-sq.-ft. facility with 250 employees.


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