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Robot Orders for Non-Automotive
Applications Jump 36 Percent

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
According to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Ann Arbor, MI, North American robotics companies report that while new orders sold to North American manufacturers fell 17 percent in the first quarter of 2008 from the same quarter in 2007, revenue rose five percent. Orders to automotive manufacturers and their suppliers fell 34 percent in units, while orders to non-automotive markets surged 36 percent. Welding and coating/dispensing orders, heavily tied to automotive, showed big declines, while assembly and material-handling applications, found extensively in non-automotive sectors, showed gains. Learn more at

Russian Steel Giant to Acquire WCI Steel

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Severstal has reached a binding agreement to purchase WCI Steel, Warren, OH. WCI's total annual steel-making capacity of 1.22 million metric tons is focused on custom flat-rolled steel. Together with Severstal's current U.S. operations based in Dearborn, MI, Michigan, Columbus, MS, and the recently acquired (on May 8, 2008) Sparrows Point facility in Baltimore, MD, WCI will grow the company's North American leadership in the high-quality flat-rolled steel segment for the automotive, appliance, furniture, construction and energy markets. Learn more at

Webcast Introduces Advanced Planning and Scheduling
Software to Support Lean Manufacturing

Monday, May 19, 2008
Last week, Epicor Software Corp. and MetalForming magazine cooperated to produce a 30-min. webcast titled: Boost Results in Lean Strategies with Advanced Planning and Scheduling. Epicor’s Christine Hansen discussed how best-in-class manufacturers apply state-of-the-art scheduling practices and software to meet tight delivery schedules, while continuing to provide more and more manufacturing operations for their customers. The key, which Christine explains in detail, is maintaining responsiveness and flexibility in scheduling. Other topics presented included managing of multiple constraints for an operation--equipment, tooling and operator; using visual drag-and-drop scheduling techniques; and incorporating material planning into the scheduling process. You can view the webcast, complete with narration and PowerPoint slide show, here:


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