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Hot Off the Press


Volvo/Gothenburg Upgrades Press Line,
Increases Stroke Rate

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
The Volvo manufacturing plant in Gothenburg, Sweden, has successfully integrated a set of UniFeeder press-line automation units into a five-press autobody-panel stamping line that is yielding an average increase in speed of one stroke per minute, as well as substantially reducing downtime for equipment maintenance. UniFeeders, two-axis programmable press-handling units from Swedish manufacturer Binar AB, function as destackers, inter-press handlers and stacking units. Volvo appreciates having one basic unit for all three activities, easing spare-parts inventory, maintenance, training and user-friendliness. As an inter-press feeder, the unit comprises a UniFeeder with a double tool bar and an idle station between presses. This setup, says Binar, leaves a large amount of floor space between the presses to ease changeout of the tool bar and die. UniFeeders have a rated load capacity, including tooling, of 200 kg, and a maximum horizontal stroke length of 10 m. For detailed UniFeeder specifications and schematic drawings illustrating several sample automated press-line layouts, surf to (click on the tiny British flag in the upper-right-hand corner to view the site in English.)

Mexican Steel Company to Expand U.S. Operations

Monday, June 13, 2005
Through its Steelscape Inc. U.S. unit, Mexican conglomerate Grupo Imsa plans to spend $200 million to strengthen its position in the U.S. steel industry. The first stage would involve relocating its pre-painted and galvanized-steel operations to Shreveport, LA, from Richmond, CA, scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2006. In the second stage, Imsa plans to add new U.S. mills, including operations for cold rolling and pickling, and for production of galvanized steel.

Tower to Build a New Southern-U.S. Plant

Friday, June 10, 2005
Tower Automotive, Inc., Novi, MI, recently received a pair of new major vehicle programs, one of which will require the firm to build a new facility in the southern United States to accommodate manufacture of body structures for Ford Motor Co. The Ford contract will help fill capacity at several existing Tower plants, in addition to the new plant, scheduled to open in 2007.


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