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BMW Ups the Efficiency-Improvement Ante

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Automotive News Europe recently reported that BMW management is expecting its plants to show efficiency gains of 7 to 8 percent per year, up significantly from the 5 percent demanded from its factories in the past. The report says that the BMW plant in Spartanburg, SC, in the midst of a $750 million expansion, has a jump-start on meeting the new efficiency-gain goal, as it has recently reduced by 30 percent the amount of time it takes to assemble a door. The time reduction came as a result of the assembly line introducing what plant managers refer to as a supermarket system for door assembly, where workers gather all of the parts they’ll need for a door in one trip, rather than making several trips to gather parts. Efficiency gains such as this are expected to enable the plant to boost its annual capacity to 240,000 units, from the current 160,000 units, by 2012.

Nuevo Leon Sheet and Plate Fabricator
Invests in New ERP System

Monday, June 16, 2008
Tecnologia Metalica en Maquila Industrial (Tecmet), Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has elected to automate its business processes by investing in manufacturing enterprise-resource planning (ERP) software from Epicor, Irvine, CA. Tecmet, which previously did not employ ERP software, expects the software to help it become more efficient and better meet delivery deadlines. Tecmet ( operates a 160,000-sq.-ft. plant with high-definition plasma-arc cutting machines, plasma-punch combinations, turret punch presses, shears, press brakes, arc-welding equipment and finishing lines. Epicor ( software enables manufacturers to manage the entire order cycle from marketing and sales through production and planning, sourcing and procurement, installation and services.

Lincoln Electric Opens Nashville PM Service Center

Friday, June 13, 2008
The Lincoln Electric Co., Cleveland, OH, has opened a new Automation Service Center in Nashville, TN, to service its automation and robotic arc-welding equipment, including maintenance and repair of Fanuc arc-welding robots. The 4100-sq.-ft. facility offers preventive maintenance (PM), inspection, troubleshooting, repair and redeployment services for its power supplies, wire feeders, controls and automation equipment. PM service includes cleaning, testing, troubleshooting and repair. For more, visit


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