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Robotics Industry Directory Available

Friday, September 24, 2004
The 2004-05 Robotics Industry Directory, profiling 184 suppliers, is available from the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Ann Arbor, MI. Included is a new and improved User’s Guide to Robot Systems Integrators, and a pullout poster commemorating RIA’s 30th anniversary. The association was founded in 1974 as a trade group representing robot manufacturers, users, system integrators, component suppliers, research groups and consulting firms. Request a free copy of the directory at

Study Shows that Product Redesigns
Could Slow Foreign Outsourcing

Thursday, September 23, 2004
“It can be more advantageous for U.S. manufacturers to lower costs by redesigning products than by outsourcing production to other countries such as China,” concludes a new benchmarking study titled “Improved Product Design Practices Would Make U.S. Manufacturing More Cost Effective: A Case to Consider Before Outsourcing to China.” The study, from software maker Boothroyd Dewhurst, Wakefield, RI, implies that U.S. companies should do a better job of integrating cost analysis into product design, to enable the development of innovative products that are more economical to produce in the United States. Two design best practices identified to make this happen: redesign products to minimize part count and cost; and, carefully account for all of the costs associated with offshore sourcing and apply those added costs to the total product costs. Boothroyd Dewhurst, developer of software for Design for Manufacture and Assembly, offers the text of the study online at

Tower Phasing Out Manual Press Operations

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Tower Automotive plans to eliminate 135 of the 300 jobs at its plant in Greenville, MI, phasing out manual press operations and related work, according to an AP story. All manual stamping and related weld assembly will move to Tower plants in Elkton and Kendallville, IN, some time before January 2005.The Greenville plant will then focus on higher-margin progressive stampings and complex value-added assemblies.


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