Friday, April 05, 2002

Industry notes: Manufacturing

Machine tool trade groups meet

        The state of the machine tool industry will be the focus of a three-day joint meeting next week in Miami of the AMTDA, American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and the AMT — Association for Manufacturing Technology.

        The two trade groups, which compile the monthly machine tool consumption report, a key indicator of future manufacturing activity, have a joint meeting every three years.

        This year's meeting will mark the end of Cincinnatian Peter Borden's year as chairman of the 300-member AMTDA. Mr. Borden is a partner with Bruce Tillinghast in Walker Machinery Co., a Fairfax distributor.

        The joint meeting, expected to draw 300 manufacturers and distributors, comes at a key time for the machine tool industry. Machine tool orders have been in a slump that some say is the worst in decades, but there are signs recently that manufacturing activity is picking up.

        “It's difficult because companies are trying to get skilled people into the business, but then they have to lay people off because business is down,” Mr. Borden said.

        One hopeful sign: The economic stimulus package signed into law by President Bush contains a provision allowing the expensing of 30 percent of new equipment purchases in the first year on top of current depreciation schedules, a top legislative priority of the trade groups.

Software sold to Emerson Electric

        EDS PLM Solutions, which includes the former SDRC in Clermont County, has won a five-year contract from Emerson Electric Co. to provide product lifecycle management (PLM) software solutions for Emerson and its divisions worldwide.

        Terms were not disclosed. Emerson will use EDS PLM Solutions software and Web-based technologies to support greater collaboration among its divisions, suppliers and customers in new product design, and to bring these products to market faster and with less cost, the companies said.

Line of machining equipment debuts

       ColchesterCNC, Cincinnati- based division of Colchester Lathe Co., has introduced its Richmond line of vertical machining centers. The first of the line, the Richmond VMC 1000 weighs more than 10,000 pounds and features a cast-iron base and a Fanuc motion control system. The Richmond VMC line is aimed at small machine shops employing up to 50, Colchester said.

Factory automation seminars coming

        Rockwell Automation will host a two-day expo on manufacturing automation. The event, including more than 50 technical and industry seminars, demonstrations and hands-on labs, will be April 17 and 19 at the Sharonville Convention Center.

        For more information, call Rockwell Automation at 513-942-9303 or go to

Courses upgrade machining skills

       TechSolve is launching its annual series of Machining Xcellence courses this month.

        The first: Practical Machining Principles for Shop Application is Tuesday and Wednesday at the Bond Hill manufacturing assistance center. For more information, go to or call Rene Wierzbinski at 513-948-2076.

        Contact Mike Boyer at 768-8494; fax 564-6991; or e-mail


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