Growth forecast for interface software
DEDHAM, MASS. - The market for human/machine interface software - the control panel on an industrial machine - should grow at a compounded annual rate of 5 percent through 2008, when it will top $559 million, according to a report by ARC Advisory Group of Dedham.
The HMI software market was $439 million in 2003, ARC said.
One big driver: controllers that link the entire manufacturing enterprise and give real-time production data.
The control software should be on a flexible, multifunctional platform that can interface with other platforms, ARC said.
The group said the North American share of the machine-interface software market is growing, even though the region is outsourcing some manufacturing to China and other developing countries. One reason is the weak dollar, which is making North American-made equipment more competitive.
Tri-State providing RJG training courses
TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. - RJG Inc. and Tri-State University are teaming up to offer RJG Inc.'s certified training programs for injection molding at Tri-State's technology center in Angola, Ind.
Training and software supplier RJG also offers the programs at its Traverse City headquarters and at customers' plants. The 12,500-square-foot Tri-State center and plastics laboratory houses three injection molding workstations with presses and molds.
In other news, RJG was one of five finalists for Managing Automation magazine's recently announced Progressive Manufacturer of the Year award. RJG was chosen for its progressive use of technology to transform manufacturing. The magazine gave the award to shoe manufacturer Otabo of Pompano Beach, Fla.
German partnership develops composites
HALLE, GERMANY - The German Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials in Halle is working on new natural-fiber-composite materials with German sister machinery companies Berstorff GmbH of Hanover and Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH in Munich.
The partners want to create a database on the processing of natural fibers run on an injection molding compounder, or IMC. The IMC uses a Berstorff compounding extruder mounted on top of a Krauss-Maffei injection molding machine, to compound material directly into the injection press.
On the materials side, development activities will concentrate on long-fiber thermoplastic composites with glass and cellulose fibers fed in as rovings. Also, natural-fiber composites will be used.
Berstorff and Krauss-Maffei are units of Munich-based Mannesmann Plastics Machinery GmbH.
AccuWeb, China firm ink distribution deal
MADISON, WIS. - Madison-based AccuWeb Inc has expanded to China by signing a distribution agreement with Beijing Webcon Tech & Trading Co. Ltd.
Beijing Webcon will sell and, later, assemble AccuWeb's edge-detection and guide systems, which are designed for converting plastic film and other web products.
The Chinese company will serve Asian customers. AccuWeb said it will continue to manufacture its products in Madison.
AccuWeb also operates a subsidiary in Fribourg, Switzerland.
Strong 2004 prompts Z Corp. expansion
BURLINGTON, MASS. - Z Corp., which makes three-dimensional printers for rapid prototyping, has expanded its manufacturing space 80 percent by moving within Burlington to a 52,000-square-foot building.
The company cited a strong 2004, including a jump in orders and sales for its printers and a 25 percent increase in the number of employees.
Z Corp. closed two major equity investment deals in 2004 to fund product development and boost sales and marketing.
* Arburg GmbH has opened a 3,500-square-foot facility in Brno, the Czech Republic, that includes office space and a parts warehouse, training area and technology center. ... Pulverizer maker Powder King LLC of Anthem, Ariz., now is selling dry powder mixers for rotational molding made by Kelly Duplex Mill & Manufacturing Co. of Springfield, Ohio.