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AUTO/STEEL PARTNERS DEVELOPING PROJECTS TO BOOST COMPETITIVENESS

 AUTO/STEEL PARTNERS DEVELOPING PROJECTS TO BOOST COMPETITIVENESS
 DETROIT, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The activities of the Auto/Steel Partnership Program -- initiated in 1986 -- predates all other automotive consortia including batteries, recycling, plastics and computer protocol.
 This premier partnership is helping find cost-effective solutions to automotive's most vexing problems without having to create entirely new industries, according to Peter T. Peterson, co-chairman, Communications Panel of the Automotive Applications Committee (AAC) of American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
 Peterson's comments were made today during a media briefing sponsored by AISI on opening day of the 1992 SAE International Congress and Exposition at Cobo Center.
 ASPP activities, some of which were initiated well before the formalization of the partnership of North American steel companies and The Big Three, include stewardship of work that was being done by the AAC.
 These AAC activities include:
 -- A library of video tapes and transcripts of AISI's 1991 Critical Issues Forum that are now being distributed to universities, key members of Congress, the Library of Congress, television networks, the auto companies, the United Auto Workers, the Canadian Auto Workers, the SAE and other interested groups.
 -- A study on the Uniformity of Materials Properties that found that North American mills were producing sheet steel with quality and uniformity equal to or better than the Japanese.
 -- A special report detailing the competitiveness of the North American steel industry for the International Trade Commission.
 -- An ongoing study on surface characteristics and coating uniformity to provide a database used in design and manufacturing problem solving.
 -- A study on stamping dies that demonstrates that it does not cost five times as much to tool a car in steel as it does to tool it in plastics, and that the breakeven point between steel and plastic tooling costs among world- class automakers is 30,000 units per year.
 -- A project by the Industrial Development Division of the University of Michigan, AISI's prime contractor, which is researching Japanese assembly tolling and strategy.
 -- A two-volume report released in July 1991 on Steel Body Panel Performance Characteristics that helps engineers design their way out of problems in dent resistance rather than turn to costly, hard-to-recycle, or difficult-to-repair alternative materials.
 Peterson also provided an update of the activities specifically performed by the ASPP, including:
 -- The computerization of the Automotive Steel Design Manual (ASDM) called AISI/CARS, and its new module Geometric Analysis of Structures (GAS), both of which are being demonstrated at SAE Booth 1612.
 -- Funding for the newly formed North American Auto/Steel Curriculum Research Foundation (NAASCRF). This program is aimed at developing a complete course of study to prepare individuals for a career in stamping.
 One other AISI activity not being handled as an ASPP program is a pilot educational program at GMI that is developing college level engineering course materials based on the ASDM.
 Peterson said the Auto/Steel Partnership is succeeding because the two industries are cooperating.
 "From the funding through the research and right up to the final conclusions and recommendations, we all have equal input and equal responsibility," he said. "It really is a partnership."
 American Iron and Steel Institute is a nonprofit association of the iron and steel industry. Its purpose is to engage in activities of common interest to its members. These pursuits include cooperative ventures that would not ordinarily be undertaken by individual members and which are of general concern to all. AISI was incorporated in 1908 and has members in the United States, Canada and Latin America.
 -0- 2/24/92
 /CONTACT: Jim O'Toole or Victor Pytko of PR Associates, 313-963-3396, for AISI/ CO: American Iron and Steel Institute ST: Michigan IN: AUT MNG SU:


KH -- DE032 -- 1907 02/24/92 12:39 EST
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Date:Feb 24, 1992
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