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 DETROIT, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A joint venture company to engineer, manufacture and market a complete line of material handling equipment has been formed by The DCT Companies, the Detroit-based automotive manufacturing systems developer, Daifuku, the world leader in material handling systems, and Sumitomo Corp., the world's largest trading company.
 The announcement of the formation of DCT Material Handling Systems, Inc. will be made Tuesday in Grand Rapids during the 25th annual joint meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association and the Japan-Midwest U.S. Association.
 The new Detroit-based company begins formal operations immediately. While it plans to introduce new solutions for material handling systems to a variety of manufacturing industries, its first focus will be the North American auto industry, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler and the new American manufacturers, Asian and European. The first system created by the DCT-majority-owned company is being installed in a plant of one of the Big Three auto manufacturers.
 The three partners each brings significant and distinct value to the joint venture, said Bronce Henderson, chairman of The DCT Companies. "By combining forces, the companies will be able to bring broad systems expertise to bear on developing and supplying complete automotive body shops, final assembly areas and productivity solutions to paint shops and power train and component plants."
 DCT Material Handling Systems will manufacture and market electrified monorail systems, automated guided vehicles, storing and sorting systems, and a new technology for monorail systems that employs a non-contacting, electrified monorail system using high-frequency power distribution technology. The user benefits include greatly decreased maintenance costs and increased safety due to the absence of exposed electrical surfaces.
 "By bringing together three world-class companies, we will be able to deliver major systems that combine the best in Japanese and American technologies and processes to significantly increase the flexibility and productivity of our customers," Henderson said.
 Gregory Brown will lead the joint venture as president of DCT Material Handling Systems. A 15-year veteran of General Electric's electrical/automation businesses, the 38-year-old recently served as operations manager of GE Automotive Operation.
 "This new venture will enable us to bring a global knowledge base to help North American manufacturing customers increase productivity while adding significant flexibility," Brown said. "We based manufacturing in Detroit to ensure our North American customers the highest quality at the best possible price."
 The DCT Companies are a leading provider of automotive manufacturing systems, ranging from complete design and build of welding systems and laser cutting/welding systems to the supply of laser blanks through its Utilase affiliate company. Another DCT company, Nothdurft, supplies automotive stampings. Daifuku, the world's leading supplier of material handling systems, has installations in virtually every major automotive company in the world. It also is recognized as the industry technology leader, bringing cost-effective new technology to the market. Sumitomo brings a global perspective and export opportunities to the joint venture as the world's largest trading company.
 -0- 9/13/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Dittmer of The DCT Companies, 313-372-6454; or Don Durocher or Mike Chapp of Durocher & Company, 313-259-7414, for The DCT Companies/

CO: The DCT Companies; Daifuku; Sumitomo Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: JVN

KE -- DE021 -- 1393 09/13/93 15:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993

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