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Spotlight: robots 'get smart' in Farmington Hills: the Detroit Regional Partnership is helping companies from around the world discover that investing in the Detroit Region is good business.

SmartTCP, an Israeli company that develops robotic technology for the welding industry, chose Southeast Michigan as the site for its first U.S. showroom because of its central location and easy access to the Midwest's welding and manufacturing companies.


The 5,000-square-foot SmartTCP Technology Showroom that opened this fall in Farmington Hills features a state-of-the-art robotic welding system for one-off and small batch production with automatic programming.

Visitors to the Farmington Hills showroom learn how SmartTCP technology can transform their welding operation from a cost center into a profit center, says Efi Lebel, the company's CEO, who predicts a $7 billion market by 2010. Tel Aviv-based SmartTCP's software turns welding robots into next generation smart machines and cuts programming time from weeks to a matter of hours.

"We provide a number of benefits to tomorrow's welding and manufacturing industry, says Lebel. "These include increased productivity and consistent high-quality output. What results is an improved time to market and the optimization of technology which will vastly increase a company's profits."

The Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, the economic-development arm of the Detroit Regional Chamber, helped make the showroom possible by linking SmartTCP with partners for leasing real estate. Since its formation in 1998, the Partnership has helped more than 300 companies either locate or expand in Southeast Michigan, resulting in nearly 8,000 new jobs and a total investment of $1.4 billion.

The SmartTCP Technology Showroom is located at 26606 Haggerty Road in Farmington Hills. For more information on the Detroit Regional Partnership and its role in helping companies locate or expand in Southeast Michigan, visit

RELATED ARTICLE: The Partnership gets results

With the help of its investors, we assisted 73 companies in either locating or expanding in the Detroit Region during the 2005-2006 program year. These projects represent a total of $450 million in new business and 2,775 new jobs for the region. These new jobs, along with the spin-off jobs created, will bring $378 million of purchasing power annually into the region's economy.

RELATED ARTICLE: Partnership Highlights

Faurecia, a French automotive interior supplier, opens a 170,000-square-foot manufacturing plan in Fraser and a just-in-time final sequencing center in Sterling Heights. Result: 350 new jobs; $52.5 million investment.


Tempo Group, a Chinese company that is making a major push into the U.S. auto market, buys a 477,000-square-foot facility in Canton. Result: 200 new jobs, $27 million investment.


Behr GmbH & Co. KG, a German auto supplier, expands its automotive testing facility and technical center in Troy. Result: 270 new jobs; $8.5 million investment.


RELATED ARTICLE: Other Developments

German-owned chemical giant BASF plans a $100 million expansion at its plant in Wyandotte to accommodate the emulsion and resin production activities BASF acquired with its purchase of Wisconsin-based Johnson Polymers.

AVL Powertrain Engineering Inc., an Austrian firm that designs, develops and provides engineering services for the development and testing of vehicle powertrain systems, plans to invest $2.9 million in a new engineering technical center in Plymouth Township.

Valentine Robotics purchased a 16,000-square-foot facility in Sterling Heights to house the expanded Valentine Robotics School for Continuing Education. The new building will also feature an R & D facility for Krypton Robot Metrology, Scorpion robot vision guidance software and automated, online vision systems for the inspection of objects.

Martinrea Industries is investing $8.3 million to expand its Michigan operations by opening a new facility in Manchester, creating 197 jobs. Martinrea develops and manufactures state-of-the-art metal forming and fluid management systems for the automotive and industrial sectors.

Delphi Technologies, a subsidiary of Delphi Corp., launched a new welding company called SpaceForm Inc. to commercialize Delphi's Deformation Resistance Welding (DRW) technology. SpaceForm will be headquartered in TechTown, Detroit's research and technology park near Wayne State University.
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Title Annotation:WELCOME TO OUR REGION; SmartTCP
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2006
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