A three-part cast aluminium bicycle frame for a specialist downhill racing bike has won the Component of the Year 2011 Award in the UK Cast Metals Industry Awards.

Replacing 12 parts using processes including stamping, forming, annealing and bending, and 15 welds the three castings are produced by WH Rowe Ltd of Southampton for Empire Cycles.

“These are highly stressed components due to the high dynamic loading of the frame,” said Constantine Theoharis of WH Rowe. “We knew that, using the sand casting process, we could produce components that would not only withstand the stresses but would also save our customer considerable time and money particularly in the tooling process where the start up costs are particularly high.”

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US Factories Expanded At Fastest Pace In Six Months In December

Bloomberg News (1/4, Willis) reports, “US factories expanded in December at the fastest pace in six months, adding to evidence manufacturing is improving from India to the UK entering 2012. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 53.9 last month from 52.7 in November,” ISM’s data showed.

BBC News (1/4) reports, “It was the 29th month in a row that the sector has grown and the latest in a run of positive indicators from the US.”

The AP (1/4, Rugaber) reports, “In the US, factories hired more workers in December, saw the most growth in new orders since April and ramped up production.”

On its website, CNBC (1/4, Domm) reports, “The employment component rose to 55.1 from 51.8 in November, the highest since June. ‘Manufacturing might be a kind of small part of the employment picture, but it’s consistent with some of the other indicators which should show it (December employment) to be a good report,'” J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (1/4, Buchta) reports Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM’s survey committee, “said that with new orders up and prices of raw materials down, ‘manufacturing is finishing out the year on a positive note.'”

CNNMoney (1/4, Isidore) reports, “The ISM survey also found new orders and the backlog of orders growing from November levels. Both are relatively recent turnarounds compared to the longer-term growth in the overall reading.” However, some “economists said it’s important not to read to much into the end of the year strength. Some of it may have been from businesses scrambling to make big ticket purchases before losing a tax break at the end of the year to write off the cost of that investment more quickly.”

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