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In brief

01 September, 2002

In brief

• UK exports of machine tools plummeted by 32% in the first half of 2002, compared to the same period last year. Figures released by the Machine Tool Trades Association show that first-half exports were worth £176.1m, while imports amounted to £209.7m - 26% lower than a year ago - leaving a trade deficit of £33.5m, compared to £25.4m in the first half of 2001.

• Tony Banham, former general manager of Nord Gear`s UK operation, has left the company and has been replaced by Paul Cain. In a letter to customers, Cain says that "it is our intention to continue to strengthen our team … and to work even harder to continually improve our services to our customers".

Routeco has bought Tricon Automation, Rockwell`s main distributor in Scotland. Tricon will be integrated gradually into the Routeco organisation, continuing to trade under its own name until December, when it becomes part of Routeco.

Schaffner EMC is merging its two UK businesses at a new purpose-designed site near Guildford, halfway between the existing EMC components and ATE business in Wokingham, and the RF test systems organisation in Capel, near Dorking. The combined business will be known simply as Schaffner.

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