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Position:The view from IMTS 2008

These are good times be an American anufacturer. The weak dollar has made U.S. production cheaper. But Sandvik Coromant U.S. President John Israelsson is quick to follow with a stern warning: it's only temporary.

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"It's inevitable that the dollar will once again rise," Israelsson says. "For this reason, it is vital that American manufacturing take advantage of the present conditions to prepare for the future."

That means companies have to implement processes that increase productivity and minimize the cost of labor per component. The companies that do this will ensure a globally competitive advantage long after the dollar has regained its footing.

"Getting the most out of a production line requires a willingness to think outside of the box, an often-used but very relevant term," he says. "This is especially a challenge in terms of machining processes."

Perhaps the best example is buying a new insert grade. It doesn't require a substantial amount of daring. While the technology might be revolutionary...

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