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IHI develops yard automation system

Tokyo: IHI Corp. has developed a system that automates the key process of bending steel sheets for ships and plans to market it to emerging economies, reports Nikkei. Developed by shipbuilding subsidiary IHI Marine United Inc., the system handles the entire process, from transporting steel sheets to processing, just by entering data.?The basic system costs around 300 million yen (US$3.6 million), plus an annual usage fee of 10-20 million yen. But it will help the average shipyard cut costs by as much as 30 million yen a year, according to IHI.? The technology will be gradually introduced at group shipyards and parts factories, with external sales to kick off as early as fiscal 2011. [12/11/10]

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