Tech Advances Drive Manufacturing Investments Back to U.S.

Tech Advances Drive Manufacturing Investments Back to U.S.

Oct 30, 2017

By Andrew Soergel, Economy Reporter, U.S. News Advances in artificial intelligence and industrial production are reshaping the world’s manufacturing landscape. Manufacturing at long last is enjoying a revitalization in the U.S. as companies from around the world invest in the country’s operations – a key development in President Donald Trump’s quest to make America great again. But presidential policies may not be the primary driver of the manufacturing shift back to the U.S. – and an industrial return isn’t expected to create nearly the same number of jobs that factory floors maintained in decades past. It appears to be technological innovations, rather than policies or an availability of labor, driving the manufacturing renaissance. And with operational advances extending well beyond the reaches of Silicon Valley and into Rust Belt communities in the Northeast and Midwest, many believe the country is well-positioned to be a leader in advanced manufacturing for years to come. “The reason is, candidly, it’s less about the manufacturing people. It’s more about the technology,” Mike Marusic, COO of Sharp Electronics, said Wednesday during an event hosted by Bloomberg. Marusic said Sharp is one of several companies that has chosen to increase investment in the U.S. rather than seeking out “traditional manufacturing places” like China and Thailand in recent years. Other companies include medical device manufacturer Insulet – which broke ground last month on a new central Massachusetts facility that’s expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area after spending several years operating a production outfit in China – and General Electric, which has tweaked investment plans in recent years to funnel more resources into U.S. facilities rather than in countries with historically lower labor costs like Mexico and China. Even Foxconn, a Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer that helps assemble popular products like iPhones, recently announced plans to build a Wisconsin facility and develop operations in the U.S., despite its proximity to what have historically been considered countries with cheap labor. The Reshoring Initiative advocacy group estimates 338,000 jobs migrated to the U.S. from overseas between 2010 and 2016. The country on net is estimated to have gained 25,000 manufacturing positions last year – meaning more jobs returned to the U.S. than were offshored in 2016 for the first net gain in years. At...

Rebuild Manufacturing – the key to American prosperity

Rebuild Manufacturing – the key to American prosperity

Oct 25, 2017

Published by the Coalition for a Prosperous America Press Release –  October 25, 2017 By Michele Nash-Hoff I am proud to announce the publication of Rebuild Manufacturing – the key to American Prosperity by the Coalition for a Prosperous (CPA). I am currently Chair of our California chapter of CPA. Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA, said, “”Michele has been instrumental in developing our California chapter and has spread the word about CPA’s issues and proposals in her Industry Week column. Her new book shows the adverse effect of offshoring and U. S. trade deficits on American manufacturing and highlights CPA’s proposals to eliminate the trade deficit and improve the business climate for American manufacturers with new trade and tax policies.” In 2012, CPA published the second edition of Michele’s previous book, Can American Manufacturing be Saved? Why we should and how we can. My new book is based on my nearly 200 articles for my column on Industry Week’s website and my presentations on behalf of CPA and the Reshoring Initiative for the past five years. My book describes the current state of American manufacturing, discusses what are the main threats to rebuilding American manufacturing and recommends what strategies, and analyzes how trade agreements have affected American manufacturing. I discuss the role “reshoring” plays in rebuilding American manufacturing, what is currently being done to rebuild American manufacturing, shows how American innovation and advanced manufacturing contribute to rebuilding American manufacturing, and how we can solve the skills gap and attract the next generation of manufacturing workers. The book provides case stories of how some American manufacturers are succeeding against global competition by developing innovative products and becoming Lean companies. It concludes with specific recommendations of strategies, policies, and actions that can be taken towards rebuilding the manufacturing industry in America. Steve Minter, Sr. Editor, Industry Week, wrote, “Rebuild Manufacturing” represents the latest installment of Michele Nash-Hoff’s tireless efforts to promote the strengthening of U.S. manufacturing. The book demonstrates her encyclopedic knowledge of the problems that have beset manufacturing but, more importantly, presents manufacturers, policymakers and other readers with insightful recommendations for actions that will improve U.S. industrial competitiveness and the American economy.” Den Black, President...

U.S. Reshoring: A Collaborative Challenge

U.S. Reshoring: A Collaborative Challenge

Oct 23, 2017

Feature in Design-2-Part Magazine Manufacturing Experts Answer 5 Questions on How to Turn the Tide FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio—North America’s $137 billion metalforming industry is driven by the production of myriad precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming, and roll forming technologies, as well as vital value-added processes. In recent decades, approximately 3-to-4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost to offshoring. The tide seems to be turning modestly in recent years as companies return U.S. production, or sourcing, from offshore. In comparison to 2000-2003, when the United States lost about 220,000 manufacturing jobs per year (net) to offshoring, 2016 achieved a net gain of 27,000. Progressively bridging this gap presents huge collaborative opportunities and challenges for all manufacturers, associations, employees, communities, and the U.S. government itself. The following Q&A explores factors that are key to the collective goal of gaining momentum in successfully returning the manufacturing of parts and products to the United States from offshore. Authors of the Q&A are two men with a vested interest in the subject of reshoring: John Stoneback, president of JM Performance Products, Inc., of Fairport Harbor, Ohio; and Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, based in Kildeer, Illinois. JM Performance Products, Inc. has been manufacturing CNC mill spindle optimization products since 2009. The company’s Patented High Torque Retention Knobs overcome a critical “loose-tool” design flaw inherent in CNC v-flange tooling that was responsible for costly, industry-wide issues with CNC milling and boring that negatively impacted production costs, cycle time, and tooling costs. An essential element of the patented design is a knob that is longer and reaches a little deeper into the holder’s threaded bore. As a result, all thread engagement occurs in a region of the tool holder where the diameter is large, and where there is correspondingly more material to resist deformation. The Reshoring Initiative, founded in early 2010, takes action by helping manufacturers realize that local production, in many cases, reduces their total cost of ownership of purchased parts and tooling. The Reshoring Initiative also trains suppliers in how to effectively meet the needs of their local customers, giving suppliers the tools to sell against lower priced offshore competitors. The Initiative is...

Wisconsin-Based Mitchell Metal Products Wins First…

Wisconsin-Based Mitchell Metal Products Wins First…

Oct 12, 2017

“Wisconsin-Based Mitchell Metal Products Wins First National Reshoring Award” By Beth Lawrence, Content & Media Manager, DGS Marketing Engineers CLEVELAND, October 12, 2017 – Mitchell Metal Products of Merrill, WI has received the first National Reshoring Award in recognition of the company’s success bringing manufacturing back home to the United States. The award, given by The Reshoring Initiative and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), honors a company that has effectively reshored products, parts or tooling made primarily by metal forming, fabricating or machining. Mitchell Metal Products was selected after using reshoring to complete more end products with less lead time. In 2016, the company manufactured a cultivator handle subassembly product, increasing the production volume from 4,500 made overseas to 30,000 made in Wisconsin. “We are thrilled and honored to receive the first National Reshoring Award,” said Tim Zimmerman, president of Mitchell Metal Products. “By utilizing the total cost of ownership approach pioneered by The Reshoring Initiative, we have won a number of value-added contracts and brought work back home. We are proud to be delivering high-quality products to our customers and creating good jobs here in Wisconsin. Right now, eight percent of our workforce is employed because of products we have helped to reshore.” The award was presented in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 28, 2017, at Sourcing Solutions™, a popular procurement program hosted by PMA. This premier sourcing event brought together buyers and engineers from top manufacturing companies with pre-screened suppliers, enabling companies to find the most competitive resources for their projects. The 2018 National Reshoring Award will be presented next fall during Sourcing Solutions. Additional details about the event will be available in early 2018. “We are proud to be a sponsor of the National Reshoring Award and to celebrate companies who are contributing to the strength of the American manufacturing sector,” said Allison Grealis, vice president of membership and association services at PMA. “Through Sourcing Solutions and other efforts, PMA is committed to supporting manufacturers in their quest to find local, competitive suppliers and keep work here at home.” “I was delighted that the winning product was a relatively conventional item, instead of being an advanced aerospace or electronics component,” said Harry...

Custom Injection Molding Trends Higher

Custom Injection Molding Trends Higher

Sep 19, 2017

By Tony Uphoff, President and Chief Executive Officer at Thomas Publishing, ThomasNet  An interesting trend we’re seeing is a steady uptick in sourcing related to custom injection molding. This is a promising development for the economy as plastics is actually the third largest manufacturing industry in the country. Our data shows some significant increases in this important category. In the last five weeks on the thomasnet.com platform, sourcing for custom injection molding is up 35% over its all-time average. In the related category of injection molded plastic fabrication, sourcing activity has been higher in its all-time average in eight of the past 12 weeks. As you’re probably aware, American companies offshored a huge portion of their injection molding in recent decades. But when we look at how some companies today are weighing the benefits of reshoring versus offshoring, this upward trend in custom injection molding here in America starts to make some sense. The biggest incentive for offshoring has always been one of cost. But the days of cheap, abundant labor seem to be coming to an end, particularly in Asian countries such as China where there’s a growing demand for higher wages among the workforce. According to Harry Moser at the Reshoring Initiative, more and more companies today are looking at the TCO, or total cost of ownership, of offshoring versus reshoring, factoring in such things as increased productivity, shorter supply chains, and agility and innovation in customer responsiveness. Combine that with things like new tax incentives, lower freight costs, and abundant natural gas pushing down energy prices, and those companies, looking at TCO, are finding that they can manufacture more profitably right here at home. Specific to injection molding, there are also significant quality and consistency advantages to doing it here in the U.S. I speak to our clients regularly in the industry, many who have received overseas tooling from companies that are reshoring. One of those clients, the Rodon Group, reports that the majority of that tooling is virtually unusable here in America. It rarely meets the quality standards set forth by the Society of PlasticsIndustry, which specify things such as tolerances and finishes for injection molded parts here in the U.S. As Rodon’s Jill Worth told me, there’s...