Tag : us manufacturing trends

American Manufacturing

How do US Manufacturers Compare to Overseas Manufacturers?

Labor and production costs stop many American manufacturers from producing products for American consumption. Outsourcing component production or even whole products to overseas manufacturers has saved a lot of money for American manufacturers. But has it? A few strong points show that American Manufacturing compares better to overseas manufacturers.

The Problem

The original reason CNC manufacturing, for example, was outsourced overseas was that wages were lower. So many people needing jobs meant that if someone quit, there were twenty more who could fill the job. Since the foreign workers work for pennies per hour or per day, U.S. manufacturing more or less dried up.

For instance, let’s say mechanical engineering expert Joe Brown has designed a better home automation thermostat. Imagine a Singapore factory has been upgraded for CNC machining to produce the components of the thermostat. Since Singapore workers only make pennies per hour or per day, do they have the necessary incentive to ship quality merchandise?

What Was The Result?

American manufacturers have, for the most part, wanted to save money from the beginning. Over the years, however, some hard truths have come back to bite American manufacturers. A pennies wage isn’t the only criteria by which American manufacturing versus overseas manufacturing is judged.

What Are The Factors?

American schools are the best, bar none. This means that people all over the world trust graduates of mechanical engineering schools and U. S. manufacturing schools. Just ask anyone who uses Apple products, drives a Chevy and orders anything from Amazon on an American-made computer.

There are other factors highlighting the negatives of overseas manufacturing, such as:

-Shipping and handling charges have risen

-When ships remain in foreign ports, for reasons only the foreign country understands

-When merchandise sits at American Customs for weeks awaiting clearance

-It takes weeks and months for a ship to get from the foreign country to America. Meanwhile, the
manufacturer has no product to sell

-Smaller production runs are possible overseas, but shipping costs would be prohibitive

 

The Plus Side

Manufacturing in the USA has its advantages. The light has been shed on these advantages, giving American manufacturers the option of re-shoring or bringing manufacturing back home. Some of those advantages are:

-America jealously guards her intellectual rights. Manufacturers won’t worry about their designs being
stolen

-Safety standards, labor standards, and a healthy work environment ensure workers have incentive to
produce a quality

-A big rig transporting Mr. Brown’s product in days hands down beats a ship taking weeks or months to
arrive

-Manufacturing disasters like the one in Bangladesh many years ago don’t happen in America. American
manufacturers won’t have to explain to the buying public why its factory collapsed and killed thousands
of people

-American manufacturers have the flexibility to meet new production runs for increased sales

The Realization

One of those hard truths concerns having no inventory while product is in transport. The need for close proximity sourcing has become evident to American manufacturers. As a result, some companies are bringing manufacturing jobs home. While they’re on their way, the manufacturers are using nearby sources to keep product coming.

American manufacturing has come to the realization that in outsourcing to overseas manufacturers versus domestic manufacturing, there’s no place like home.

US Manufacturing

7 Reasons Why US Manufacturing is Important

Considering the current scolding regarding the importance of the US manufacturing industry, there have been critics who have tried to discredit the benefits associated with manufacturing in the current transformational age. However, their arguments are not right considering these seven benefits associated with US manufacturing.

Manufacturing enables Creation of Strong Middle-class Jobs.

Regardless of the claims from critics that manufacturing jobs are unpleasant, they, in fact, have not been to a modern machine shop as these offer a good work environment and a dependable source of income for many American families. Furthermore, most of them come with irresistible perks such as good health insurance, 401k plans and short term disability for its employees. Also, despite the fact that all jobs are good depending on personal preferences, some higher positions even pay up to $80,000-$100,000+ per year!

Manufacturing Creates Jobs

With a relatively high unemployment rate particularly among the youth, expansion of the US manufacturing industry has gone a long way in providing the much-needed jobs. Now, trade schools offer a 2-4 year education in Precision Machining. This is a good starting point if you are interested in manufacturing and machining. Unlike other positions that require high qualifications, entry level manufacturing jobs do not require such specialized skills and can absorb anyone willing to learn (although some schooling is a plus and will help the employee move up in the company). With schooling and on the job training, anyone with a passion in manufacturing can fit into the industry.

Manufacturing creates National Wealth

Buying and consuming imported goods will only make the country poorer since there will be no foreign income. However, by manufacturing products which can be sold locally and internationally, the nation’s economy becomes stronger since there will be foreign cash.

Factories/ Machine Shops are now Safer than before

The current American factories are very safe now and those interested in the industry should not be worried to work in this type of setting. Rarely are their incidences of safety breach or accidents with proper training and shop safety. Also, with the recent embracement of the worker safety policy countrywide, the possible safety incidences are continually being suppressed.

U.S. Industries are very clean

Compared to other countries where waste products are directed in rivers and other water bodies, American factories a very clean and are even getting cleaner. The waste produced in US manufacturing industries is treated and recycled to ensure that it does not harm the environment. As such, the world will be a healthier place if people bought more goods from the U.S. compared to other countries.

Workers with good jobs are healthy

Jobs in the US manufacturing industry are in most cases physically taxing. Whereas this may be seen as a negative, it is, in fact, good for the employee’s health as working in manufacturing also doubles up as exercise. Machinists are on their feet all day, constantly moving around. As a result, earning money and remaining healthy go hand in hand.

Manufacturing research leads to creative ideas

The US manufacturing industry contributes to approximately 75% of the private sector development and research. The mind-blowing innovations from the U.S. manufacturers keep the country competitive in the global platform hence making it an economic powerhouse.

In a nutshell, if taken alone, the manufacturing industry is the ninth largest economy in the world. As such, critics need to reevaluate their stand about the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Businessman select people icon on virtual screen. HR management concept.

4 Tips to Managers and Prospective Managers of Manufacturing Facilities

Several factors come into play when managing a manufacturing facility. The floor brings together different specialists sometimes from fields that are two worlds apart. For instance, the shipping supervisor gets to interact with the manufacturing specialist while production managers consult the plant manager or even the finishing specialist on matters concerning the manufacturing process. Additionally, it is imortant to note that management involves taking a more radical approach. There are ways of handling hurdles associated with the manufacturing plant. Here are four tips on how to manage a manufacturing plant. If you are planning to go up to the ladder, then understanding these early will set you up for the challenge.

1. Focus on Profits

It is possible that your facility still uses the output as a measure of performance. While this can be good for accounting purposes, it is not a great way of handling workers. Only machines are rated based on the quantity they churn out. Instead of focusing the attention of employees on the number of tons churned out per day, let them understand how their effort contributes to the overall profit.

It is then possible to create a reward program that grows as the profits increase. As a result, the employees, partners, and shareholders can share in the fruits of good labor. If you are planning to be a manager, then start viewing your input in relation to the profits. Figure out how you can do more than add daily output.

2. Annual to Weekly Review

How often do you review your performance or that of your team? Time flies, you are handling more customers, and the staff is changing even faster. The only way to grow is to have short-term goals usually daily goals and review your success weekly. Yearly performance review is an outdated idea that has no place in the 21st-century manufacturing industry management.

As an employee, have your daily targets. If you are working with a team, set these goals and share them with your supervisor. At the end of the week have a sit-down and analyze your performance.

3. Teammates are Not Soul Mates

While teamwork is to be encouraged in the workplace, these people are not to be welded together as a unit. A workforce in a manufacturing facility is not similar to a police task force where people are partners for life. Managers should bring together the best team for the work at hand. They can get to know each other during briefings. However, such a structure requires that personnel allocations decisions be flexible.

As an employee eyeing a managerial post, learn to work in different teams. When faced with a hurdle, find ways of getting help from the person best qualified to help even if they are not part of your team.

4. Process is King

Profit based rewards propagate a focus on the results. The problem with this is that it assumes the role of the process. Only a properly designed process can lead to an excellent performance and product that, in turn, leads to improved profits. A manufacturing manager should recognize employees who excel at how they carry out their operations.

A prospective leader in the manufacturing industry should also learn to improve the efficiency of the part of the process for which they are responsible.

Managing a manufacturing facility requires one to think broadly and creatively. Have a gamer’s mentality; you and your workers should always be aiming higher to an attainable goal. Once achieved, let the reward be tangible and worth the struggle. Above all ensure everyone shares in the victory and fruits.

us manufacturing trends

5 Trends in US Manufacturing

The trends of US manufacturing are often discussed, but not always understood by the general public. With the changes in technology as well as executive attitudes, it can be difficult to keep up with it all. It’s time to learn more about what’s being taught today in mechanical engineering schools, and how the industry has responded to each new change in the market.

More Automation

The time-consuming and error-prone processes of the past are becoming automated. They allow companies to produce more without increasing their budget, and they give workers a chance to hone their skills rather than waste time on rote tasks. Every country has seen some rate of automation when it comes to their manufacturing, but it’s the US that has really embraced the technology. The effects are felt not just on the production floor, but also in administrative functions as well.

A Rise in Precision

Manufacturing today is all about precision. Considering even one mistake in a process can lead to disastrous results, companies are more focused than ever on ensuring everything is done correctly the first time. For example, CNC automation can use past commands and actions to ensure future accuracy and success. CNC machinery can work with practically any material to cut shapes and create the perfect dimensions for the right end result. US manufacturing schools are so obsessed with precision, they’ve taken to using just one digital representation of the product they’re designing. From the materials needed to the compliance regulations to the dimensions of the product, companies are looking to decrease error by narrowing down the scope of the product to a single image.

Sharper Focus

Manufacturing companies are always trying to get more out of the resources they have, but many are also reevaluating their resources so they concentrate on what they do best. Whether a company specializes in CNC manufacturing, mechanical engineering, or factory work, they’re looking to trim away any excesses so their focus in as singular as possible. This may mean anything from leasing their office to increasing their global presence. They may even choose to outsource work that’s not strictly related to manufacturing, such as HR, payroll, and benefits.

Global Options

The globalization of manufacturing has become an undeniable trend in US manufacturing, as companies form networks of support from all around the world. Now companies can easily find clients, communicate with them, and then transfer their products around the world. The more people connect from around the world, the more opportunities can be discovered about how to increase efficiency without sacrificing the quality of the goods. Manufacturing in the USA has certainly not been the only sector to profit from these changes, but it’s one sector that has really taken advantage of the opportunities.

Increased Support

The machinery used in the manufacturing industry has never been better than it is today, but that doesn’t mean that it’s infallible or everlasting. As automation continues, manufacturers will need to find the right tools and the right support team that can help them through all their questions and concerns. Ideally, manufacturers should be looking at forging a relationship with a company who understands a variety of industries as well as the full scope of current and future trends. This type of mutually beneficial relationship tends to bring out the best in manufacturers today.