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U.S., European manufacturers join forces to compete with China

6/27/2012 03:44 PM EDT
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george.leopold
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george.leopold   6/27/2012 4:48:40 PM
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This is a modest example of new tactics being employed by European and U.S. tech manufacturers seeking to compete with China and maybe even return some production back to the U.S.

bigchin
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bigchin   6/28/2012 1:42:04 AM
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It is illegal under WTO rule.

PCIe_Evangelist
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PCIe_Evangelist   6/27/2012 5:56:59 PM
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Go Wisconsin, it's not often a dateline from Appleton appears in this publication. Nice jobs supplement to a lagging print (paper) industry.

george.leopold
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george.leopold   6/27/2012 6:12:17 PM
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Full disclosure: I am a native of Appleton, Wisconsin. My father worked for Kimberly-Clark for years.

Duane Benson
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Duane Benson   6/27/2012 8:39:02 PM
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I think that a real key to competing with Chinese manufacturers is to take a look at what they can't easily do that customers still need. The logistics of over seas shipping can be mostly overcome with money, but not always. When an engineer is on such a tight schedule that they want to drop a kit off one morning and pick up a finished prototype the next morning, expensive air shipping isn't going to cut it. Some government contracts fall under ITAR (International Trafficking in Arms Regulations) and more or less has to be built in the U.S. I doubt that we'll ever see high volume consumer manufacturing back in this country, but there are still growth areas for American manufacturing.

george.leopold
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george.leopold   6/27/2012 9:02:34 PM
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Agree, Duane. Surface Mount Technology is ITAR certified and has military customers. Since they are "designing the labor out" of manufacturing products, they won't create a lot of new manufacturing jobs. But any products that can be made here rather than in China is a plus for the U.S. economy, right?

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/27/2012 9:26:48 PM
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I see this as the converse of TI's move to do more product origination *in* China for products intended for the Chinese market. Time to market is critical, and the closer you are to your customer, the greater the advantage you have. Add that doing everything in China by Chinese vastly reduces the misunderstandings inherent in cross-cultural communications, and eases the problems of doing business there at all. The Chinese government will be far happier to see and approve you if you plan to do *everything* there, since "grow the economy" may be their number 1 priority. Time to market is critical here, too, and the closer to the customer you are, the better you have it. The cost advantages of doing manufacturing overseas come when you have huge volume commodity products where competition is on price and the low cost producer wins. The costs become low enough that it's cheaper to do it there and ship here. When volumes are smaller and the products are higher in the value chain, domestic manufacture becomes feasible, and you get the possibility of a customer being able to send an electronic ECO and see the change put into production the same day. (Not to mention the fact that you are communicating in the same language, and may even be in the same time zone.) You can also get what you make to your customers a lot faster. We aren't likely to see high volume consumer manufacturing in this country again unless it is almost entirely robotic. The trick is finding things to manufacture that can command a high enough price and carry a high enough margin to pay for the manual labor needed to make them.

george.leopold
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george.leopold   6/27/2012 11:42:21 PM
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Escatec and SMT both understand that high-volume manufacturing will remain in Asia. In this case, Escatec's operation in Penang, Malaysia. As reported, SMT serves as another "gateway" for directing high-volume, low value-added work to Malaysia. SMT views this option as an asset.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/28/2012 12:05:21 AM
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If I were SMT, I'd feel the same. If what my customer wants is something I can profitably manufacture, I do so. If the customer needs larger volumes, I can serve as the contractor overseeing offshore production. The customer is happy because they only have to deal with me.

jaybus0
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jaybus0   6/28/2012 12:40:31 PM
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Almost entirely robotic manufacturing should be a top priority for any company. The history of the industrialization of the US, Japan, and others shows that the cheap Chinese labor is going to disappear within a few decades. It seems to be a taboo, or at least politically incorrect, subject, as nobody knows what will happen when nearly all manufacturing jobs are deprecated. Nevertheless, even a slave human labor force could not compete with an almost entirely robotic process. Of course, no politician in any nation is going to advocate obsoleting millions of manufacturing jobs during their terms.

docdivakar
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docdivakar   7/1/2012 12:31:36 AM
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@jaybus: good point. If touch labor is reduced and eliminated, it is actually less costly to manufacture in the US than in China (when you add in the shipping costs). Of course, there are government programs and tax breaks that skew the model but this something that US has to address in a meaningful and sensible way. MP Divakar

pixies
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pixies   6/27/2012 9:41:25 PM
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Agree, if the west really want to compete with China Co. in manufacturing, the process has to be fully automated. It may bring the production lines back, but will not create jobs.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/27/2012 11:28:38 PM
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The Chinese are heading in that direction now. The main source of cheap manual labor has been peasants on the farms, for whom factory jobs are a step up, with better hours and working conditions, and much better pay. China is confronting the problems associated with rapid urban growth because of the migration from rural areas to get those jobs. But that pool appears to be beginning to dry up, and Chinese manufacturers must increasingly compete for workers, with corresponding rising wage scale and higher costs. There was a note here a while back about a big Chinese manufacturer that announced a full scale move to robotics in consequence. The problem with going all robotic is enormous up front costs. It might be hard to get a US manufacturer to make the investment unless they saw a really good opportunity in it, and I doubt they would see such opportunities in low margin commodity products.

Peter Clarke
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Peter Clarke   6/28/2012 11:17:22 AM
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The up front cost of robotics is not the biggest problem. It is that it takes longer than the life of a consumer product to design and install the robotics. Cars and the production lines to build them are designed in parallel and take years. For consumer electronics the most flexible, reconfigurable robotic line is small, nimble human hands. If the Chinese turned to robotics for consumer electronic assembly they would miss the market window.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/28/2012 8:52:59 PM
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"If the Chinese turned to robotics for consumer electronic assembly they would miss the market window." Depends on the robotics. It will take some time and cost a lot to build the robotics-equipped factory, and you'll certainly not be able to hit market windows from it while doing so. But if you're going to do that, you don't stop doing what you currently do manually while you build the new plant. You continue to do what you are already doing, and shift production to the new plant when it's fully on line. The key factor will be the configurability of the robotics. What sort of devices can they assemble? How quickly can they be reconfigured to accommodate design changes in an existing product or to start making a completely new one? Your primary requirement will be that flexibility, to provide the fast time to market needed to compete. And because of the enormous capital costs, another requirement will be volume. That sort of an investment gets amortized by having the production line running 24/7, filling orders. So you'll be looking for design wins where high volume is a requirement. Low to medium volumes may not justify robotics, and be better suited assembling manually.

chipmonk0
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chipmonk0   6/29/2012 6:33:10 PM
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Reviving advanced manufacturing of consumer electronics in the US is technically a piece of cake. The problem lies with Wall St. with its arrogant and un democratic MBAs who would rather invest in China with its regimented low cost labor. Flexible ( capable of quick product change ) artificial vision based robotic lines were developed over 20 years ago at a US Corp. that once used to lead the world in Pagers, Cell Phones ( and even made the micro-processors for Apple ) and went into production at multiple US sites . That was -- back in 1992 ! Poor Management ( after the Dad stepped down to make room for his idiot son under the influence of sycophants ) gradually killed that Corp. which once used to employ 130 k people worldwide and had an annual revenue of $ 45 billion. Advised by these sycophants this Corp. committed corporate harakiri ( yes happens in the US too ) by chasing after the China market and in the process got lured by the Chinese into giving all know how ( base station design, wafer fab ,.. ) away. They decided to shut down the Robotic lines in middle of America so as to create more jobs in China ( per demands by the PRC Govt. as quid pro quo for contracts for Cellular Infrastructure that never came and Hua wei STOLE the technology )! It costs a cap investment of just $ 450 k to replace 3 shift workers in Electronic assy. who ea. earn $ 70 k per year ( incl. decent US style Benefits ). Every 5 worker is replaced by one Tech who looks after both sofware & hardware ( tooling, end - effectors ).

Chee Choy
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Chee Choy   6/27/2012 10:29:13 PM
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Lowering the cost of living in US to the extend that the cost of made in China products become uncompetitive is the only way.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/27/2012 11:30:00 PM
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Agreed, but how do you do that? The only way I see that happening is a total economic collapse, and that would be a "cure worse than the disease".

ibm221
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ibm221   6/28/2012 12:30:19 AM
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US food price is acturally lower than china. what americans got to do is 'move back to downtown', just like 1920s americans, living in a flat close to factory, before cars were invented. travel by bus or bike... then this game will be fair again... otherwise your cost model just can't compete.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/28/2012 3:03:37 AM
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Live in a flat close to the factory? Those aren't "downtown" any more, and mostly haven't been for a *long* time. I live in NYC, and the former industrial space that had been factories 50 or 100 years ago is being repurposed as living space. The factories are rather far out of town, placed where they are for reasons that have far more to do with the cost of land and proximity to transport (like highways and rail lines) than where the folks who work in them live. (There is no way I could have a factory manufacturing goods in quantity in NYC proper. The land costs and property taxes would be prohibitive, and I'd face huge issues in getting raw materials in and finished goods out. I'd also face problems getting a work force.) Residential communities tend to develop around such industrial areas, and people get to work by car.

HeadhunterBKS
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HeadhunterBKS   6/30/2012 1:36:54 AM
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Well that's their plan. You can reduce basic fuel cost to $2/gl (US) and the cost of everyone doing business dramatically. By time the consumer gets his product, inflating fuel costs drive prices up, and affecting the public at each step in the chain. We should take our oil off the common market, by decree, to preserve and enhance America's future. It is in their power, they just aren't willing. Tariffs on competing industries, products and the like would seem only normal. And yield a lot of revenue for the State.

elPresidente
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elPresidente   6/29/2012 5:23:31 PM
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Nice try China man. Automation levels the playing field to where the only cost is electricity.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/29/2012 6:04:17 PM
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Automation levels the labor costs in *assembling* the products. It doesn't change all of the *other* components of Cost Of Goods Sold. How much does it cost to build that automated factory? What must you pay for the land it's on? What will your taxes on the land be? What are the salary levels for the people who work there, and their associated fringe costs? (Managers, designers, engineers, technicians...) What are your raw materials costs? What are your transport costs? The list goes on, but they are all things that will vary by where you are, and they are likely to be higher in the US than elsewhere.

Eric Verhulst_Altreonic
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Eric Verhulst_Altreonic   6/27/2012 11:31:43 PM
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The public sector with its high inefficiency and political decision making and resulting high taxes are the prime reason why the West is no longer competitive. The cost of living is high because everything includes 50 direct and indirect taxes.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/28/2012 3:08:04 AM
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I'm afraid this is a rather dramatic over simplification. If you could get God to work a miracle to order, and that 50% direct and indirect taxes magically went away, you would still have a cost structure that could not compete with China. We're a First World nation, and that sort of thing is inherent in and an outgrowth of that status. China id a Third World nation attempting to bootstrap itself the First World status. If it succeeds, it will face the same issues for the same reasons.

wilber_xbox
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wilber_xbox   6/28/2012 1:59:16 PM
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These public sector problems are there even in Asia. What Asian countries also have is a large workforce, which can work at much lower salary because the lifestyle can be very different between a manager and worker.

Bert22306
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Bert22306   6/28/2012 12:48:11 AM
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I agree with those who say that manufacturing in the US will need to be automated to a very large extent, if it is to be competitive with China. But there's another dimension to this. Apple uses Foxconn because it's cheap *and* they can quickly change the production line. This is because they are not very automated. So companies like Rockwell Automation should, and probably are, respond to this need. Robot machines that can quickly be reconfigured. As to US workers moving back into company dormitories close to the production line, and working 60 hour weeks, that would happen following a major collapse of the economy. What seems to be happening instead is the other way around. It's China that is changing, to be more in line with other developed countries. For sure, though, globalization will work to level the playing field internationally. Those on top are throttled back, hopefully without actually going backwards but who knows, and those on the bottom get to move up.

ibm221
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ibm221   6/28/2012 1:07:18 AM
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keep on waiting then, china wont adopt US model, it's building instead a real 'smart' 'green' city. subway, high rise. the US model of urban development is acturally a chaos and waste of resources, yep you get privacy and freedom, but the efficiency is extremely low. seems US heading to a crisis without doubt...

Bert22306
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Bert22306   6/28/2012 1:14:33 AM
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Right. That's why automobile sales in China are exploding to such a degree that "the government" has to decide who should be allowed to drive one. And that's why air pollution in cities like Beijing has reached epic levels. The truth is, US cities are changing. People are moving back closer into town. All of this happens naturally, as gasoline costs go up and as people get tired of commuting long distances. Another phenomenon is telecommuting, but that mostly works for office workers.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/28/2012 3:23:57 AM
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"So companies like Rockwell Automation should, and probably are, respond to this need. Robot machines that can quickly be reconfigured." Yep. I think it's the distinction between what Peter F. Drucker called "rigid mass production" and "flexible mass production". "What seems to be happening instead is the other way around. It's China that is changing, to be more in line with other developed countries." Agreed, but I think that change is less a matter of China doing it to be more in line with other developed countries than of that change being forced upon it as part and parcel of the development process. One of the issues the Chinese government faces is attampting to manage that change, which is a lot like riding the back of a charging tiger and trying to get it to go in *this* direction while not getting bucked off and mauled in the process. "For sure, though, globalization will work to level the playing field internationally. Those on top are throttled back, hopefully without actually going backwards but who knows, and those on the bottom get to move up." That's happening world wide. The current problems in the Euro zone are largely caused by it. Adopting common regulations and a common currency enforced a level of transparency I don't think folks really thought about when they were putting it in place. It's suddenly glaringly obvious who is uncompetive, and what countries are trying to prop up local industries that can't compete and preserve jobs that are going to places where it can be done cheaper. The problem is whether in fact those on top get throttled back and those on the bottom get to move up. The latter requires places for those on the bottom to move up to, and the roadblocks there are related to the reasons they are on the bottom.

Mushroom in the dark
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Mushroom in the dark   6/28/2012 3:10:35 PM
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Robotics and automation will only be a drop in the bucket. The reason for Apple and Foxconn or any China company for that matter, to use labor because it is cheap is not totally true. Flexibility and product complexity is the reason. If you want to understand what I mean, try dis-assembling an iphone, ipad or any smartphone for that matter. The flex connectors and wiring configurations in these devices will take days or even weeks for a robot, fitted with the right clamp or holder, to get it right and operate properly. Whence, Apple's iphone, when they decided to make a last minute change to a scratch resistant glass, only had "one shift; 8 hours" to learn and then they were off to high volume production. In the end, it will become expensive to make devices in China and another low cost country will take up the slack.

jaybus0
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jaybus0   6/29/2012 12:08:09 PM
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Of course. We have already seen this happen in the US, Japan, and Europe. But the world will sooner or later run out of new low cost countries to move to. Inevitably, there will be incentive to develop much better robots and particularly much better robotic sensors. Fine motor control is not limited to humans. It is just, for now, cheaper to implement with humans.

KarlFredrik
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KarlFredrik   6/28/2012 9:30:28 AM
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The things that will never come back are the high volume goods with short design cycles. Constantly introducing new designs makes it harder to mechanize the production. If we want to produce it should be in high volume products with long lifespans (I know that ABB in sweden are producing industrial switches in completely automated lines, it works since the model upgrades and retooling happen seldom) or the other extreme low volume, specialized. That's how I see it. Guess things will change in the future the more flexible the automatic production lines becomes.

harpat
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harpat   6/30/2012 1:43:13 AM
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Constantly introducing new designs is the real problem for developed countries. Unfortunately in a capitalistic system there is no discipline to prevent market fragmentation due to the dog eat dog principle on which it is based.

george.leopold
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george.leopold   6/28/2012 1:17:31 PM
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Reshoring! Google is making its Nexus Q wireless home media player in the U.S. The article linked below also discusses other U.S. companies that are bringing manufacturing back from Asia. As this article and ours point out, it's still a "trickle," but it's a start: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/technology/google-and-others-give-manufacturing-in-the-us-a-try.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=business

Harry Moser
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Harry Moser   6/29/2012 2:41:23 AM
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George, thanks for mentioning "reshorng." I agree re the importance of automation and of focusing on products that have natural advantage based on proximity. I would like to add to the discussion Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis as essential to deciding what products can and should be made here. The non-profit Reshoring Initiative, www.reshorenow.org, provides for free a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) software that helps corporations calculate the real offshoring P&L impact. I was one of the business experts in Pres. Obama’s Jan 11, 2012 Insourcing Forum. I emphasized, and the assembled executives supported, the need for companies to more consistently utilize TCO analysis instead of price variance in making their sourcing decisions. Two hundred and fifty companies and analysts are already using our TCO Estimator and are finding that using TCO often leads to a domestic sourcing decision. User data suggests that about 25% of what has been offshored would come back if companies decided based on TCO instead of on price. You can also report cases of reshoring on our site: Resources/Case Studies. You can reach me at harry.moser@reshorenow.org for help using our tools for sourcing decisions and when selling.

wilber_xbox
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wilber_xbox   6/28/2012 1:51:22 PM
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Just out of curiosity, i did not find the black wall in the picture of the shop floor and the shop floor itself does not seems as crowded as i have seen at other companies.

george.leopold
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george.leopold   6/28/2012 2:04:25 PM
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The temporary wall is at the far end of the photo on page 1 of our story (it is hard to see). I think our picture was taken during the lunch hour, so a lot of workers were in the break room, which looks out over a wooded area.

Mushroom in the dark
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Mushroom in the dark   6/28/2012 3:29:55 PM
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Interesting question for this article...what percentage of the raw materials, consumables and components used by the company is not made in China? Can it sustain it's manufacturing w/o China made supplies?

george.leopold
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george.leopold   6/28/2012 4:32:53 PM
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Good point, Mushroom in the dark. In my tour of SMT shop floor, I noticed boxes of components that appeared to have been shipped from Taiwan. The high-volume component manufacturing is gone and is unlikely to ever come back. SMT focuses on low and medium volumes, and Escatec handles higher volumes in Malaysia. All of this serves to illustrate how the global electronics supply chain is evolving.

elPresidente
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elPresidente   6/29/2012 5:26:41 PM
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China is getting expensive with wage inflation and indifference to product quality, has zero respect for intellectual Property rights, as well as having shipping costs defeating their supposed economic advantage for Euro and US markets. They are fumbling the ball. It's good to see US and Euro companies make the grab with automation.

harpat
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harpat   6/30/2012 3:52:42 AM
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The solution for the western countries is rather simple. Forget free trade. Put a 30% to 50% tariff on all imports. This will bring enough jobs back. Western countries should formulate policies to prevent excessive market fragmentation so mass production economies can be attained. We don't need 300 models of automobiles for example; 20 or so should be enough. If imports become a bit expensive, that should not be a problem. People willingly pay 10 times or more for non trade services like barber's, gardener's, car wash and a zillion others. It hurts only when you have choice.

me3
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me3   6/30/2012 5:24:43 AM
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Great idea! In case you don't know, this was actually tried by a guy name Vlad. His country had 3-4 models of everything. Not much foreign trade, and full employment. People willingly pay gardeners a doctor's salary. And theirs was a real paradise. I guess you must be an American.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/30/2012 4:28:20 PM
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Uh-huh. And it worked so well that not only Vlad's country, but almost every other that tried the model is moving away from is as fast as their legs will carry them. Gee, I wonder why...

me3
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me3   6/30/2012 6:08:17 PM
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They actually tried for decades. For some odd reasons, the gardner tends to goof off and the doctor doen't like his pay. The second act was that they end up had to hire secret police to kick them both into doing their jobs. That second act you know. The first act was obscured by the Western media in case you got the wrong idea. But you arrived at it yesterday, independently!

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   6/30/2012 5:04:56 PM
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Protectionism works in the short term, and fails in the long term. Attempts to protect local jobs by imposing tariffs have the additional effect of maintaining artificially high prices for those who *buy* the goods those workers make. One of the questions I tend to ask in discussions of job loss is "Would you be willing to *pay* more for what you buy to insure it was made by American workers? How *much* more?" I often get emotional "yes" answers to the first, and *no* answers to the second. It also has the effect of making protected industries increasingly uncompetitive, and damaging the overall economy. (Take a look at the current gyrations in the Euro zone for some graphic examples of the problems resulting.) We're all in favor of creating American jobs, and perhaps bringing jobs back to America, but what sort of jobs are we speaking of? Do we *want* the sort of low-end rote assembly line jobs that have increasingly moved to places where workers can be paid less to do them? Or are we better served to try to innovate, and look at what other sorts of jobs we can create that will have a higher value? Value is relative. Something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. That includes the value of the worker's labor. The challenge for the worker is performing labor that is worth a higher price, and the challenge for the society is creating jobs like that for the workers to do. The problem for many workers is that the market is effectively saying "What you do isn't worth what you want to be paid."

me3
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me3   6/30/2012 5:51:02 PM
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We got deep thinkers among EE Times' readers. I am sooo proud to be in good company. This one just re-invented scientific communism sitting on his couch. That is really an impressive set of policies.

Manfredv
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Manfredv   9/20/2012 5:48:36 PM
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Agree! Were have these guys been the last 2, 5, 30 years. The world is a lot more than black and white. Sweden, that great example of evil socialism has had higher growth in productivity and lower unemployment than the US. Violent crime is much lower lower and people are, arguably, much happier. Anyone her herd of Germany (yes, the place that builds cars and washing machines and often has higher net exports than China? For those here who do not know, it, just like Sweden, is in Europe where workers are pid much more than in the US and were most get at least 30 days vacation per year. Be willing to leave you baggage behind and do a bit of research. There are a lot more social and manufacturing models than the US and China - and some of them actually work for their citizens.

DMcCunney
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DMcCunney   9/20/2012 7:30:43 PM
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@Manfredv: It's a little more complicated than you make it out to be. Sweden has the advantage of a homogenous culture and general agreement on The Way Things Should Be Done. A couple of decades ago, I had a cuople of Swedish women living in my building, over here for a long term visit. One of them explained how things worked in Sweden" When she was hired by a company, once she passed the probationary period, she was in the union. Once she was in the union, she was untouchable. She had a job and would be paid, even if she worked poorly or not at all. Whan I asked "What's the incentive for anyone to actually work under those circumstances?" she said, "I work hard and do a good job because I am a good Swede, and that's what good Swedes *do!*" I invite you to consider how well Sweden's approach would work here, where we *don't* have a homogenous culture or general agreement on how things are done. And Germany is dealing with its own problems on that line. There's a German economist looking at the problems of structural unemployment, whole classes of workers whose jobs ahve been eliminated by aitomation or moved where they can be done cheaper, and concluding that many of those workers simply won't *get* new jobs and exploring what might be done in consequence. The issue with socialism or any other system intended to redistribute wealth is that you must *have* wealth to redistribute, and such systems tend to get in the way of *creating* wealth. It works fine if the underlying economy is healthy, but can fall down badly when it isn't. And since the economy is increasingly global, weakness in someone *elses* economy can hurt yours. That's pretty much what the Eurozone crisis is about. Lots of countries over there are finding out the hard way that they can't pay the bills involved in their social programs, because the programs impeded the growth and development that would provide the funding.

Bert22306
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CEO
re: U.S., European manufacturers join forces to compete with China
Bert22306   9/20/2012 8:03:31 PM
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In fact, Sweden has not been stuck in its 1960s style socialism either. It too has had to move away from that, since the early 1990s. And Germany has had to deal with the remnants of the socialist culture among the ex-East Germans, ever since reunification. Things are not quite as different between the US and these other countries you mention, except possibly as a matter of degree. Never mind the Eurozone countries that had traditionally had more socialist-tending policies than Germany. They too are struggling now. And too, as DMcCunney points out, having a more homogeneous culture, where the vast majority share the same values and outlook, makes a big difference too. Remember back in the 1990s, when everyone was gushing about how wonderful manufacturing in Japan was, because they followed the Deming model? Even that started falling apart, though, when their economy tanked. There's no reason at all to believe that the same basic economic models don't apply all over the world. Even if the prevailing conditions in each culture create different starting points.

DMcCunney
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CEO
re: U.S., European manufacturers join forces to compete with China
DMcCunney   9/21/2012 12:14:23 AM
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@Ber22306: "And Germany has had to deal with the remnants of the socialist culture among the ex-East Germans, ever since reunification." Yep. There were Germans who were *not* enthusiastic about the reunification, because they weren't happy with the sudden infusion of dirt poor proles who had been kept dirt poor by their Soviet rulers, and would need massive assistance from the rest of Germany to bring them to current standards, as well as being sources of low cost competition to well-paid West German workers. A German contact elsewhere informs me many of those strains still exist, and are part of the underpinning of the issues Germany is facing.

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
re: U.S., European manufacturers join forces to compete with China
DMcCunney   9/21/2012 12:08:53 AM
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@Bert22306: "There's no reason at all to believe that the same basic economic models don't apply all over the world." They do. One current read is Robert Heilbroner's "The Making of Economic Society", and his analysis of the development of economies from those governed by tradition through "command" economies, into a "market" economy. China is a good example, where a tradition bound society had to move from rural and agrarian to an industrial society. That required accumulation of capital, and the investment of capital into creating the capital goods that would be the basis of industry. Peasants would have to be moved from the farms to the cities to become an industrial workforce, but part of the produce of the farms would have to go to the cities to feed the new industrial workers. How do you make that happen, especially when the process was likely to result in a *decrease* of the standard of living of those involved? The benefits would not be experienced by those who had to sacrifice. The Soviet Union had previously gone through that after the Communist Revolution, and Lenin's attempts at an economic plan were dismal failures because they assumed willing cooperation by the people affected. When Stalin came to power, he didn't *try* for willing cooperation. You did as ordered or you were shot. China's development proceeded along analogous routes. What we are seeing now in China is a transition from command to market economy, and an attempt to shift more towards consumer products than capital goods with a rise in thes tandard of living overall. I strongly suspect the same general model will be true everywhere, differing in detail because of differences in the underlying society and culture. Heilbroner wrote in the 1950's, and the book was published in 1960. He wasn't willing to predict where the economies of the Soviet Union and China would end up. It's no real surprise that both are becoming market economies.

kitapbigi
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Rookie
re: U.S., European manufacturers join forces to compete with China
kitapbigi   10/19/2012 4:24:07 PM
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Agree! Were have these guys been the last 2, 5, 30 years. The world is a lot more than black and white. Sweden, that great example of evil socialism has had higher growth in productivity and lower unemployment than the US. Violent crime is much lower lower and people are, arguably, much happier. Anyone her herd of Germany (yes, the place that builds cars and washing machines and often has higher net exports than China? For those here who do not know, it, just like Sweden, is in Europe where workers are pid much more than in the US and were most get at least 30 days vacation per year. Be willing to leave you baggage behind and do a bit of research. There are a lot more social and manufacturing models than the US and China - and some of them actually work for their citizens. [url=http://www.muslumanlik.com]islami rüya tabirleri[/url]

Tsheen
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Rookie
re: U.S., European manufacturers join forces to compete with China
Tsheen   11/4/2012 5:40:24 PM
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This type of news is good to see for US manufacturing. I'm sure there are numerous examples of losing jobs, but I think it would be healthy for our politicians to look at the positive examples and try to build from them. Thanks for the nice review. Regards, Tom from http://bestcarcoverage.com/

sposen
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Rookie
manufacturer
sposen   7/23/2014 9:25:03 AM
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American companies and entire industries decided to move abroad because of low labor costs, unfortunately their strategy for getting higher profits proved to have negative aspects on the long run. I saw a lot of news recently that More Manufacturers are moving their operations back to U.S and I`m happy about this, there are a lot of ways to boost productivity like using time clocks from Time Clock eShop and they should consider doing this as soon as possible.

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