Bringing Manufacturing Back To The US
May 4th, 2013
As we focus on bringing manufacturing back to the US, we must not forget that design and education is a higher mission. It seems that we have given much to other countries during the offshoring boom through lost intellectual property and knowledge. Money has gone to other countries and now they come back and invest in the US. It almost seems like an economic attack.
Manufacturing in the US is only going to be a good thing for the country if we have highly automated systems that are also developed in the US AND the technical jobs created to setup and maintain the machines are good paying jobs. They should be very good paying jobs since they are replacing large numbers of workers in the process. We need to develop the highly automated systems ourselves to limit our dependency on other countries. Unfortunately countries like ABB (Switzerland), Invensys (Britain), Siemens (Germany), Schneider (France), Mitsubishi (Japan) are leaders in the marketplace. On the bright side, especially for the Midwest, companies like Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, WI) and Emerson (Ferguson, MO) are a couple of US based companies that were on the Fortune 500 (dated). The later does not necessarily translate to US based jobs for citizens but at least it is base to help bring back prosperity to the US.
Now, who is going to make the mounts of widgets and gadgets to be manufactured by these highly automated systems? That falls to some of the large companies around but also small design companies that operate more efficiently with low overhead. The development of products is expensive with the engineering and prototyping necessary. With lower volume larger cost items it is even more imperative to keep design costs low. But, small companies can fill that gap. For example, my company is looking at becoming the second source for a high end radio design. The initial design was developed by a large company. But, since the initial design bugs and real requirements were worked out through a government contract with the larger company, we can now come in and develop the same product to be a second source.
In short, as we gear up for increased manufacturing in the US we must also have designs and a market to sell to. The global market is waning and so we must look to products to sell in the US and bring business back to the US. Small Business design companies and manufacturing seem to be the way to go and the small mom & pop type companies for prototyping initial designs (click on the graphic) are going to be key in recovery.
Ronald Kollman – RF Hardware Designer and President of Haynes-Bent, Inc.
Haynes-Bent, Inc. – Radiofrequency (RF) hardware design, EMC/EMI analysis and 3D Electromagnetic simulation. We also provide Technology advise for investors and executives.
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