Ed Huntress, a regular poster on "alt,machines.cnc" has written a series of
articles for 'Machining", an online magazine, that deal with the "China
situation". They are very insightful and well written, and deal with issues
that have touched all of us in one way or another. They can be found at
Thanks for the link Mark.
Wow, did you touch a nerve. We're a small manufacturer with relatively low
volumes that used to proudly slap 'Made in the USA' stickers on everything.
Recently with the downturn there has been a huge push to procure parts from
China. The cost savings are all over the board, but most are not extreme
based on our low quantities. What really gets me is they are not tracking a
good chunk of the cost of doing business over there. I used to finish a
part, give it to a purchasing agent, then maybe, for a complex part, have a
conversation with the vendor about it. Now I sit in meeting after meeting
with a dozen people before anything is purchased. The worst was a very
complex machined aluminum part that we spent hour after hour on the phone
with the Chinese vendor and after 4 samples and 2 months still had nothing
in our hands but garbage. We finally had our small, relatively average
toolroom work 3 shifts to get us parts in time. And they pretty much hit
every number dead on. The worst part is not a single minute of my time, and
most of the other peoples time, has been captured in any way that is added
into the cost of doing business over there.
On Wed, 16 Jul 2003 14:26:06 GMT, the renowned "Dave L"
Why don't you write a short magazine article about it? It should be of
interest (and self-interest) for a mag to publish it. They don't pay
squat, but it might make a bit of a difference.
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
firstname.lastname@example.org Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Thanks for the thought. The opportunity to vent a little would make the
time more than worth it.
As an final note to illustrate my frustration. One number constantly thrown
about is the goal of a UMC of $100, which is tough to attain for our
products, even in China. Several years ago I designed a product from the
ground up that the final UMC ended up (before our customer cancelled it for
problems on they're end) at $89. All with local vendors that I could visit
in 20 minutes. Today, we won't even quote these local vendors because the
directive has come down - "Go to China!"
Info for manufacturers:
"Machining" isn't really an on-line publication...(my bad). It used to be
"American Machinest" I believe. This is/was a a very well respected trade
magazine. Ed is the Senior Editor.
To those of you who are interested, there are several discussions going on
right now in "alt.machines.cnc" that have to do with certain bills that are
now before congress. These bills will most likely impact all of us in
manufacturing. The thread is entitled "Defense Procurement Alert"
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.