skip to Main Content
A Show That Bucks The Status Quo

A Show That Bucks the Status Quo

A Show That Bucks the Status Quo

The Grand Concourse at McCormick Place during the last in-person IMTS in 2018. Photo Credit: IMTS photos provided by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology Having experienced broken supply chains and the scarcity of goods that shocked the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, have we learned, finally, that the status quo is crazy? That our thinly stretched manufacturing supply chains are untenable? That the hidden costs of offloading production to low-cost countries are unsustainable? If we don’t want to relive these experiences when the next global disruption hits our shores, the answer better be yes. Check Out the Modern Machine Shop…. Shop Proudly sport the bold, iconic brand that started it all. Grease stains and coolant blotches optional. Thankfully, there is good news on this front. The pace of reshored manufacturing capacity and foreign direct investment (FDI) in U.S. manufacturing has accelerated significantly over the past two years. According to the Reshoring Initiative , a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting companies determine the total cost of offshoring (and thus encourage reshoring), the number of jobs that can be attributed to FDI and reshoring will surpass 400,000 in 2022. This is one indication that the message is breaking through — globalized supply chains are too fragile and vulnerable to disruption, while locally sourced production is faster, more reliable and creates opportunities for deeper relationships between suppliers and their customers. If there is one theme to keep in mind at this year’s IMTS, it is exactly this point. The new technologies and processes that will be on display at McCormick Place in Chicago this September include the most advanced robotics, digital manufacturing and machining automation capabilities the world has ever known. The boosts in production capacity and throughput that these technologies offer will not only strengthen American machine shops and the manufacturing sector at large; they will also reinforce U.S. supply chains and allow the country to be more self-sufficient the next time a global disruption hits our shores. Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative, has been working with companies to bring well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the United States by helping them assess the true costs of offshoring production. The goal of the initiative is to shift the mindset of company executives from “offshoring is cheaper” to “local production reduces the total cost of ownership.” “To shorten supply chains and get the U.S. metalworking industry closer to self-sufficiency will require more machines and machining technology,” Moser says. “If job shops want to convince OEMs to buy from them instead of continuing to import, then IMTS 2022 is the place to go. New machine tool models and new automation features will allow job shops to increase on-time delivery and be more price-competitive than they would have been otherwise. And that is what will help OEMs justify bringing the work back to the U.S.” The rising number of jobs that can be attributed to FDI and reshoring indicate growing awareness of supply chains and signal an effort to reinforce domestic production capacity. Ryan Kelly agrees. Kelly is the general manager of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology ’s San Francisco Tech Lab and head of the Onshoring Project, a consortium of organizations (including Gardner Business Media , the publisher of Modern Machine Shop ) that share common objectives for helping North American companies achieve agile supply chains. “During the pandemic, ‘supply chain’ became a buzzword,” Kelly says. “The average American — maybe for the first time in their lives — was dealing with scarcity, whether it was toilet paper or not being able to buy a car. But it’s not like the supply chain changed during the pandemic. We just revealed the level of fragility in the globalized supply chain that grew over the last several decades. We used this moment to come together, pool our resources and communicate a message to the world about what’s wrong with the supply chain and help to describe what a better system would look like.” Hardinge employees from Taiwan traveled to the company’s facility in Elmira, New York, to train workers to produce machine tools from two product lines in the U.S. I was able to see first-hand what reshoring looks like when I visited Hardinge ’s manufacturing plant in Elmira, New York, earlier this year. The company is now producing its Bridgeport XR Series of vertical machining centers and Talent Series of turning products in its Elmira facility after decades of these product lines being manufactured in Taiwan. What I […]

Click here to view original web page at A Show That Bucks the Status Quo

Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top