08222017Tue
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Manufacturing

The True Cost of Offshoring

harry moserIn his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama announced what he called a Blueprint for an America Built to Last. The plan is to encourage companies to create manufacturing jobs in the United States and remove deductions for shipping jobs overseas. Whether or not any of the proposals Obama sent to Congress are actually enacted is yet to be seen, but private enterprise is nevertheless taking a serious second look at the feasibility of manufacturing goods overseas.


Intellectual Property Theft: Part One

stockvalvesWEBAs part of the Valve Manufacturers Association’s ongoing efforts to help manufacturers defend against IP Theft, and to protect end users and the public against dangerous products, Valve Magazine is presenting a two-part Web feature covering the far-ranging effects of counterfeit products. Here in Part One, we present a general overview and the opportunity to catch up on information previously published online and in Valve Magazine.

In Part Two, to be published in a May Web Feature, we will be talking with valve manufacturers, distributors and end users to ask them about the current state of affairs in this industry. What steps are being taken by your manufacturing company to protect against counterfeits? What would you like to see being done by government agencies? End users and procurement officers: What safeguards are you taking? How has technology helped you defend your IP rights? What experiences have you had dealing with counterfeiters?

Presidential Proposals

obama state of the union 2012In his State of the Union address on Jan. 18, President Obama presented several programs and initiatives to Congress and to the American people, many of which could have a noticeable impact on manufacturing—which, of course, includes valve, actuator and control manufacturing.

He also proposed changes to policy regarding the oil and gas industry and had ideas for repairing America’s aging infrastructure. Following are a few highlights from the speech, categorized by areas that could be of special note to our readers.

Dealing with the Threat Posed by Chinese Counterfeiting

saving american manufacturingI wrote an article that appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of Valve Magazine entitled Suspicious and Counterfeit Valves: An Avoidable Danger. That article dealt just with fake valves — whether produced or imported under false labels, or repaired or salvaged units sold as new — but valves are just a small part of the counterfeiting problem. A few weeks ago Mike Collins, author of Saving American Manufacturing, published a blog on chem.info entitled Economic Terrorism in which he quoted Ohio State University law professor Dan Chow on the extent of the problem: Chow: “We know that 15 to 20% of all goods in China are counterfeit.” In fact, Collins went on, “In 2006 an estimated 8% of China’s Domestic Gross Product (GDP) was generated by counterfeiting.” The main point is that counterfeiting and intellectual property theft are not just a minor occurrence in China, they are a major industry.

 

Past the Obstacles to Lean Manufacturing

Toyota  Production SystemIs Lean the answer for manufacturing? Or is it just the latest flavor of the month peddled by management gurus? We interviewed experts in the field to find out:

Lean manufacturing, which had its origin in the Toyota Production System (TPS), is built around getting rid of waste — defined as any activity that does not add value (whatever a customer will pay for) to the product. Taiichi Ohno, father of TPS, identified the Seven Wastes (muda, in Japanese) — defects, overproduction, motion, transportation, waiting, inventory and processing — that TPS works to eliminate. But there is much more to Lean than that, says Mike Kuta, Managing Partner at Productivity, LLC.

 

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