Reshoring Initiative Encourages American Manufacturing
Harry Moser, the former president of machine tool company GF AgieCharmilles, is on a mission to bring manufacturing back to the United States.
His Reshoring Initiative offers resources and information for companies which want to move factories from overseas to the U.S. He spoke to Product Design and Development in an exclusive interview about the reshoring movement and what it can offer engineers.
“It is very important to note that the design engineer can work most efficiently with the manufacturer if they’re in the same building or city or state,” Moser said. “They can optimize the product or the process of making it when they can get together and speak the same language. So the engineer will be more successful if he or she is physically close to the manufacturing site.
“Second, if the manufacturer is going to China and the best way to improve efficiency is to bring the manufacturer and engineer together, you either move manufacturing and engineering together in the U.S., or move both to China. Would you rather move engineering to manufacturing in China, or rather do research to determine whether you can bring the manufacturing back to the United States and keep your job?”
Moser recently contributed a chapter to a book called Remaking America, a collection of essays on reshoring. He has also visited several conferences in his capacity as founder of the Reshoring Initiative, and says that more and more companies are showing interest in reshoring.
He spoke to the American Gear Manufacturers Association and American Bearing Manufacturers Association recently at their annual meeting, and said that 54 percent of people in attendance reported either they or their customers had reshored recently.
“That’s a big number,” Moser said. “I know I wouldn’t have gotten that number three or four years ago, so to me that’s very impressive. This week I spoke at ISM (the Institute of Supply Management) and again a good percentage of people I met had interest, and some of them were actively involved in their company with trying to figure out what to bring back and how to do the analyses of what to bring back.”
Chief among those analyses is the cost of reshoring. The Reshoring Initiative offers a Total Cost of Owning estimator, which factors in the various costs associated with manufacturing and calculates the possible difference if the company was to reshore.