Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Made in the USA, Really?

Interesting how a simple statement like “Made in the USA” is being used today.  Take for instance Toyota.  They have plants in Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia and Indiana.  While Toyota does manufacture many parts here in the US for their cars and trucks and also rely on many US companies to manufacture other specific parts for them, they still rely on parts shipped in from Japan to make a complete product.   

The same goes in our industry.  I watched a video on Youtube the other day about Yaskawa Variable Frequency Drives.  The person introduced the product and made it a point to state that the drive was being manufactured in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.  Really?  Assembled, that much I can believe but manufactured?  I really don’t think so.     

Truth of the matter is that I don’t know of one US manufacturer that is making IGBT’s that are rated for output use on a Variable Frequency Controller, not one.  Oh sure, there are companies like Harris Semiconductors and International Rectifier making IGBT’s and doing it very well.  But they are not producing IGBT’s that have the current ratings nor are they designed for the rigorous duty of the output of a drive.  Therefore, all of your drive manufacturers (here at home or abroad) are using output IGBT’s mostly manufactured in Japan or China somewhere else in that approximate region.

So, what I am saying is that if it is important to you that your product be made in the USA and that you understand that a few parts are going to be made elsewhere, you only have a few choices.  Key point, none of which have a foreign sounding name.

I just get tired of hearing some things and feel the need to say something.