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.



Unknown said...

Lets see, Made in the USA, what a statement. Bold, impressive but most times not true. Assembled in the USA. Like our roads and highway infrastructure, we America can't seem to figure out what it takes to do things right and make them last. We have this planned obsolescence idealogy. Look at the streets in Europe, that are made to withstand the winter, summer and abuse of driving. We can't make a road last 10 years without it being ripped up. We America need to learn to build it BIGGER, BETTER AND LESS EXPENSIVE THAN THE NEXT GUY. That is how we will survive as a nation. We need to take back our country from the foreign interests who have worked their way into everything we do and have.

Scott Gordon said...

I completely agree about the drives. In fact, if you read what I wrote; I stated that none of them are completely made in the USA.
Now, about those roads...I'll just let you read what people over the pond have to say about their roads:

It's not the state of the roadworks that we drivers are bothered about, it's the sheer amount of them. The Highways Agency seems to be digging up 20% of the roads.
Chris , Nuneaton, England

In most areas England still exhibits Third World road conditions - it's inexcusable in a country whose economy has perhaps the strongest growth rate in the entire EU.
Then again, most things about England smack of Third World standards...
Patrick Bateman, Marlow, UK

I live in Italy. Why revoke the frequent nightmares of travelling along Italian roads where badly indicated surprise repairs are regular features of the highways? Much better to remember Japan's highways. All roads there are a pleasure to drive on, tolls cost the earth, but no nasty surprises other than the erratic and confusing road signs.
Nadia Sani, Cerreto

After 5 years living in Germany now, it was an absolute pleasure to drive through UK roadworks again on holiday a couple of weeks ago! German Autobahn roadworks are a nightmare. The lanes are sometimes so narrow, that I have to "use the force" when overtaking trucks order not to hit anything. There's literally just a few cms of space either side of the car. Apart from that, when it rains all of the lane markings become magically invisible, making the whole experience even more scary and dangerous.
Chris, Stuttgart, Germany

Not my word folks...these are borrowed from a BBC article.