Friday, January 02, 2009

Rebutting State of US Manufacturing

Someone from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers posted a comment and a link that offers an alternative outlook to the story discussed in State of US Manufacturing. Interesting article from Mark C. Tomlinson at - 01/04/2009 - U.S. manufacturing is much more than making cars. Unfortunately, while we can point to pockets of innovation and growth, manufacturing is no where near what it used to be and appears to be shrinking. I would love to be more optimistic, but the numbers don't lie.
The dire headlines about the Detroit car companies may have many people thinking that manufacturing in America is coming to an end. However, it is important to note that the auto industry is just a single component of the $1.6 trillion that manufacturing adds to our national economy.

For the past century, U.S. manufacturing has been synonymous with the auto industry. And for the last three decades, news reports of the Big Three's struggles to compete with foreign automakers, images of workers on assembly lines, labor negotiations and reports of job losses have dominated the American media. These have created a negative impression of manufacturing.

It's time America that moved beyond this outdated image.

Manufacturing is a dynamic, high-tech industry. It is responsible for every object we touch and many that we don't. Yes, manufacturing is about making cell phones, furniture and toothpaste. But it's also about the fabrication of enormous airplane parts and the creation of microscopic medical implants. It's the design, machining and testing of thousands of components used in oil fields to explore, harvest and refine the oil and gas on which our world depends. Oil and gas, by the way, provide not only energy but also the chemicals found in the plastics used to build those cell phones and medical devices.

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