The world is full of creative people with creative ideas, but sometimes they lack the knowledge needed to bring those ideas to fruition. Crowdsourcing websites like Kickstarter and Quirky can help entrepreneurs refine their products and raise capital but what happens when these designers and engineers want to take their ideas to market? They need to determine the processes required to manufacturer their invention.
We are not the only ones who are proud to participate in Manufacturing Day. Since its inception in 2012, the number of participating manufacturers has grown from 200 to nearly 1,500. American manufacturers throughout the country are going to open their doors this year for tours, presentations, training and more. In fact, there are 68 tours in Pennsylvania alone.
On August 14th, Walmart executives joined with state officials to help connect U.S. manufacturers and suppliers with buyers and government resources. This summit is just one facet of Walmart’s strategic plan to increase U.S. made products in their stores by $250 billion dollars over the next ten years. The Boston Consulting Group estimates this commitment will create 1 million jobs.
In July, Walmart invited more than 500 manufacturers and entrepreneurs to their headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas for an “Open Call” event. Visiting businesses had the opportunity to meet with Walmart buyers and pitch their products. Several participants walked away with a sale to Walmart stores.
During the August U.S. Manufacturing Summit, President and CEO of K'NEX Brands and The Rodon Group, Michael Araten, was joined by fellow manufacturing President and CEO of Weber Grills, Jim Stephens for a conversation on what it takes to manufacturer in America and do business with Walmart. Michael Araten describes our company’s commitment to making K’NEX construction toys in the U.S. as “Patriotic Capitalism.” “It started in the depths of the great depression. We wanted to keep jobs here. The only way to save our people was to re-shore manufacturing” stated Araten. “We hoped and believed people would care where products are made. There is no bigger, no better brand than Made in America.”
Manufacturing plastic injection molded components in-house as part of a customer’s end product can prove to be a major challenge from an efficiency, quality and cost perspective. Over the years, Rodon has garnered many of our largest customers who were doing their best to manufacture their injection molded components in-house, but found the process to problematic and inefficient.
The Rodon Group has been investing in robotics since the beginning of the century. Due to these technological advances, Rodon is able to make machine operators efficient enough to run 15 machines each, through automated delivery of the parts by use of robotics. Every machine has a robot on it, either a robotic picker or a full-blown servo-robot. Every machine counts the parts as they are made and when the box is full, an automated conveyor indexes the box out of the way and installs an empty box in its place. This occurs across all 117 machines without human intervention.
Your article entitled “Medals, not uniforms, are what matters” that was published in a local newspaper, The Reading Eagle, on August 4, 2012 hits home and deserves a response.
Your conclusion that the medal count is the “measure that matters” displays an ignorance of the process of winning these medals.
Training athletes takes development of physical and mental talent. That training requires commitment, hard work, determination, coaching and financial support from families and/or sponsors and governments. When the family pays the way, these financial sacrifices are substantial. It takes jobs and wealth to handle the financial requirements.
Our country’s financial wealth has come largely from industry where jobs provide for the pursuit of life opportunities sometimes called “the American Dream.”
Every manufacturing job creates 4 to 5 residual jobs which is more than three times as powerful as other sectors of our economy, like the service industry.
Some Americans and elected officials have favored “free trade” and bought the lowest cost items without considering the impact on manufacturing jobs, wealth, communities, our economy and (less important things like) winning medals.
Your theory that not many jobs would have been impacted if the U.S. uniforms had been made by American manufacturers misses the point. Like it or not, we need a strong manufacturing sector to be a world leader and some of our citizens are thankfully now realizing this.
It is too late for some industries. The making of clothing is on the brink. Some of us are hanging on. Suggesting that it does not matter is sad and short sighted.
A recent Goldman Sachs study concluded that economic factors do play a role in predicting Olympic success.
Still not convinced? You write that medals are what matters and you acknowledged that most of your clothes are made in China. The U.S. trade deficit with China in 1985 was only $6 million. In the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, China won 32 medals to 174 for the U.S., so we had nearly 5.5 times more medals. Last year our trade deficit with China was $295 billion. Check the medal count at the end of these games. American Made Matters!
President & CEO, Bollman Hat Company
Founder, American Made Matters
The Rodon Group is a proud member of American Made Matters.
Worlds Kids Love: Created Daily at Hatfield, PA Toy Manufacturer
Amazement. K’NEX President and CEO Michael Araten says that it is one of the most common reactions he receives when he tells people that K’NEX building toys are manufactured in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. “So many people are used to toys from overseas that they don’t even consider that these products may be manufactured not just in the United States, but in their own backyard,” Araten said. “That is the perception that we’re hoping to change.”
If amazement is the initial response to the news that K’NEX products are manufactured in Hatfield, PA, the sentiment only deepens upon hearing the uniquely American story behind the colorful plastic building sets.
On April 25th, 2012 Irving Glickman will celebrate his 100th birthday and a manufacturing career that has spanned seven decades. As a pioneer in the development of synthetic rubber, Mr. Glickman saw the greater potential of thermoplastics and in 1956, he founded The Rodon Group. Today, Rodon is one of the largest family-owned and operated injection molders in the United States serving a diverse group of industries including consumer products, medical, construction, pharmaceutical and toys. The company has grown from a modest four press operation to 105 molding machines with robotic capabilities.