Made in the USA: Is It Cheaper Than Previously Thought?

For years, products made in the United States have been considered to be more expensive than products made overseas. Manufacturing was cheaper outside of the US, and it was easier to find the low-paid labor needed to keep factories running. In 2004, each manufacturing dollar in the United States cost only 86.5 cents to produce in China, leaving a much wider margin for profit for goods made overseas. According to The Boston Consulting Group, by 2014, that number had changed substantially: each manufacturing dollar in the United States costs 95.6 cents to manufacture in China. The trend suggests that the gap between those numbers can only close further. As a result, a growing number of American companies are reversing the trend and bringing manufacturing back to the United States. 

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Holiday 2015: American Made Gifts & How K'NEX Parts Are Made

With the holidays right around the corner, we thought you might like to hear about some of our favorite gift resources for products made in the U.S.A.  As you're out shopping (or in your PJ's shopping online) try taking an extra minute to look for gifts that are made here in the U.S.  As an American manufacturer and a sister company of K'NEX construction toys, we wholeheartedly support buying U.S. made products all year round but especially during the holiday season.  

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American Made Matters Day: A Celebration for the Holiday Season

American Made Matters, an organization dedicated to educating consumers on the importance of buying American-made products, is holding the 3rd annual American Made Matters Day tomorrow, November 19th. The purpose of the event is for consumers to buy at least one U.S.-made product on this day, and to encourage consumers to buy made-in-USA products throughout the upcoming 2015 holiday season to show their support for U.S. manufacturing.

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Made in the USA Success Story: An Interview with Josh Miller

In 2012, we were visited by Josh Miller, creator and producer of Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey”, a documentary film that dives deep into the realm of the current economic uncertainty in the United States. The film focuses on the jobs that have left our country over the last decade and the future of America’s economy. On day 15 of the journey, Josh and his team stopped by The Rodon Group and K'NEX facilities to learn about how we've made our plastic parts in the U.S. since 1956. 

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Plastic Innovations for a Healthier Planet

Advances in the development of new and improved polymers have led many engineers and product designers to re-think their use of more traditional materials in the manufacturing process. Parts once thought of as impossible to create using plastic, are now being designed with polymers at a higher rate than ever before.

Plastics have historically offered many advantages over other materials, particularly metal. Plastic parts are lighter and afford more design flexibility. They tend to be less expensive than metals and need little if any finishing or additional assembly. And today's innovative polymers are developed with the environment in mind. Using bio-based solutions and easily compostable materials, the goal is to leave as little impact on the planet as possible.

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Top 4 Factors About U.S. Manufacturing Jobs Today

This article written by Adam Robinson originally appeared on the Cerasis blog on May 11, 2015

With the release of the May 8, 2015 Jobs Report, many businesses and employees within the manufacturing industry have grown concerned. According to the report, the average number of total US manufacturing jobs in the United States changed very little since April. Furthermore, this report represents the second consecutive month that actual job growth results fell short of administration expectations. At the heart of the jobs issues, rests an unusual factor in a growing, stabilizing economy: US production of goods has increased while total number of US manufacturing jobs has decreased. Several key factors play into this startling fact, and failure to understand why and how current US manufacturing jobs appear to be declining could easily create a sense of impending doom for small to large businesses. To help businesses of many sizes regain control over their areas of expertise, here are the primary reasons today’s US manufacturing jobs have trodden back into the trenches of a once-powerful, assembly-line-laden economy.

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Buy American-Made Products and Boost Employment [VIDEO]

Once in a while, you find a video that is so well done, so compelling, that you must share. This video, from American Made Matters is a great example. It will make you think twice about where products are made; knowing that the simple act of buying American-made products can have a profound impact on our economy.  It's all about creating jobs. Jobs that are secure and well-paying. Jobs that can help re-build our middle class.

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The Maker Movement Inspires a Generation [article + infographic]

This article written by Adam Robinson, Marketing Manager at Cerasis, originally appeared on the Cerasis blog on March 27, 2015

What is the "Maker Movement"?

The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses a cut-and-paste approach to standardized hobbyist technologies, and encourages cookbook re-use of designs published on websites and maker-oriented publications. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them to reference designs.

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5 Spring-Cleaning Tips for U.S. Manufacturers

This article written by Mark Troppe, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at NIST/MEP, originally appeared on the NIST/MEP blog on April 17, 2015

Spring has always been my favorite time of year. The flowers are out again in full bloom, it’s time to plant the garden, and baseball season is here again – Go Nationals!
My absolute favorite is spring-cleaning. Spring-cleaning provides me with the perfect opportunity to address all of the chores punted throughout the winter, go through and organize all the piles, and give my house a makeover. Spring-cleaning 2015 is proving to be a great success; the household is refreshed and renewed! 

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