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How to Improve Product Safety through Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance has become a focus in recent years.  Products from other countries, particularly China, face additional scrutiny.  From car seats to dog treats, there have been numerous safety problems. 

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The True Cost of Using an Offshore Supplier

There are many factors that impact the total cost of goods purchased.  On the surface, some offshore suppliers may seem cheaper.  However, the true delivered cost is impacted by many variables.  Using this overview, you should be able to better compare all of your supplier choices.

Shipping - This cost must be calculated accurately to determine the true “Cost of Ownership”.

Many companies fail to understand the full cost of shipping from China and other low wage countries.  Depending on the contract, importers may be responsible for picking the goods up at the factory door.  Many foreign manufacturers will include FOB (Free on board) shipping.

Factors to consider include:

FOB – This is the price paid by the manufacturer to get the goods to port.  Depending on the contract this may be an inland port.  Once on the carrier, the purchasing company pays for the remainder of the shipping costs to the final destination (s) as well as import duties and taxes.  All of these charges need to be considered to assess total shipping costs.  Having a FOB contract and terms will guarantee all parties know the extent of their financial responsibilities.
Time to market – There is also a cost to any delays that occur in receiving goods for sale.  When commitments and time lines are not met, profit is lost.  Once a delay occurs, to get merchandise to market in time, some manufacturers have used air freight to expedite the shipping.  Air freight can be 10x more expensive than shipping by container which can erode margins quickly.

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Quality Certifications and Why They Matter

In the past, many businesses operated on the assumption that their vendors were in compliance with the latest rules and regulations regarding their industry.Technology and materials were limited, so buyers worked with manufacturers who could produce the best product often without clearly defined quality guidelines or parameters.

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Join us in NYC for the Design & Manufacturing show

The Atlantic Design & Manufacturing Show is coming up in a few weeks (June 9-11 at the Javits Center in NYC), and we're getting ready to attend and exhibit at the show.  It's a show that we find worthwhile and one that we wouldn't miss. This well-attended show offers visitors a wealth of information, events, and exhibits.

The show is a composite of several shows that are focused on the plastics manufacturing industry. 

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Plastic Part Design and Manufacturability

There are four key factors that go into making a high-quality plastic injection molded part: part design, tool building, material selection and manufacturing.

In this article, we will start at the beginning of the process, with the part design.

The process of plastic injection molding is designed to produce precision parts at a low cost.  The part design must be developed to maximize the efficiency inherent in high-volume molding.  With the right design, parts can be made consistently and with quality.  Without a good design, costly processing mistakes can be made.

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The"Made in China" Era Could Be Coming to an End

The “Made in China” era may be coming to an end, as costs and wages in China substantially rise and manufacturing moves back to the United States. In March, activity in China’s manufacturing sectors has hit an 11-month low as new orders shrank for consecutive months. The Chinese manufacturing cost advantage gap is very minimal compared to what it was 10 years ago.

Today, the United States is producing more jobs at the fastest pace since the 1990s. According to The Reshoring Initiative, an estimated 50,000 jobs have moved back over the last three years. American companies, like Apple and General Motors, are reinvesting their money back into the U.S. economy by building new production plants across the country.

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Innovation Hubs Revitalize American Manufacturing

The great recession underscored some inherent weaknesses in the U.S. supply chain.  We have an employment skills gap, an uncoordinated approach to nurturing innovation, and an export imbalance.  Since 2011, the federal government focused on changing this paradigm and made American manufacturing a priority.  Under the guidance of the Department of Commerce/NIST, they developed an infrastructure with dedicated funding to rebuild our manufacturing sector. 

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The U.S. Manufacturing Workforce & Making it In America

This article written by Adam Robinson, Marketing Manager at Cerasis, originally appeared on the Cerasis blog on March 6, 2015

While US manufacturing has been hit hard by nearly two decades of policy failures that have damaged its international competitiveness, it remains a vital part of the U.S. economy.

The US manufacturing sector employed 12 million workers in 2013, or about 8.8 percent of total US employment. Manufacturing employs a higher share of workers without a college degree than the economy overall. On average, non-college-educated workers in manufacturing made 10.9 percent more than similar workers in the rest of the economy in 2012–2013.
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What Keeps You Up At Night?

This article written by Ken Voytek, the Chief Economist at NIST/MEP, originally appeared on the NIST/MEP blog on January 21, 2015

I often keep myself up at night by noodling over some obscure question or asking myself why I ate that spicy lunch item. This got me thinking. What keeps MEP clients up at night? It turns out there’s already data for that so I can rest easy and get some sleep.
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