FABTECH Attendees Say Manufacturing Renaissance is Real
By Sarah A. Webster
Editor in Chief
Do you think the renaissance in US manufacturing is real and sustainable?
The packed ballroom at a FABTECH 2013 special session on the issue Monday thought so, with virtually the entire room raising their hand when asked the question.
Panelist Jeff Oravitz, president and CEO of MetoKote Corporation (Lima, OH), said US manufacturing was in the midst of a “tremendous moment in time,” being driven by new technologies, high productivity and low energy costs.
“We’re going to have a sustainable competitive advantage for a long time,” he said.
Bill Adler, Jr., president of Stripmatic Products, Inc. (Cleveland, OH) added that he was not yet ready to do a victory lap, noting challenges in finding skilled workers who can put the new technology to good use. But he said US manufacturing has been enjoying a period of robust growth that he expects to continue.
Moderator Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics, noted that new manufacturing technologies, especially automation, were driving reshoring of manufacturing work that was organic, or driven by a legitimate business advantage and not patriotism alone. He noted that even cheap white clothing hangers at Walmart now bear a “Made in the USA” label.
Beaulieu encouraged attendees to take advantage of the trend while they can, citing his forecast of headwinds on the horizon, such as higher interest rates, a slowdown in growth related to adaptation of new laws, such as certain Dodd-Frank provisions and Obamacare.
Published Date : 11/19/2013