[Testimony] The current state of affairs of the manufacturing sector
Posted by Bert Maes on September 10, 2009
Lately, Joe Brown (business founder of Lintrio LLC , activist for U.S. manufacturing/tooling industry and creator of the leading tool and die blog www.toolanddieing.com) spoke to a group of legislators about the current state of affairs of the manufacturing sector.
[The manufacturing] trade has consistently been neglected and abused despite being the backbone of our economy and national security.
We are a behind-the-scenes industry that “makes things”.
A die or mold is used to produce nearly every existing tangible part from cars, planes, tanks, soda bottles, lawnmowers, all appliances, computers, children’s toys, furniture, medical devices and even currency—among millions of others.
Without question, alternative & renewable energy is absolutely the one industry that could prove to be the saving grace of our nation’s critical manufacturing base. No other market has the potential to witness a mass transition of CNC machining, metal stamping, tool and die, injection mold companies into a viable, sustainable sector than that of wind energy. A single wind-turbine can include up to 8,000 parts and is the best chance we have to save and create jobs.
I interviewed one of the world’s leading experts on Green Manufacturing, Dr. David A. Dornfeld (Professor of Mechanical Engineering, UC-Berkeley) According to Dornfeld:
“I am a big believer in the opportunities in alternative energy and related areas.
I heard an interesting presentation on the frailty of wind turbines— largely made up of machined and forged metal parts—and the lack of infrastructure to repair, remake these components, usually requiring large precise machine tools.
Ditto for solar panels, fuel cells other sources. It may not seem obvious but if you take the cover off most of these devices there are lots of machined and forged parts—all requiring machining & tooling companies of all sizes, many companies are seeing a real competitive opportunity here.
And this will be hard to source offshore since these parts are often large (high transport costs/time), complex (think skilled machinists – not minimum wage workers, and involve advanced technology – much of which is (or will be) developed here.”
This relates perfectly to many things on this blog: