Manufacturing trends over the past few years have seen projects shipped overseas for cost savings — but now, many companies are heavily investing in reshoring. Reshoring is on the rise, especially in the plastics industry with the shale boom and access to natural gas spurring cheaper prices.
There are many reasons reshoring your plastic injection molding projects can benefit your business, as well as its surrounding community. Here’s how:
1. Offshore molders don’t always assist with design.
Unless a company’s engineers regularly work with injection molded thermoplastics, they may not know the details of what to specify in a design — type of mold, choice of material, optimal production process and so on.
This isn’t important to an offshore molder; they provide production, not design. As a result, the finished product may not be what the client actually wants or needs. By the time the product is shipped to the client, it’s often too late to fix design mistakes that could have been avoided otherwise.
2. Overseas manufacturers don’t always meet the same quality standards.
Rigorous standards like ISO 9001:2008 are expected from the leading domestic manufacturers, but are not a guarantee everywhere else. As a result, overseas projects do not always result in the best quality.
3. Keeping manufacturing domestic ensures your designs are protected and treated with respect.
It’s always critical to choose a manufacturer you trust to keep your unique designs safe. Many domestic manufacturers meet multiple standards and certifications that not only promise high quality, but also integrity.
4. More distance means slower turnaround — and less flexibility.
The longer a supply chain becomes, the more complicated the process gets. Offshore manufacturers are more distant in both ease of communication and physical space, and this can create production backlogs and longer lead times.
In addition, flexibility is limited — if any engineering or part changes need to be made, these changes are difficult to make, and the customer bears the cost of any obsolete inventory. While quick turnaround is possible, the client likely has to pay additional costs for expedited delivery.
U.S. manufacturing embraces close collaboration among teams from marketing to engineering to shipping. We take advantage of ease of transport to get products to customers and thus to market faster and better prepared.
5. U.S. jobs build more than tools — they build a strong economy.
Economic studies evaluating everything from energy costs to pay gaps to customer value point in one direction: conditions are in favor of reshoring. More jobs return to the United States every year. Real wages in America are not only more beneficial to companies, they contribute to creation of employment opportunities to build our economy.
For more than 50 years, K&B Molded Products has been delivering the high quality, cost-effective benefits of injection molding to industries like HVAC, Marine, Wastewater Management, and other markets across the country. We’re proud to stand by stringent standards for quality and fast turnaround times, as well as contributing professional experience and respect to both in-house and customer design work.
For more information about the benefits of reshoring, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about plastic injection molding, download our latest eBook, “10 Things to Ask Your Plastic Injection Molder.”