Made in USA Remains Critical as Manufacturing Rebounds

Made in USA Remains Critical as Manufacturing Rebounds

We are in the midst of a Manufacturing Renaissance in America, and the data suggest this rebound has been building for some time.

According to the Plastics Industry Association’s 2016 Size & Impact Report, 70 percent of U.S. plastics processors are expanding—adding capacity, new lines and equipment. The National Association for Manufacturers’ latest Outlook Survey revealed 93.3 percent of American manufacturers have a positive outlook about their companies.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported U.S. manufacturing hires in December 2016 hit a four-month high, while January’s numbers revealed 5,000 new jobs created for a second straight month of growth. In March, the Conference Board reported the consumer sentiment index surged to its highest level since December 2000.

According to the U.S. News & World Report, in February there was a strong manufacturing activity report from the Institute for Supply Management; an optimistic regional production report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and an unexpectedly strong factory orders release from the Census Bureau.

Require more convincing? For over 44 years, PMT’s held a great vantage point of the American manufacturing climate.

Our View

Since 1973, we’ve seen eight changes in U.S. Presidents. We were founded during both an oil crisis and a stock market crash, when gas was .38 cents a gallon and a brand-new AMC Javelin would set you back $2,900.

Made in USAWe’ve come out on the top side of several recessions. We weather storms with tenacity.

And we’ve always taken the approach that no matter what the climate, Made in America is best for our company, our customers and our country.

Made in the USA isn’t a tagline—it’s our foundation. PMT was built on the American dream of entrepreneurship. The company came from humble beginnings, founded in a Civil War-era mill building in Bridgeport, CT that once provided goods to the Union.

In a new economic climate—not to mention as a company located on the U.S./Mexico border—it’s important to re-affirm our Made in the USA position, keeping our founding story as a guiding force.

Made in USA commitment

PMT’s CEO announced a renewed commitment to USA manufacturing in 2017. PMT is doubling down to create more manufacturing capacity in the U.S., with the expectation that American manufacturing output will continue to increase over the next four years.

PMT values the growth of our El Paso business. We’ve had discussions with customers who want a PMT facility in Mexico. Many of our El Paso competitors moved across the border years ago. Yet benefits remain here on the U.S. side—even with higher labor costs—and we continue to grow in El Paso.

The fact remains that we can manufacture plastic components in the U.S. and be competitive. We’re taking steps now to ensure our factory is ready for growth.

To create open U.S.-based capacity at PMT, we’re moving at full-speed to upgrade and expand. Following the Quality Lab expansion & renovation in 2016, PMT committed to invest $1,000,000 in 2017 for new equipment and technology.

We are already boosting capacity. Two new Toshiba Machine injection molding presses arrived in the first weeks of January, in 110-ton and 200-ton electric models. Expected purchases this year will cover all aspects of the factory, from advancing IT and automation capabilities to adding equipment in the Tooling and Quality Lab areas.

With the addition of the machines, PMT shifted the layout of the factory floor to allow room for an additional 10-12 presses. We’re also increasing our investment in robotics with six new sprue pickers, as well as adding new faces to our world-class automation team.

Reshoring

The active resurgence of re- and near-shoring remains a key piece of manufacturing’s comeback. PMT’s customers, many of which are global companies with Mexico operations, continue to reshore. We see an uptick in companies localizing supply chains, often translating to moving manufacturing product lines back to the USA.

According to the Reshoring Initiative, reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 12.5 percent in 2016, despite the strong dollar and low freight rates. 

“Many companies that off-shored manufacturing didn’t really do the math”, according to the Reshoring Institute’s recent MarketWatch article.  

Over 8 years ago, a study from The Hackett Group revealed 60 percent of offshoring decisions used only rudimentary calculations—typically only price or labor costs—and ignored freight, duty, carrying cost of inventory, delivery and impact on innovation. Today, we see the need for realistic reshoring cost models remains. Educating our customers about the true costs is critical.

With this in mind, PMT continues to advocate for Made in America, one of the main reasons we continue to produce a solid standard of living for our El Paso workers. We’re preparing for growth as more global companies realize the benefits in making things stateside.