An Independence Day Reminder: Why American Manufacturing Matters

As we celebrate America’s Independence Day—and enjoy everything that comes from the historic event—let’s take a brief look back: Following the country’s independence, there fourth of July and Industrial revolutionwas a great success that came as a result. The Industrial Revolution occurred shortly after, and the U.S. was built on this revolution. The manufacturing industry was born out of it, and what followed was the rise of America to the forefront of the world in every sector.

Simply put, out of our freedom came our country’s entire success.

Now let’s look at American manufacturing today. As noted in this article, manufacturing “is essential to innovation, and tightly linked to our nation’s economic health and national security…[manufacturing’s] output came to $1.9 trillion in 2012, and by itself would have made the world’s tenth largest economy. The U.S. manufacturing sector was larger than the total economies of India, Canada, Mexico, or South Korea.”

And according to NAM:

• Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.4 million jobs in the United States—about one in six private-sector jobs.
• For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.32 is added to the economy, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.
• Manufacturers in the United States are the most productive in the world, far surpassing the worker productivity of any other major manufacturing economy, leading to higher wages and living standards.

The fact is, manufacturing today is as important to our country’s success and future as it was when it first began following the country’s independence and the Industrial Revolution. Innovation, employment, technology, the economy, and infinite other factors grow and improve from American manufacturing.

So this July 4th, as you enjoy barbeques and fireworks, remember the importance of buying American, and what making this decision means to the entire success and livelihood of the country; every decision to buy a Made in America product makes a major impact in myriad ways.

How Small Manufacturers are Continuing to Live the American Dream

Since the dawn of the industrial age, manufacturing has been the driving force behind America’s success. It’s been the very backbone of our economy, the catalyst for technology and innovation, and the way countless Americans fulfilled the American dream. From the largest factories and players to the small manufacturer operating off of Main Street, USA, manufacturing is as much a part of this country as baseball and apple pie.

For the past few decades, it saw some big setbacks. Outsourcing hurt many small and large manufacturers, and, as a result, our economy suffered, and so did the quality of products being sold. But now it’s back and opportunities abound.

One example of many? Tesla’s recent acquisition of a small tool and die manufacturer in West Michigan. Like many of our manufacturing friends, peers, and colleagues, Riviera Tool is an American factory that employs 100 people and works hard to stay competitive. They build metal parts for the production of automotives, and until recently, they were just another small American success story. But recently, they hit the industry jackpot and became a huge success story when Tesla—singlehandedly the future of electric vehicles—decided to buy them.

As of now, Tesla plans to keep Riviera Tool’s 100 employees, and it’s safe to assume that they’ll employ many more Michigan residents in the near future. What does this mean for the overall American manufacturing industry? It’s an example of how businesses large and small are working together and helping each other, building more and better products while employing more people and pouring more money into the industry and the economy.

It’s also proof that the small manufacturer can get ahead, and can continue to successfully pursue the American dream. In this way, it’s an example of how the industry continues the drive and growth it was originally built on, and how there’s a lot to look forward to.

When it Comes to Semiconductors, Samsung Means Business

Ask anyone what one of the most widely used, prolific consumer electronic is, and they’ll unanimously answer, “smartphones.” They are used by people in the most remote places in the world, are given to children practically before they can talk, and have changed the world as we know it.

What the average person might not know, however, is that these smartphones are made possible by semiconductors, which are the backbone of the phones’ processors. There are close to a billion smartphones in use today, each of which relies on a semiconductor.

As a result, the semiconductor industry is very big and very important. Its second largest player—Samsung, which according to this article has “gradually been encroaching on Intel’s dominant position,”—realizes this importance, and its potential. After all, while Samsung hasn’t been able to compete with Apple in the sale of smartphones, Samsung provides Apple with the iPhone’s semiconductors.

As a result, Samsung has recently announced the plan to build a $14 billion complex dedicated to the manufacturing of these semiconductors. It’s been reported that the factory will be the size of 400 soccer fields—or the size of two of their largest semiconductor factories put together—and will officially begin operation in 2017.

Realizing their position as a semiconductor leader, and the increased global demand for these products, Samsung clearly thinks this is the best area to invest.

As we at Red River Precision work with clients in the semiconductor industry, manufacturing critical parts for them, we wonder how this plan will affect the industry and the overall electronics market—and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.