ECONOMIES OF SCALE
Once upon a time, the key to maintaining a competitive edge as a manufacturer rested almost solely on ensuring economies of scale; the faster and more cheaply you were able to produce, the better.
Sure, you hoped at the end you would have quality products that worked as planned but the majority of your time was spent figuring out how to reduce costs by doing more and doing it faster. Offshoring production to countries with low wages and high capacity became increasingly attractive for product developers. The pitfalls that were often associated with offshore production (faulty products, miscommunication, high travel costs and long delivery times, not to mention the risk of having your product designs illegally copied) were simply an unpleasant but unavoidable part of the deal.
AUTOMATION FOR FAST, EFFICIENT MANUFACTURING
Fast forward to today’s thriving manufacturing industry and you’ll see things have changed in a big way. Economies of scale still matter, of course, and the higher the volume, the lower the part cost still stands. But the way manufacturers in the U.S. are meeting those challenges have come a long way That’s because many manufacturers in the U.S. are adding automation to their arsenal, providing the opportunity to focus more sharply on efficient, quality manufacturing that uses less resources on the whole.
That’s a major shift, and one worth paying some attention to since it also means that not only are manufacturing companies automating aspects (or even whole sections!) of manufacturing production, they are also looking to their design and engineering resources to help design innovative products that are a good match for automation. Here at KASO, our experienced engineers are available to all of our customers to review and consult on designs to help prepare for low-cost automated manufacturing, and are on hand to respond quickly to any design changes in the future.
Adding to the fuel of the automated revolution, other maturing technologies like 3D printing are also making it easier than ever to produce lower-volume products economically and quickly using additive manufacturing processes. Product designs and new iterations can quickly and easily be tested by implementing 3D prototypes prior to investing in the upfront costs of automation, guaranteeing both time and money are used efficiently. By combining these new technologies with improvements in automation technologies, U.S. manufacturing is finding competitive advantage over offshore production.
By shifting the focus away from a reliance on cheap labor, U.S. manufacturing companies like KASO are proving we will remain competitive in today’s global market. That’s because we are bringing new and innovative products to market daily, providing a host of opportunities for lower volume production while simultaneously offering improved product quality, better project control, and faster delivery all at cost parity with offshore production for high volume economies of scale.
Have questions about manufacturing automation at KASO? Contact KASO today to speak with one of our knowledgeable project managers.