Speaker: Reshoring is happening, and it will accelerate

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: March 13, 2014 11:37 am ET
Updated: March 13, 2014 5:41 pm ET

Image By: The Gallery Studios Mike Zacharias of Extreme Tooling has seen business grow with an international model.

Related to this story

Topics Reshoring, China, United States, Injection molds, Molds/Tooling, Plastics News Executive Forum

WESLEY CHAPEL, FLA. — Mike Zacharias is a U.S. manufacturing supporter, a journeyman toolmaker. But he ran into a dilemma when his company, Extreme Tooling & Engineering Inc., exhibited at the MD&M trade show in 2007.

Half the people who stopped by Extreme Tooling’s booth asked if Extreme could source molds made in China.

“They assumed the USA was too expensive,” he said.

And when Zacharias said he did not, they walked away.

So Zacharias began researching China, looking for a partner that could make high-quality molds. In 2008, he helped start an American-Chinese joint venture in China, Cosmos Tooling Solution Ltd., where he is president.

“We felt we needed to have identical manufacturing systems,” he said. The idea was to create a “one-stop shop” for customers.

Zacharias gave his blue-collar, yet internationalist, outlook in a presentation at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Wesley Chapel.

A big topic at the forum was reshoring — companies moving production from China back to the United States. Zacharias said it is really happening, and will accelerate.

“A lot more clients are looking at the total landed cost. They’re much more educated,” he said. “The cost of quality has become a much bigger component of the decision process as it has historically.”

But Zacharias said his experience in both countries goes against the common belief that manufacturing in China could hurt U.S. factories. He said business has grown 42 percent since 2008 at Extreme Tooling, based in Wakefield, Mich., in the state’s Upper Peninsula.

At the same time, reshoring will not hurt China, as domestic consumption grows there, he said.

“Who is reshoring bad for? My opinion is nobody. It’s not bad for anybody,” he said. And it’s good for America. “As a third-generation toolmaker/machinist, I’m damn proud of that.”

In China, Cosmos moved last year from the coastal manufacturing city of Dongguan, 120 miles north to the smaller city of Shaoguan, an area with a more-stable workforce.

“Our plan is to grow our domestic client base and build more in China for China,” Zacharias said.

And Zacharias said U.S. toolmakers that survived the onslaught of molds from China — which he described as a level of threat the industry will never face again — are stronger that before. They should be proud.

It’s a big turnaround, Zacharias said.

“If someone would have asked us five years ago that things would be better today than in days past, I would’ve said no freakin’ way,” he said.


Comments

Speaker: Reshoring is happening, and it will accelerate

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: March 13, 2014 11:37 am ET
Updated: March 13, 2014 5:41 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

New medical firm buys Clairson Plastics

September 19, 2014 4:33 pm ET

Custom injection molder Clairson Plastics is being sold to a new start-up that plans to dive into the medical market with a new dialyzer, a key...    More

Image

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Plasan investing in capacity, jobs to supply auto market with carbon fiber

September 19, 2014 3:05 pm ET

Growth in the emerging automotive market for carbon-fiber composites has spurred a $29 million investment in a Walker, Mich., factory    More

Image

Hong Kong's TK eyes expansion, may buy Nypro Tool operation

September 19, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Hong Kong-based mold maker and plastics processor TK Group (Holdings) Ltd. said it's reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in...    More

Exo-s buys injection and blow molder in Mexico, expands footprint

September 19, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Custom molder Exo-s Inc. has bought an injection and blow molding operation in San Juan del Rio, Querétaro, Mexico.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events