Reshoring is 'manufacturing moving to where it should be'

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: March 13, 2014 11:14 am ET
Updated: March 13, 2014 5:41 pm ET

Image By: The Gallery Studios Melanie Hart speaks at the Plastics News Executive Forum.

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Reshoring, United States, Plastics News Executive Forum

WESLEY CHAPEL, FLA. — As the top executive of the North American operations of a Japanese injection molder and auto supplier, Melanie Hart has a unique take on reshoring.

“What we’re seeing is manufacturing moving to where it should be,” Hart said Feb. 25 at the 2014 Plastics News Executive Forum in Wesley Chapel, near Tampa. “It’s going to where it can be successful and profitable.”

“A lot of times, the move [back to North America] is a correction of a bad decision,” added Hart, who serves as president and CEO of Bloomington, Ind.-based Tsuchiya North America. “We located in what we thought were great low-cost countries, but costs rose.”

Tsuchiya North America operates in the region as Tasus Corp., a unit of Nagoya, Japan-based Tsuchiya Co. Ltd. The parent firm has annual sales of $1.1 billion, selling primarily into the automotive market, with Toyota Motor Corp. as its largest customer.

In 2013, Tasus posted sales of $64 million and the company expects to register sales of $75 million in 2014. The firm employs 500 at plants in Indiana, Texas, Alabama and Ontario.

Further expansion in the U.S. is a possibility for Tasus, Hart said, because of the country’s growing population and increasing number of car buyers. Additional capacity also could be built by Tsuchiya in Asia, she added.

Reshoring activity is on a steep upswing in 2014, but Hart described it as “a short-term trend and correction, but not a trend for long-term growth.”

She also cited several conditions that Tasus looks at when deciding where to locate its facilities. These factors included closeness to market, political risk, energy costs and availability of skilled labor.

In the U.S., Hart said that Tasus “shops for a college town … they’re learning communities.” She also advised firms looking to reshore to “go where they’re coming after you … if they don’t, the state next door will.”

Tasus received substantial benefits last year when it built its plant in Florence, Ala. The state of Alabama covered the cost of the land, much of the construction of the 104,000-square-foot facility and additional tax abatements covering the business for 10 years. Northwest Muscle Shoals Community College also stepped up to help fill the training gap, creating an 18-month injection molding program, installing an injection molding machine and robotics.

The plant, which opened in October, initially is focusing on injection molding lighting components for North American Lighting Inc., which has expanded its own production in neighboring Muscle Shoals, Ala. Tasus has a standard development model for all of its production plants — build an initial facility of about 100,000 square feet with space for a 50,000-square-foot expansion — then grow to house 30-35 presses with clamping forces of 150-1,450 tons.

But Hart pointed out that the U.S. “needs to turn around” a situation that has seen the U.S. fall to 7th globally in terms of R&D spending as a percentage of GDP. At 30 percent, the U.S. now trails Korea, Japan and Switzerland in that measurement.

“For a valued good, it’s all about hiring more heads than hands, she said.


Comments

Reshoring is 'manufacturing moving to where it should be'

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: March 13, 2014 11:14 am ET
Updated: March 13, 2014 5:41 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Genova Plastics to spend $4.9 million on new Kentucky plant

October 1, 2014 4:35 pm ET

Vinyl plumbing and building materials maker Genova Plastics of Davison, Mich., will invest $4.9 million to renovate a factory in Paducah, Ky., as...    More

Image

Global Plastics Summit puts PE prices in the spotlight

October 1, 2014 3:17 pm ET

Product manufacturers may start to shift away from polyethylene because of high prices, according to two major plastics processors.    More

Image

US production of premium golf balls gives Bridgestone an edge

October 1, 2014 1:12 pm ET

Bridgestone Golf Inc.'s recent decision to produce all of its premium golf balls at its Covington, Ga., facility makes for not just a good...    More

Image

Dow loses appeal in price fixing case

October 1, 2014 11:10 am ET

The Reuters press agency reports that a federal appeals court in Denver has rejected Dow Chemical Co.'s attempt to overturn a $1.06 billion fine...    More

Image

German auto supplier Benecke-Kaliko to build second plant in China

October 1, 2014 10:24 am ET

German auto supplier Benecke-Kaliko AG is set to build its second Chinese facility, in Changzhou, to produce surface materials for automotive interior...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

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

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events