Custom injection molder Wright Engineered Plastics Inc. of Santa Rosa, Calif., is adding business due to a customer returning some work from China to the United States.
CP Lab Safety of Novato, Calif., relocated work after manufacturing goods in Dongguan, China, for more than seven years. Recently, the firm placed a domestic order with Wright for 20,000 plastic parts. There are lots of plastic parts in each unit, said Barbara Roberts, Wright's president and chief executive officer.
Increases in the cost of materials, production, transportation and oversight prompted the business decision, said Kelly Farhangi, president and CEO of California Pacific Laboratory Inc., dba CP Lab Safety.
Seven years ago, the cost of manufacturing in the U.S. was much more than today, Farhangi said. Now, she said, the prices in the U.S. and China are comparable and, as a result, CP Lab moved its tools from China to the U.S. and began manufacturing at Wright's Santa Rosa site during the week of April 12, she said.
CP Lab said it will continue manufacturing its tools in China.
At a time when the U.S. is losing manufacturing jobs at a breakneck pace, it's heartening to see companies such as CP Lab return operations to the United States, Roberts said. Manufacturing at home cannot only save businesses money, but it can strengthen local economies.
CP Lab has a line of more than 80 products, many molded of high density polyethylene, Farhangi said. The firm's patented and trademarked lead product a safety ecological funnel assists in laboratory collection of hazardous liquid waste and can eliminate the dangers of ignited vapors and chemical spills.
Roberts said in the past three or four months, Wright has quoted work in global competitions and won jobs, evidence of companies bringing work to the United States.
A recent success for the firm involves molding work for publicly traded JDS Uniphase Corp., a Milpitas, Calif.-based global supplier of communications test and measurement devices and optical products for telecommunications providers, cable television operators and network equipment manufacturers.
Wright employs 48 and operates 16 injection molding presses, with clamping forces of 30-385 tons, at its 20,000-square-foot plant in Santa Rosa.
CP Lab, founded in 1996, employs four. The business supplies pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, universities and government laboratories. CP Lab Safety, formerly California Pacific Lab Safety, adopted its current business name in early 2008.
The company manufactured its products in California from 1996-2002, with Wright doing some of the firm's prototype work during that period.