Anecdotal evidence continues to pile up that some manufacturers are "reshoring" -- bringing work back to North America. The story is becoming familiar. Companies say the advantages of bringing work back from places like China are the shorter supply chain, reduced lead time and stable pricing. With prices rising in China, and North American manufacturers becoming lean and more efficient, the cost difference that started the offshoring trend in the first place isn't as significant. In the past few days, Plastics News has covered Whirlpool Corp.'s KitchenAid brand is bringing production of its hand mixers back to the U.S. from China, and Readfield, Maine-based Saunders Manufacturing Co. Inc. relocating some plastics work from China to LC Industries in Jackson, Miss. In the KitchenAid story, staff reporter Rhoda Miel writes from the International Home + Housewares Show that the company is in the process of moving production now to Greenville, Ohio, which is already home to KitchenAid's larger stand mixers. That shift will mean new business for suppliers of the mixers injection molded parts, said Larry Simpson, global business development manager for KitchenAid Small Appliances. Among other parts, the mixers' bodies are injection molded plastic, some of them painted and some using a molded-in-color process. In the Saunders story, PN intern Brandi Shaffer writes that Saunders President and CEO John Rosmarin said the company is "committed to produce as many of our products as possible here in the U.S.A." The company started a "Made in USA" product line in 2008. And speaking of "Made in USA," here's a story for readers who want to jump into the trend with both feet. The story, "Made in the USA: Ann Arbor firm constructing homes with products made in America," reports on a Michigan company that's building homes using American-made goods. "Except for the granite countertop, the microwave oven and the recessed lighting, everything will be made in America, down to the nails," writes Janet Miller from AnnArbor.com. For all the consumers who claim they can't find American-made products, this should be an eye-opener.
Reshoring and 'buying American' -- Is it a trend yet?
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