Detroit, Shinola is ‘Made in USA’ success story

 

detroit-shinola

Detroit (AFP) – From the outside, there’s nothing much to say about this nondescript, hulking building in downtown Detroit, once the cradle of American industry.

But inside this former General Motors research lab, the fifth floor has been transformed into a state-of-the-art workshop producing watches and high-end bicycles.

Welcome to Shinola, a young American luxury lifestyle company breathing new life into the “Made in USA” label — a designation championed by President-elect Donald Trump.

The firm, which shares the building with a design school, has built an open factory space with wooden desks reminiscent of 1950s movie sets and high-tech machinery.

Watches, handbags, appointment books and other accessories carrying the “Made in Detroit” label are turned out here, while the bikes — made from parts designed in neighboring Wisconsin — and turntables, a new product, are assembled at the flagship store located nearby.

Dozens of employees work here — most of them African Americans, who make up the majority of residents in this blighted working-class city, forced into bankruptcy in 2013 under the weight of its massive debt.

Detroit suffered hugely from the decline of US manufacturing and especially the difficulties facing the “Big Three” — auto giants General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent in November, compared to the national average of 4.6 percent, according to official statistics.

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John Ratzenberger’s American Made TV Show Kicks off Campaign in FundAnything

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 21, 2013

John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger (best known for playing the mailman Cliff Clavin on Cheers) is launching a crowd source campaign today with FundAnything for his brand new television series, ‘John Ratzenberger’s American Made.’

A video release on the show and campaign is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zb1qd1oThk

“From the things we need, to the things we want, to the things we dream about— we’re going to show you the best of our country’s home grown products,” says Ratzenberger. “But more importantly, we’ll highlight the remarkable men and women who use their skills and ingenuity to create goods they can proudly call made in the USA.”

The show will also empower viewers with a direct and easy path on where to buy the products profiled. The series will be produced with RealityTVStar.com, which Ratzenberger co-founded.

“We chose to crowd fund the initial few episodes for strategic reasons,” said RealityTVStar.com CEO, Jeffrey Solomon. “Crowd funding is an excellent way to mobilize fans and promote our American made corporate partners before the show launches. It’s also an excellent way to allow the public to be a part of the show before its release on TV.”

Crowd funding has grown into an extremely successful method to fund creative projects without the bureaucracy of corporate mandates. Ratzenberger’s campaign will give donors a chance to be on the show; join John at a VIP events; receive products profiled, and many more opportunities only available to donors. He has already signed on 30+ American-made companies and industry groups.

Those interested in participating in John’s FundAnything campaign can visit http://www.Fundanything.com/americanmade for more details. Individuals can also see these companies/industry groups on the TV series Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/americanmadewithjohn.

Ratzenberger’s career includes 40 feature films and dozens of television shows including the highly successful ‘John Ratzenberger’s Made in America,’ which ran 5 seasons on the Travel Channel from 2004 to 2008. John is currently a regular on FX’s ‘Legit,’ and has recently appeared on Fox’s ‘Bones,’ CBS’s ‘CSI,’ Lifetime’s ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ and TNT’s ‘Franklin & Bash.’ He is also in production for the newest Pixar film ‘Inside Out.’

About Reality TV Star
RealityTVStar.com is a reality TV production company that uses technology to improve the process of developing, casting and producing reality TV shows. RealityTVStar.com offers fans the ability to upload “slice of life,” casting, and “home” video clips, for the chance to be discovered by the RealityTVStar.com team of producers.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11247624.htm

To learn more about Made in USA Certification please visit our website at: www.USA-C.com

Made in USA Certified

American Refining Group, Inc. is First Oil Refinery in the U.S.A. to Become Made in USA Certified®

Made in USA Certified® proudly grants Certification to American Refining Group, Inc. in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry more than 100 years ago.

american refining

BRADFORD, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 14, 2013

American Refining Group, Inc. has successfully completed the Made in USA Certified proprietary supply chain audit process and is the first oil refinery to be granted license to use the Made in USA Certified® Seal for the following products: Brad Penn® Lubricants, Kensol® Naphthas and Distillates and Kendex® Base Oils, Custom Blends, Waxes and Resins.

American Refining Group, Inc, a privately owned facility, is situated on approximately 131 acres in Bradford, Pennsylvania, McKean County and the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry over 100 years ago. The refinery has a rated capacity of 11,000 barrels/ day processing 100% Pennsylvania Grade Crude. This type of crude is available domestically and American Refining Group purchases the majority of their crude from sources in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and West Virginia. It is the oldest continuously operated lube oil refinery in the world. They strive to supply their customers with consistent quality products and flexibility in working together, delivering the highest quality service.

American Refining Group’s stocks are converted into high quality waxes, lubricant base oils, gasoline and fuels, as well as a wide variety of specialty products. American Refining Group’s state-of-the-art blending and packaging facilities have the capability of producing a full spectrum of finished lubricant products. These products are available in a broad range of package sizes including bulk and these products can be delivered either by rail and/or truck. Our total commitment to quality is proven through our packaging plant and refinery being ISO 9001:2008 certified and Made in USA Certified.

Director of Marketing for American Refining Group, Roy Sambuchino states, “We felt that it was important to become Made in USA Certified to be able to distinguish our products as being truly “Made in USA” which is a strong part of our heritage and something our customers value. The Made in USA Certified seal gives our consumers added assurance in their purchases.”

Made in USA Certified’s Co-Founder & President, Julie Reiser stated, “The Bradford refinery was founded in 1881 at the height of the domestic oil boom and is the oldest continuously operating lube oil refinery in the world. Oil refinement in the USA is a critical piece of our Nation’s past, present and future. We congratulate this historic company on their on-going innovation and the good paying jobs they create for hard working Americans in the Bradford, Pennsylvania region. We are proud to certify ARG’s select line of products.”

Made in USA Certified® is the only Registered “Made in USA Certified” Word Mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is the leading non-partisan, independent third party, certification company for the “Made in USA”, “Product of USA”, “Grown in USA” or “Service in USA” claims. The USA-C™ Seals show that a company bearing these trust marks has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit to verify compliance with our strict certification standards. Together, We Create Jobs in the USA!

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Dehumidifiers made in China recalled due to millions in fire damage

China Dehuidifiers Recalled

On September 12, 2013 – the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an immediate recall of twelve different brand name faulty dehumidifiers. ..

They have caused millions of dollars in fire damage.

The firms have received reports of 165 incidents, including 46 fires and $2.15 million in property damage. No injuries have been reported according to the CPSC.

These appliances were sold at AAFES, HH Gregg, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe’s, Menards, Mills Fleet Farm, Sam’s Club, Sears and other stores nationwide and in Canada, and online at Amazon.com and Ebay.com, from January 2005 through August 2013 for between $110 and $400.

“This recall involves 20, 25, 30, 40, 45, 50, 65 and 70-pint dehumidifiers with brand names Danby, De’Longhi, Fedders, Fellini, Frigidaire, Gree, Kenmore, Norpole, Premiere, Seabreeze, SoleusAir and SuperClima. Recalled model numbers and date codes are listed on the following web link.”

Recall information: Date: September 12, 2013Recall number: 13-28

Anyone owning any of these appliances is instructed to discontinue use immediately and return them for a refund. Under no circumstances should anyone leave any of these appliances around infants, the elderly, or when you are not at home.

For more information on these dangerous dehumidifiers check the official recall at CPSC.

Consumer Product Safety Commission is a government agency that is responsible for the safety of products made overseas or here in America. You may want to check their site often for the most recent update on hazardous recalls. You may also use this site to report any defective products you may have come across. Don’t just throw them away and/or just return them. Be a good neighbor and report any hazards in order to help save the lives and properties of others.

Reposted from the Examiner.com

To learn more about Made in USA Certification for your products please visit our website at: www.USA-C.com

Made in USA Certified

Is Apple Prepping a ‘Made in USA’ Boom?

It could hinge on whether it picks Intel to make more chips for it

Dec 4, 2012, 9:42 am EST  |  By Brad Moon, InvestorPlace Contributor

Two potentially huge Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) items hit the radar in quick succession over the past few days.

First came rumors that the company was in talks with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) to replace Samsung as the processor supplier for its mobile devices. Then, as the first shipments of Apple’s new iMac PCs arrived, reports rolled out that at least some of them bore an “Assembled in USA” sticker. CEO Tim Cook rose to prominence at Apple for moving production to China, but could the company be on the verge of a shift back to “Made in America?”

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If Intel manages to score the coup of becoming the chip supplier for Apple’s mobile devices, that would be a big story for both Intel and U.S. manufacturing. It was only weeks ago that Apple was supposedly in talks with Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC(NYSE:TSM) about the possibility of replacing Intel CPUs in its PCs with TSMC chips based on ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) architecture.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini (the guy who brought Apple into the Intel fold but failed to break into the mobile market) retires, and all of a sudden Apple and Intel appear to be making up for lost time. With most of Intel’s chip fabrication plants in the U.S. (including factories in Oregon, New Mexico and Arizona), domestic manufacturing would benefit tremendously. Apple sold 43 million iOS devices last quarter alone — that’s a lot of chips.

Then there’s the story of the “Assembled in USA” iMacs that’s burning up the tech sites right now. Some (but not all) of Apple’s latest iMacs have been arriving on doorsteps adorned with the usual “Designed by Apple in California” message. But instead of “Assembled in China,” they’re marked “Assembled in USA.”

The FTC has very specific rules about how to qualify for that label. To comply, Apple has to be doing much more than just screwing bases onto cases. A factory somewhere in the U.S. has to be building these things.

How could you justify assembling a computer in the U.S. if you can pay ridiculously low wages in China? First of all, those low wages aren’t as low as they used to be. According to The Atlantic,they’re five times what they were in 2000 and expected to continue rising at the rate of 18% per year. At the same time, U.S. labor productivity has risen, while U.S. manufacturing wages over the past five years are now back at the level they were in 2000, adjusted for inflation.

Earlier this year, The New York Times did the math and calculated that if Foxconn workers were paid equivalent U.S wages, it would add $65 to the cost of an iPhone. On a $649 device (the price of a base iPhone 4S at the time) with an estimated materials cost of $203, this would require Apple to either hike prices or bite the difference, cutting into its margins significantly.

However, an iMac is much more expensive. The cheapest is $1,299, so a potential uptick in labor costs may be less noticeable. And then there’s its size.

To get a sense of what it must cost Apple to ship one of these all the way from China, I tried an experiment using FedEx‘s (NYSE:FDXshipping calculator to compare the cost of shipping a 1.4-pound box (iPhone) and a 42-pound box (27-inch iMac) from Foxconn in Shenzhen to the FedEx hub in Memphis. The result: $448.732 vs. $2,620.72.

Obviously, Apple isn’t paying anything near the rate Joe Public would, and it also uses other shipping companies. But the point is clear.

Shipping an iMac costs six times what it costs to ship an iPhone. If a worker at Foxconn in China ismaking $2.50 an hour compared to an average U.S. manufacturing wage of $19.15 (a difference of $16.65), so long as an iMac took 3.5 hours or so of labor to assemble, Apple would be breaking even by shifting manufacturing back to the U.S. based on the savings in shipping costs.

That’s all hypothetical. But it shows how plausible it is that under current conditions, Apple might shift production of bigger products from China back home. Plus, Apple was facing limited supply of the new iMacs based on problems at Foxconn, so maybe it’s decided to take matters into its own hands. Perhaps a hit on margins is worth the insurance against a hit on revenue if Foxconn can’t keep up.

It doesn’t hurt that the iMac is a relatively low-volume product (compared to iPads and iPhones) and that Apple already has an assembly facility in Elk Grove, Calif., where it built iMacs until 2004 and once employed 1,500 workers. Apple continues to refurbish iMacs for resale at this site, so it retains some technical and distribution capability. As TechCrunch notes, employment at that facility has jumped 50% this year, suggesting something is up.

While it’s possible that Apple merely messed up on its iMac labeling or that Intel Inside iOS devices is wishful thinking on Intel’s part, it’s also possible that between the company’s flagship PC and its determination to free itself from all vestiges of bitter rival Samsung, Apple is shifting toward “Made in America.” If so, here are a few things to watch for:

  • Without a doubt, Intel shares would surge. The company has been largely shut out of mobile, and gaining Apple’s business — even if it does so under license from ARM — would immediately vault Intel into a market leader. If it inked a mobile deal with Apple, those rumors about Apple seeking to shift its iMacs and MacBooks away from Intel would likely go away as well.
  • Apple’s margins could well take a hit, and even a small decrease could spook investors. Still, computers make up less than a quarter of Apple’s total revenue (and iMacs are a small subset of that), so the actual bottom-line impact of assembling PCs in the U.S. would likely be minimal and may well be offset by “Made in America” goodwill among domestic consumers.
  • Shipping companies could actually take a hit from any loss of Apple business. During the iPad 3 launch, for example, it was reported that Apple’s massive shipments form China (at premium rates) boosted the price DHL charged customers for international shipments by 20%. A steady stream of Apple shipments come from China to the U.S., and the vast majority (if not all) is by air.

At the time of writing, Apple hadn’t officially commented on either the “Assembled in USA” iMacs or the Intel talks. Expect all eyes to be on Cupertino for Cook’s response to both. In the meantime, the search is already on for a way to identify the U.S.-assembled iMacs while still in the box, so that consumers can choose them — and send Apple the message that they prefer to buy American.

As of this writing, Brad Moon from http://www.investorplace.com didn’t own any securities mentioned here.

Made in USA Certified:  www.USA-C.com

What Does the Future Hold for American Manufacturing?

The state of US manufacturing is likely to become a major campaign issue - Getty Images

The state of US manufacturing is likely to become a major campaign issue - Getty Images

Written by: BBC North America editor, Mark Mardell 

Drew Greenblatt is an enthusiast: proud of his company, Marlin Steel, and proud of the factory floor packed with state-of-the-art equipment.

I watch, fascinated, as a little white robot squeezes out a wire, putting kinks and bends in it as it emerges.

Then it hands it over to a slightly larger yellow robot, which holds it steady for a twist in the end before turning it over for another twist at the other end.

Oddly, I find this cutting-edge equipment rather cute and cartoonish.

The question is whether this endearing duo are merely the remnants of America’s industrial past or the sort of equipment that will make the USA world-beaters once again.

The factory floor space at Marlin Steel is being doubled and there is no doubt the company is doing well, prospering even, during the bad years. Read more of this post

FDA Says Brazil’s Orange Juice Is Safe, But Still Illegal

 

Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images Oranges for sale at a market in Rio de Janeiro.

Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images Oranges for sale at a market in Rio de Janeiro.

NPR      by DAN CHARLES  February 22, 2012

If you happen to notice sometime later this year that you’re suddenly paying a lot more for orange juice, you can blame America’s food safety authorities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, after several weeks of deliberation, has blocked imports of frozen, concentrated orange juice from Brazil, probably for the next 18 months or so, even though the agency says the juice is perfectly safe.

The FDA’s explanation is that its hands are legally tied. Its tests show that practically all concentrated juice from Brazil currently contains traces of the fungicide carbendazim, first detected in December by Coca-Cola, maker of Minute Maid juices. The amounts are small — so small that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says no consumers should be concerned.

The problem is, carbendazim has not been used on oranges in the U.S. in recent years, and the legal permission to use it on that crop has lapsed. As a result, there’s not a legal “tolerance” for residues of this pesticide in orange products. Read more of this post

How to Save U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

By Howard Wial @CNNMoney February 23, 2012: 5:34 AM ET

Howard Wial is a fellow for the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.

At first glance, manufacturing jobs would appear to be a dying breed.

The United States lost 6 million manufacturing jobs between early 2001 and late 2009. And despite small gains during the last two years, the trend in manufacturing employment for the last 30 years has been downward.

That has led some to argue that long-term job loss in the industry is inevitable. But our research shows otherwise.

There are two common versions of the “inevitability” argument. One holds that U.S. manufacturing wages are too high to be internationally competitive. The other maintains that manufacturing job losses are the result of productivity growth. Both arguments are wrong. Read more of this post

How To Invest For Jobs Coming Back To U.S.

Brian Sozzi, Contributor   2/16/2012

The grand theme I want to put on the table is the concept of onshoring, sometimes called reshoring, which is the bringing back of U.S. jobs from overseas supply chains.

U.S. businesses have started to realize that while workers in far away lands garner miniscule wages compared to their U.S. counterparts, having operations outside of the country can be a strategic disadvantage.  The speed and structure in which information is consumed has caused U.S. consumers to demand top quality products and to want to buy them whenever they please.

Having a manufacturing plant domestically aids in the quicker movement of goods from design table to sales floor.  Furniture maker Ethan Allen is great example of a manufacturer producing most of its products in the U.S. and doing customization for clients, setting itself apart from price-point focused competitors.

Corporate managers are simply getting over their infatuation with cheap international labor and analyzing the total costs of doing business in the U.S. compared to say, China or India.

There is a dollop of icing on the cake here as well.  The topic of focusing on onshoring to boost employment levels seems to be an area of agreement between bickering Republicans and Democrats.  Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, for example, wants to zero out the U.S. corporate tax for manufacturers.

Anytime the major political parties agree on anything, even the slight thing, it’s cause to sit up and take notice from an investment standpoint.  The Donkeys and Elephants may be a little apart on how to precisely shepherd along the corporate onshoring interest, but at least they are talking the same language.  It’s high time they do find common ground if the following is to be reversed:

  • Manufacturing employment has fallen by approximately 37% since 1980.
  • According to a survey done by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, some 600,000 manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled due to a mismatch between job requirements and experience.

I have read a fair number of columns bantering about onshoring.  Is it overhyped?  Do we really need more jobs in the service sector U.S. economy?  The debates are almost endless.  Unfortunately, though, I have failed to stumble upon investment strategies to profit from onshoring, which has already begun to a certain extent, and could likely gain steam in the years ahead.

Buy-and-hold investors, this should be right in your wheelhouse: a highly probable future event to build positions around in companies with durable competitive advantages.

A few names that come to mind:

  • Waste Management: Owns 260 plus landfills and is the largest waste management business in the U.S.  More manufacturing production means more waste to be piled into the company’s green bins.
  • ADP: Benefits in two manners.  First, workers are hired to run new domestic manufacturing plants (hopefully by people that used the downturn to attain new technological skills).  Second, there should be a trickle down effect in the overall employment sector via a ramp in higher paying manufacturing jobs.
  • Dunkin Brands: “America Runs on Dunkin” as the brand’s slogan goes.  The company’s moat is not as wide as an ADP or Waste Management, but more U.S. manufacturers should mean more egg sandwiches (which Starbucks does not do superbly) and coffee.  Store penetration is increasing in areas of the country that are manufacturing oriented.

This Column Was 100% Made in America

A Hyundai ad that ran during Super Bowl coverage showed workers from the company's plant in Montgomery, Ala.

A Hyundai ad that ran during Super Bowl coverage showed workers from the company's plant in Montgomery, Ala.

By   Published: February 15, 2012

BLUE-COLLAR workers in fields like manufacturing — particularly when they make products on American soil — are again becoming a favorite subject for white-collar workers on Madison Avenue.

The trend was born of the economic worries that followed the financial crisis in 2008. Recently, it is gaining steam — appropriate, since the ads often use blasts of steam to signal something is being built — with proposals in Washington to offer incentives to encourage the location or relocation of factories in the United States.

“We continue to see very heavy emotional response to anything that would leverage against the bad economy,” said Robert Passikoff, president at Brand Keys, a brand and customer-loyalty consulting company in New York. Read more of this post

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