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29886823
Premium
join:2005-03-29
kudos:3

[FYI] Not Made Here

For more years than I can remember I always wondered why there were no American manufacturers of high quality photographic equipment and cameras. I can remember Kodak's relationship with the German camera industry (Kodak Retina) but not much more.
Today in the NY Times I read an article about Apple Computers (»www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/busin···html?hpw, which points out the ways in which an American Company is essentially foreign-based, at least on the manufacturing end.
I'm interested in what you think are the reasons for this development in electronics and cameras, and whether or not you believe that we will ever get this manufacturing capability back, or have we advanced so far into what some people call crony-capitalism that it will never happen. I suspect that the 'bottom line' mentality may not really be all that American, after all.

Kearnstd
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quote:
A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”
that from the article states why a US factory could never do that, first off there is no company dorms in the US. Second there are more labor laws in the US odds are Unless it was listed as part of their contract that they are on call they could not just be called in.

And considering the suicide risk or follow through rate at factories in China.. it is safe to say the work load requirements could never happen in a western nation.

The working conditions that make many of our favorite electronics devices are the same conditions that caused the whole spread of Unions in industrial America during its factory growth decades.

Companies like Apple would have to accept smaller profit margins to operate factories in the US. Interesting thing is many electronic devices are still designed in the US and many of the chips are assembled here.. then packed into containers and the devices assembled in China and shipped back.


Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
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said by Kearnstd:

quote:
A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”
c devices are still designed in the US and many of the chips are assembled here.. then packed into containers and the devices assembled in China and shipped back.

10,000 iPhones / 8,000 workers = 1.25 phones per worker, per 12 hour shift. Something's funny with this story.


jvmorris
I Am The Man Who Was Not There.
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said by Jodokast96:

. . .
10,000 iPhones / 8,000 workers = 1.25 phones per worker, per 12 hour shift. Something's funny with this story.

Maybe that's related to the amount of time required to install a battery in an iPhone?
--
Regards,
Joseph V. Morris


29886823
Premium
join:2005-03-29
kudos:3
reply to Jodokast96
Looking around the web I found that the number of IPhones a day was somewhere around 150,000 a day last quarter (»www.idevicenews.org/foxconn-fact···/223275/). I suspect that the smaller number represents startup numbers.
I can remember when the Leica M3 was everyone's dream, and I just realized that it was the Steve Jobs' object of the camera world, with the same precision look and operation. While that was happening America was producing the Kodak 35, the Medalist, the Argus C3 and the Mercury, to name a few. Somehow early on the high-end camera business was ceded to the overseas world, while our manufacturers stayed with film.


jaykaykay
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reply to 29886823
"Crony-capitalism"? Perhaps, but to me it's more like "global capitalism", and for that reason, I don't think we'll ever see manufacturers return here in any big way. While it saddens me, and I am of the age that feels really decent manufactured goods will never be made again, it is what it is. We have, for the most part, priced ourselves out of manufacturing cameras etc. Were I to see 'Made in America' touted on cameras and other such technical items, I would be thrilled but, much to my dismay, very skeptical as to how it was really made...where the actual parts came from.
--
JKK

Age is a very high price to pay for my maturity. If I can't stay young, I can at least stay immature!

»www.pbase.com/jaykaykay


bgraham

join:2001-03-15
Smithtown, NY

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Sadly corporate profit is more important than employing people, especially in manufacturing.

Didn't the US invent the PC (IBM), the cell phone (Motorola) and the digital camera (Kodak) and we gave it all away.

I hear some tech companies are moving their R and D overseas to save a few dollars.


HFB1217
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reply to 29886823
It started with products made in Japan. Then when Japan elevated its workers in status and income manufacturing was exported to Korea and then the Koreans reached economic parity with Japan and the rest of the world they shipped their production to Vietnam.

Now China is the cheapest manufacturing place with slave camps where prisoners do manufacturing and you have factory camps.

In some cases the price and quality has come full circle and most imported cars now have factories here.

Then eventually there will be no real cheap labor and low priced countries left and the markets will balance out again.

Then quality and innovation will be the only driving forces again.

So we have to educate our Children to have that razor edge of inspiration and ingenuity so we will be equipped to stand up and take our place in a true economic society.
--
*****aka The WIZARD *****A Founding member of Seti BBR Team Starfire***


ryzst
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reply to 29886823
Call me a romantic, but I don't think it's all down to just cheap labor. The Chinese will steal anything that isn't nailed down and if they could, they'd steal the nails too. So there's virtually no investment in R&D which can be a huge financial drain before anything comes off the assembly line. All they have to do is make a 'good enough' copy and they're off and running. Flood the market with cheap imitations and the original creator goes broke. It's the same strategy Japan used to destroy America's domestic television manufacturing industry in the 1960's. Once we were the best in the dog eat dog world of consumer products, but we failed to notice or take action against the thieves who were robbing us blind. Now it's too late.
--
There are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. ~ W.S.


JRSlater
What's that smell? Oh, it's you.
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Out There

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reply to 29886823
I think there is a combination of things that deter someone from creating an American based photographic system. The most important is that with foriegn companies so far ahead in research and developement, starting something now would be cost prohibitive. Add to that cost the training and education of the workforce required to manufacture high quality photographic equipment, then add the actual labor cost, start up funds, building costs and everything related to that and it's a no brainer. We will never see a company build a photographic system in America, even if one of the existing companies were to move a plant to the US. It's a shame because I think Americans would make a better quality device if they were just given a chance. I could be a bit biased on this opinion though.

Edit: also, I think the consumer plays a major role in why this won't happen either. As consumers I doubt we would be willing to spend the money it would take to purchase a US made product. That in part has why we have the issue we have now. Everyone wants something for cheap.

--
»www.jrslaterphotography.com/


SandShark
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said by JRSlater:

Everyone wants something for cheap.

Bingo!

Here's a great article on that very subject.


Coma
Thanks Steve
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NirvanaLand
reply to JRSlater
said by JRSlater:

Everyone wants something for cheap.


. . . most people don't realize that You Get What You Pay For.

--
Live from NirvanaLand™


howardfine

join:2002-08-09
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reply to JRSlater
said by JRSlater:

I think there is a combination of things that deter someone from creating an American based photographic system.

We will never see a company build a photographic system in America

Were there ever such things in America? All I ever recall from my photography days were Japanese and German made cameras and development gear.


tmpchaos
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I've always thought it was a question of optics. Outside of Bausch & Lomb, I can't think of a US manufacturer of quality optics.
--
***ATMFAQ***DIFAQ***Kitchen Sink***


29886823
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join:2005-03-29
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For a nice historical look: »www.nwmangum.com/Kodak/Rochester.html.


JRSlater
What's that smell? Oh, it's you.
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Out There
reply to tmpchaos
said by tmpchaos:

I've always thought it was a question of optics. Outside of Bausch & Lomb, I can't think of a US manufacturer of quality optics.

said by howardfine:

Were there ever such things in America? All I ever recall from my photography days were Japanese and German made cameras and development gear.

You are quite correct, didn't mean to imply there ever were any here.
--
»www.jrslaterphotography.com/


29886823
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I remember Kodak as a lens manufacturer (Ektar) and a series of lenses made by Wollensak, both after WWII, and Kodak before as well.


tmpchaos
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Neither of which had reputations as 'quality' optics. Adequate, perhaps, to begin with, but not better than that.


29886823
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HFB1217
The Wizard
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reply to tmpchaos
said by tmpchaos:

Neither of which had reputations as 'quality' optics. Adequate, perhaps, to begin with, but not better than that.

True and remember that our saving grace was we were not decimated by the war so we aimed our production to volume because we had the manufacturing base.
While other countries did not have that production ability so to have a product they would be able to produce and sell they went for the smaller and higher priced market of ultra high quality items. Their target was a smaller market with a very high capital return.

We are the product of management's short sighted and bottom line attitude. Capital reinvestment was not done. We no longer looked past the immediate return as well as the greed of the short sale take over liquidation of many industrial Companies for a quick profit.
--
*****aka The WIZARD *****A Founding member of Seti BBR Team Starfire***


jvmorris
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reply to Coma
said by Coma:

said by JRSlater:

Everyone wants something for cheap.


. . . most people don't realize that You Get What You Pay For.

There's a lot of truth in the flipside of that saying, also . . . Eventually, you pay for what you get.

I think that was the original of the old saw that "You can pay me now or you can pay me later."

At the moment, we seem to have opted for paying the bill later.
--
Regards,
Joseph V. Morris


29886823
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reply to 29886823
For the followup article re Apple: »www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/busin···.html?hp.


HFB1217
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A very interesting and informative article. I have seen or read about these practices before but never in such detail. These companies and it seems predominately Apple should be ashamed of their acceptance of the nothing but SLAVERY policies.

It seems consumer brand loyalty tolerates CRIMES against Humanity. Just think what could be done with a day or one week of Boycotting Apple's products. I mean Apple's customer base and market share is aimed at the most progressive, technically proficient and Educated Liberal portion of society.

So where is their outrage and moral compass is it broken or does it just apply to themselves?

SOAP BOX MODE OFF!
--
*****aka The WIZARD *****A Founding member of Seti BBR Team Starfire***


Exit
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join:2001-04-10
Canada

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reply to 29886823
The way the world works now there's no way you'll get manufacturing like this back to your country. Most people these days are consumer whores and want to amass the greatest amount of things for the least amount of money. Products like we're talking about would cost a great deal more if they were made in a country with fair wages and decent labour laws.

Now there is the is a vicious circle. We want cheap products so we ship jobs to places with low wages. Then people loose jobs here and demand them back, but who is willing to pay more for the same product just to get joe blow his job back? I think it's safe to say no person out there really wants to work in a factory and most people have higher goals in life career wise. Which means that factory job that left Detroit will stay in Asia somewhere, and Joe Blow will either live on the streets or elevate him/herself to a new career.


29886823
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