Well, just to let you guys know, I have been made aware of a very
unfortunate piece of information. Paslode has decided to have their
major internal components for the cordless nail gun group, to be
manufactured and machined in China. This may not sound like much, but
this amounts to 95 % of the internal workings of the gun. This will
include all framers as well as trimmers. This will more than likely
lead to more failures in the field, and God knows when we pay as much
for these tools as we do, we expect them to work ! Oh well, another
quality tool down the crapper !!!
If you think made in China means poor quality, you are sadly mistaken. The
reason more is going to China is because the Chinese are willing to build
the products for the what they are really worth. There really is no reason
in the world that a nail gun should cost $300, other than to pay a high
salary. I have to say, high union labor is running more jobs off to over
seas manufacturers. It aint rocket science to build a nail gun and yet the
workers here think that they should be paid rocket science wages.
Well, let's see. What do those hands do when the parts don't arrive? What
do they do when the finished product is standing in a pile at the end of
the assembly line? What do they do when one of the machines on the line
goes down? Which one of them sends out the bills to the customers?
Sorry, the Russians thought it was that simple and shot all the managers.
They still haven't recovered.
While there's a kernel of truth in the argument that some union labor
may be overpriced, there's the problem that in the other country 10% of
the wage here is sufficient to live quite well, whereas here it wouldn't
be sufficient even if the individual economized to the extreme...
So, as in any <real> issue, the problems are much more complex than such
simplistic descriptions or solutions...
One area that has not been discussed is the wholesale piracy of intellectual
property by the Chinese - this ranges from hi-tech to low tech. When you do
not have to do R&D to develop an item your production cost is lower. . .
Also there was an article in Business Week a couple of months ago about
counterfeit products - it was scary as counterfeits may not be made to the
same spec and could cause injury or loss of life.
Products made in China can be high quality but my experience is that is
generally not the rule - I do have a Canon copier made in China that is of
the same quality of one made in Japan.
I was surprised recent on a visit to Lowes to see an Ingersol-Rand ratchet
(made in China) sitting next to a Campbell Hausfield (made in Taiwan). The
IR was about 2.5X the price of the CH and appeared to be of equal quality -
what seems to be happening is that many companies are going to China and the
execs apologize for losing local jobs as they line their own pockets. . .
I got back from a visit to China over the Christams holidays and saw a
couple things that speak to the comments below.
As to the cost of living - yep, you can live cheap in China. There were
about 15 of us at 2 tables in a VERY GOOD restaurant in Guanzhou. All
together over 20 dishes and when we were finished there was a good deal of
food left over. Cost? - less that $100.00. Also in Guanzhou saw some USB
key chain storage units. 128 MB for about $12.00.
You can retire in relative comfort for about $200/month there although you
will be giving up a few things that most probably see as essential here.
At the same time while crossing a bridge to head home, saw maybe a dozen
people selling pirated software. Most was of music and groups I never heard
Like quality health care, democracy, freedom of speech, etc. Can't wait
to see how fast Bush starts to force retirees to move to China to make
their SOcial Security checks go further - wait until you live next to a
chicken slaughter house and come down with SARS.
Exactly correct. But lets not limit our thinking and bias towards
Why does American management think they are "better" than their Chinese
counterparts and therefore should not be outsourced along with the
I suspect its a simple answer of: Well, but ah....because I'm management
and without me running the show here in the US the whole company might as
well be in China.......oh ah, wait a minute.... I ah meant to say....
You should be leading by example. The average Chinese worker makes about 18
cents an hour. If you're charging more than 20 cents, you are part of the
problem. I said $6.00 because that is about average minimum wage (try to
live on it).
Evidently, you have very little experience with Chinese-made tools - or else
you have *no* experience with anything *else* to provide a basis for
What a load of utter nonsense. The reason more production is going to China is
that more and more manufacturers are trying to get their products made at the
lowest possible cost without regard for quality. The cost of doing business in
China is very low for at least two reasons: 1) very low cost of labor - and
for a good reason, I might add - and 2) little or no environmental regulation.
More nonsense. It pays for *skilled* labor. It pays for high-quality steel.
(How many times have you twisted the head off of a Chinese-made screw?) It
pays for a clean environment. (Of course it costs less to manufacture products
in a country that allows the factory to just dump whatever crap they want to,
wherever they want to, than in a country that requires factories to keep their
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
I agree about the lower cost due to lack of regulation and cheaper labor.
While a lot of stuff coming from China is crap, they are also very capable
of turning out high quality goods also. We use some products made in Korea
and China that are superior than what we can get in the US. The days of
making generalizations that China = crap are pretty much gone.
Right now a cargo plane from Korea is bringing in some tooling we ordered.
(better quality at half the price in a third the time) One of the US
companies we requested information from has not even provided a quote yet.
One day they will be out of business and blame others for their plight.
Exactly. Now that our country has used most of its cheap natural resources
it has to compete with the rest of the world. Blaming others countries for
doing a job at a reasonable price is not going to fix our problems. Or we
could tax the living day lights out of imported products like imported cars.
I learned that the 90 Acura that my wife and I bought in 1989 would have
been 30% cheaper with out the import tax added.
Among my travels I have visited every province in China, and speak Mandarin
and Cantonese. I had started to think I was the only one who recognized
that China produces low end AND high end products. The product specs define
what components are used, and a skilled worker in a Chinese production
facility is almost certainly a more skilled and experienced worker than the
counterpart in a U.S. plant, but probably also better educated, as well.
You only have to go into some of the U.S. factories -- especially in the SE
U.S., to realize how little education or work ethic "our" workers have.
Side thoughts -- (a) if Chinese tools are so bad, how is it that Chinese
wood products -- especially wood carved products -- or of such exceptional
(b) Perhaps it's a lack of government (e.g., OSHA) interference. The
Heritage Foundation a few years ago found that in terms of economic freedom,
a Chinese special administration area placed first (MOST free!) in the
world. Singapore was second. The U.S. placed fourth.
(c) Did you know that the Chinese refrigerator producer, Haier -- a
world-class producer -- has a plant in South Carolina so that it can better
handle the U.S. market? Are Haier refrigerators now a U.S. or a Chinese
(d) The problem is multi-faceted -- an under-educated U.S. workforce which
lacks a world-class work ethic, an education system that produces these
unmotivated and unready graduates, a standard of management that does not
motivate or make up the shortfalls of the educational system, and a
political system that can't (or won't) address these problems.
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