by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

[In the News] Reshoring and Supply Chain Best Practices

With the commitment to reshoring increasing more and more, buyers have much to consider when evaluating supply chain strategies. Some of the factors buyers weigh include:

  • Labor costs
  • Supply chain effects (dependence on offshore raw components)
  • Logistics and shipping costs
  • Inventory management

Often there are trade-offs to consider and final decisions depend on what provides for the best operational advantages. Whether offshore, nearshore or American made, supply chain management plays a key role in end decisions. What might be suitable for one manufacturer may not be for another. Evaluating all the pieces of the puzzle can be challenging for procurement teams. Often the factors being evaluated are moving targets – demand can ebb and flow and wages and shipping costs change.

Based in the heart of the Midwest, Genesis Plastics Welding welcomes OEMs looking to reshore their manufacturing. For many buyers sourcing domestically can simplify the supply chain and remedy pain points for their procurement teams. A recent article on EPS discusses the various factors and strategies that come into play when contemplating reshoring.

Although the trend toward offshoring is believed to be driven by one factor-labor costs-there are dozens of other factors that impact the effectiveness of an offshore manufacturing strategy. One, of course, is the location of the end-customer. Another is the location of suppliers. Recent research suggests that efforts toward reshoring – i.e., bringing manufacturing back to the Americas – may be hampered by the industry’s supply base.

Much of the debate around reshoring has focused on labor costs which, in many parts of the Americas, remain higher than offshore. Although wages in the Far East, particularly China, are beginning to increase, many companies find paying domestic workers still too expensive. Several experts in the electronics industry have long maintained that in electronics manufacturing labor costs are not the biggest factor in site location, but offshoring has nevertheless become the norm.

Onshore manufacturers’ dependence on offshore suppliers may be hampering reshoring efforts, according to the research paper Reshoring Manufacturing: Supply Availability, Demand Updating, and Inventory Pooling. One of the conclusions: using offshore suppliers means that onshoring is less cost-effective than it could be. “The reality faced by many offshoring manufacturers contemplating reshoring [is]: as they extensively sourced from local (offshore) suppliers, onshore supply bases have gradually withered,” the report said. “The limited onshore supply availability may force them to continue sourcing from offshore suppliers even if they reshore manufacturing.” Manufacturers not only have to consider shipping costs, researchers said, but inventory management practices. Relying on offshore suppliers makes it more challenging to procure components in response to demand changes, for instance. It could be viable to take open-source inventory management software such as this provided by ServiceMax and rewrite some code to allow for supply procurement depending on the demand for said supplies but would this be more effort than trying to reshore manufacturing and supply.

Read the entire article here.

Do you have a product or product line you’d like to discuss bringing back stateside for manufacturing? Genesis team member Brad Spencer is happy to discuss options. Click the image below to reach out today.

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by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

[Manufacturing Facts] Manufacturing’s Underestimated Economic Value

Official U.S. statistics state that manufacturing’s portion of the GDP is about 11 percent and that the total requirement manufacturing multiplier is around 1.4. However, new research by MAPI Foundation Chief Economist Dan Meckstroth shows that those traditional figures grossly understate manufacturing’s economic impact. Read more.

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by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Happy National Engineers Week to the Champions of Our Customers’ Success

For many of us February brings to mind Presidents’ Day, Valentine’s Day and sometimes Leap Day, but did you know it also contains National Engineers Week (Feb. 21-27)? The celebration kicked off on Sunday. George Washington, through his surveying work is often referred to as our nation’s first engineer – so what better month to have a celebration of engineers!

Genesis Plastics Welding’s manufacturing and product development engineers are some of the best around and pride themselves on the solutions they are able to create to take our customers’ ideas from drawing board to prototype to market quickly and cost effectively.

We agree that they deserve a whole week dedicated to them! We’re excited to toast their collaborative efforts this week and who knows, maybe there might be a slice of their favorite ice cream cake involved too. We’re pretty sure being champions of our customers’ success equals some sort of decadent celebratory sweet treat.

Go ahead hug an engineer this week and tell them you appreciate all they do!
genesis-plastics-welding-rd-sales-sheet_medWant to learn more about how our engineers help clients validate and bring their products to market quickly in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible?Download our Research and Design Services resource with a great visual on the Genesis R&D process.

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

Leap Day Fun: What’s a Busy Contract Manufacturer to do with 24 Extra Hours?

genesis-plastics-welding-leap-dayEvery four years we get the fabulous bonus of an extra day. Sit back and think about that for a minute! A whole 24 hours of extra time. When most of our days are so busy, extra time is a breath of fresh air.

Our friends at THOMASNET recently published a fun blog on the power of leap day and we couldn’t agree more with their instructions to “do something you normally don’t have time for.”

Check out these 24 ideas for how manufacturers can make the most out of 24 extra hours:

1. Update your website with new product offerings. Give the people what they want.

2. Run down the list of products you need to get. From spares to customizable parts, there is no use putting it off. (Our Operations Manager Dale Wagner is giddy about this one.)

3. Find out if your smart devices are working at full potential. Utilize the Internet of Things for all it’s worth.

4. Take a look at your process and see if anything can be automated. Spoiler — Plenty of things can be automated.

5. Write a new blog. (Oh this one makes our marketing team giddy.)

6. Figure out how green your business is. Unless you like these record warm months.

7. Review budgets for the year. Is there an opportunity to replace some old machinery or invest in something new? (Or you can skip this one and eat cake. Cake sounds way better than budget reviews.)

8. Outsourcing some of your work? Leap year is as good a day as any to look into the benefits of reshoring.

9. Brush up on some lean manufacturing and six sigma practices. Everyone can improve, right?

10. Gather your team for a team building activity. It’s a great way for everyone to reconnect and catch up.

11. Update your social media. Share something on LinkedIn.

12. Look at some resumes to increase your workforce. Graduation is just around the corner for the next addition to the workforce.

13. Research a local STEM program you can support. Nurture some industry love.

14. How is the economy affecting your resources and business? If you don’t know the answer to this question, go find out.

15. Participate in #DayItForward. Everyone can use a random act of kindness.

16. Investigate some of your competitors. You should know who you’re standing up against.

17. And while you’re investigating, find some new competitors. Are there any industries you’ve been considering breaking into?

18. Tackle those RFQs. You and I both know they need to be addressed.

19. Review safety protocol for your shop floor. You can never be too careful.

20. Run diagnostics on your machines. Just to know that everything is operating as it should.

21. Commit to an industry event and network with others in your wheelhouse.

22. Is everyone on your team properly trained for every aspect of their job? We’ll say yes, but you know what you have to do.

23. Look into what it would take to get a new quality certification.

24. Make sure potential customers are finding you.

The day is wide open with opportunity! Which will you tackle first?

by Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team Genesis Plastics Welding Marketing Team

The Language of Plastics Welding

What comes to mind when you hear plastics welding? Might it be a masked welder with a hot torch? For those not familiar with the art of radio frequency (RF) welding that may be the exact image that comes to mind. Yes, plastics welding involves heat but not in the same manner as metal welding. To dive deeper into the process of plastics welding visit our recent blog Radio Frequency (RF) Welding 101, where we explain each step in the welding process and discuss why manufacturing with RF welding is a great option for many industries looking into getting a plastic welder on site.

Today let’s unwrap the terminology around plastics welding. By better understanding some of the terms associated with the process, those exploring plastics welding as a supply chain solution can be better equipped to make impactful decisions.

Radio Frequency (RF Waves): High frequency electromagnetic energy (usually 27.12 MHz) similar to a microwave but heating plastic instead of warming up leftovers.

RF Heat Sealing: High frequency power applied to two or more layers of thermoplastic material to create a seal or bond in the shape of a die.

Bipolar Molecules or Dipoles: Molecules with one end positively charged with respect to the other end.

Polar Plastics: Plastic material that have molecules with one end positive and the other end negative. In other words, polar plastic material contain a dipole molecules and two atoms are oppositely charge creating a net difference of charge in the bond.

Non-Polar Plastics: Plastic material with molecules that do not have one end positive and the other end negative. In other words, non-polar plastics do not have enough difference in net charge to react to RF welding.

Thermoplastic: Plastic polymers that become soft and moldable upon heating and return to their original hardness and strength upon cooling and this process can be repeated. This is contrary to thermoset, which when melted will not return to its original form.

Seal: A fused point between plastic material that creates a liquid or air tight joint that otherwise would not be.

Weld Width: The width of the actual RF welded seam.

Bond vs Weld (Chemical vs Mechanical): In RF heat sealing, when two like materials are welded they become fused and become one with each other in the welded area. When materials are bonded only they are mechanically held together, such as bonding with an adhesive in between, using something like this shrinkfast 998 shrink wrap gun. They are still two separate materials and a bond is weaker than that of a true RF heat sealed weld.

Machine Direction vs Transverse Direction: Machine Direction -The direction parallel to the machine as the film moves through the machine. Transverse Direction -The direction perpendicular to the machine as the film moves through the machine.

Material Shrink: Decrease in dimension of a film when subjected to heat.

Sided Material: Having two different chemical compositions of material on either side of the film.

Layered Material: Having multiple chemical compositions of film in one material.

Carbon: When a flash or an arc occurs in the welding process it can leave the chemical element carbon as the exposed materials burn.

Arcing: An electrical arc or flash that can occur during the welding process causing damage to the materials and/or the tooling and needs to be repaired before the process can continue.

Plastics welding or RF heat sealing is often utilized for medical device manufacturing for items such as fluid bags/pouches, wound care devices and patient warming products. It also is utilized for heat sealed military applications such as hydration pouches, safety products and protection gear. Most often polar materials such as polyvinylchloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU) are utilized in the RF welding process. However, due to Genesis Plastics Welding’s diverse heat sealing solutions, from radio frequency to impulse to ultrasonic welding, clients can consider non-polar materials as well, such as olefins, TPEs and bio-derived plastics.

  • View products manufactured utilizing Radio frequency welding process
  • See how OEMs like REDpoint International have used our ecoGenesis technology to replace PVC with “greener” materials like TPE and bio-derived plastics

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