3D Printing / Big Data Analytics / IIoT / Software / Remote Monitoring

Perspective: Why China won’t own next-generation manufacturing

By Vivek Wadhwa, for Washington Post

Aug 29, 2016

Get Plant Services delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday! Sign up for  Plant Services' complimentary Smart Minute (Monday-Thursday) and Smart Digest  (Friday) e-newsletters to get maintenance and reliability know-how you can put  to use today, plus the latest manufacturing news from around the Web, white  papers, and more. Learn more and subscribe for free today.

With rising salaries, labor unrest, environmental devastation and intellectual property theft, China is no longer an attractive place for Western companies to move their manufacturing.

Technology has also eliminated the labor cost advantage, so companies are looking for ways to bring their high-value manufacturing back to the United States and Europe. China built its dominance in manufacturing by offering massive subsidies, cheap labor, and lax regulations. With technologies such as robotics and 3-D printing, it has no edge.

After all, American robots work as hard as Chinese robots. And they also don’t complain or join labor unions. It doesn’t make economic sense for American industry to ship raw materials and electronics components across the globe to have Chinese robots assemble them into finished goods that are then shipped back.

That manufacturing could be done locally for almost the same cost. And with shipping eliminated, what once took weeks could be done in days and we could reduce pollution at the same time.

Read the full story.