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Manufacturing in the USA. Plastics seem to be something widely available.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Max McGrumpy View Post
    Where I come from it was Kodak, Kodak went out of business not because they somehow managed to misread the market and continue to market obsolete film technology in the face of the digital revolution. It was the workers fault, not management, not leadership.
    Bankruptcy yes, out of business no. Their film business is actually doing quite well since Fuji no longer makes 16 or 35mm filmstock. They also expect to do well with the release of their super8 film camera this year.

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    • #17
      Cheap skilled labor. They don't want to pay above minimum wage if they can avoid it. They don't want to offer premium insurance benefits -- real reason behind AHA is companies did not want to be saddled with the cost of benefits so they convinced the Government there was a crisis with cost and this was the only way forward. They don't want to pay for a retirement program, because of all the horror stories about pension programs causing companies to collapse. All untrue -- each case the company failed to keep up with the rest of the world (deploying products that people actually wanted to buy rather than the same mature/obsolete thing unto eternity...) Companies don't want to pay for training on their own dime because they actually PLAN to churn the workforce before it matures.

      The question "Where will you be in five years" used to identify career-minded people who wanted to succeed. Now it weed out those same folks and disqualifies them from being hired. Companies won't spend money on training when the workforce is designed to turn over every quarter. They expect people to spend that money get the qualifications and be ready to work on day one. Of course they also think that minimum wage is a premium wage and that someone is going jump at the chance to work for $7.50 an hour for 90 days with no insurance and no contribution to a retirement fund.

      I smile at the notion, because I can do things that a college-boy with 90 days experience can't even imagine. I have solutions to very common problems in the industry that are treated as insurmountable challenges because no one has the experience to overcome them and it gets to the point where "downloading the answer" becomes too costly. "$5,000 to solve this problem? Lets just ignore it!"

      Great example, I have a molding press, a material dryer and a sprue picker in my workshop. I 3D print molds and mold small batches of product. My dryer is a Matsui dryer I had to change the desiccant cartridge when I bought it. Big monolithic block with air passages rather than individual pellets like the other machines on the market. Cost me $$$ but it works fine now and will probably work fine "forever" considering the scale I work at. I knew how to do this because I learned Matsui driers at another job years back and I've done the same task multiple times.

      Took a job at a company that manufactures gun parts here in Deep Hole, lots of nylon and nylon-like materials. They could not get the material to dry properly, the parts kept getting rejected. Mr. Line-Helper Temp (me) approaches the boss, tells him "it's the desiccant lets get R&M to change it." He said "It doesn't have desiccant like the other machines." I said "it's inside under this cover, it's a big monolith, takes about a half hour to change out."

      HE tells me "I just graduated from *school* I am Paulson certified and I've been on the job three months, when I tell you it doesn't use desiccant I'm right. Don't argue."

      Well the situation continued, I took it up the chain of command. No one listened... until someone decided to call Matsui for help. Matsui sold them a dessicant cartridge over the phone and gave them detailed instructions over the phone. Interestingly enough Mr Boss Person got crapcanned right on the spot. I got a $50 gift-card and an apology. Asked "would you be willing to give me the chance to run the department, here's my case." They laughed and said they weren't looking for a skilled technician with leadership experience, they just had to fill the position to keep HQ off their back. I was welcome to stay on as a line-helper, and they would consider my suggestions more closely but that was it.

      Anyway, long story short this is the norm in the industry. The winging about the labor shortages is just feel-good malarky. There are hundreds of thousands of plastic professionals willing to take these jobs but the industry doesn't want to pay us.

      Same with machinists.

      Same with printing industry professionals.

      Same with the petrochemical industry.

      Same with mining.

      Same with fabrication.

      Same with...

      You get the idea.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
        Bankruptcy yes, out of business no. Their film business is actually doing quite well since Fuji no longer makes 16 or 35mm filmstock. They also expect to do well with the release of their super8 film camera this year.
        Tell this to the tens of thousands of Rochester workers who were let go, who watched Kodak Park close down and every asset be sold off.

        Total volume of film sold would barely keep one line running, odds are it'll be made overseas and reboxed with a Kodak logo. Same as all their other products. Anything "made in rochester" is just done so for publicity. They made a great show awhile back about Kodak Printers and the ink, the selling point was the ink was made on Goodman Street in Rochester. Big publicity push, tour of the operation, huge media showing...

        Bought a printer, ran it out of ink, bought more. Product of China. Drove over to the Goodman Street "plant" for an answer, it was an empty warehouse. Turns out they set up a small production line and ran a few hundred thousand units to fulfill a campaign promise. Local politician ran for reelection, had connections with Kodak, they created the dog-and-pony show to excite people into thinking Kodak was rebounding.... yeah.

        They did it again a short time later, showed a line of people "assembling" digital cameras, and a huge piece on how Kodak was producing this line of Digital Cameras at the old facility on whatever street and it was projected to generate X number of jobs...

        Dig further basically these people were opening boxes at the warehouse and inspecting units that had been recalled.

        So... Kodak exists in name only, sitting on a bunch of obsolete patents, trying to make people think that film is still a viable product line... AFTER SCREWING OVER LITERALLY 100,000s OF THOUSANDS RETIREES. They declared bankruptcy to avoid paying pensions that people earned rather than develop new business.

        Hard to believe my neighbor Steve Sasson used to work there. You know the man that history lists as the inventor of the digital camera...?

        Kodak. Bah.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Max McGrumpy View Post
          Tell this to the tens of thousands of Rochester workers who were let go, who watched Kodak Park close down and every asset be sold off.

          Total volume of film sold would barely keep one line running, odds are it'll be made overseas and reboxed with a Kodak logo. Same as all their other products. Anything "made in rochester" is just done so for publicity.
          Well, just spoke with two Cinematographers, one in Finland, one on the west coast of the USA who shoot almost exclusively on 16 and 35mm movie film. Both insist that all Kodak film is produced in Rochester, one said building 38 specifically. Nothing of the sort is made in China and relabeled.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
            Well, just spoke with two Cinematographers, one in Finland, one on the west coast of the USA who shoot almost exclusively on 16 and 35mm movie film. Both insist that all Kodak film is produced in Rochester, one said building 38 specifically. Nothing of the sort is made in China and relabeled.
            I will look into that! Building 38... Where is my old site-map...

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            • #21
              Simply don't live in a "right to work" state, like Florida, unless you are a business owner or a pilot.

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              • #22
                Polymers, the perfect planned obsolescence material, even better than Zamak. But what American industry really needs is honesty.

                Make products so they will last 100 years and America will take all the markets back.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by partsproduction View Post
                  Polymers, the perfect planned obsolescence material, even better than Zamak. But what American industry really needs is honesty.

                  Make products so they will last 100 years and America will take all the markets back.
                  Well, just follow Honda, Yamaha, and Toyota's lead...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by partsproduction View Post
                    Polymers, the perfect planned obsolescence material, even better than Zamak. But what American industry really needs is honesty.

                    Make products so they will last 100 years and America will take all the markets back.
                    The right material for the right application. I studied the applications and properties side of the equation, so I know there are materials out there that can basically do anything you dream up.

                    Problem is how much do you want to spend.

                    Oh you don't. Well then we have materials for that too.

                    And you want to catastrophically fail. And be utterly un-glue-able right? I can do that.

                    And we have 50 shades of grey, 1,000 shades of pink, and all the black you can handle.

                    Very discouraging to sit through a design meeting, pick materials for performance and ease of manufacture and then be told "make it out of ABS because it's the cheapest. Doesn't matter that it's a mother4ucker to mold, doesn't matter that we run 50% scrap, it's cheap and it fails in service.

                    That's just the tip of it though. I've watched some pretty amazing dog-and-pony shows over the years, most of which had the end result of driving business overseas and companies out of business. LISTEN when someone provides a solution. Doesn't have to be me -- the answer is right there at your fingertips. We can do this, companies ARE doing it... why drive yourself out of business in a fit of stubborn ego-fueled stupidity...?

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