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Why China is winning

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  • Why China is winning

    I recently bought from Littlemachineshop a mini mill spindle head assembly for use in my milling machine project. It is an R8 spindle. I set it up on the plate this afternoon and dialed the outside of the spindle with my Starrett indicator. It seems to be within a tenth, the needle really doesn't budge. I put in an R8 to MT2 adapter that I also bought from them and stuck in a MT2 drawbar mill holder. Dialing to the side of the mill holder I just barely see any movement of the needle, maybe two tenths or so.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  • #2
    Evan, The reason China is winning is because of the vast amount of cash being injected in new equipment.
    Your mini spindle would have been made on state of the art CNC machines that are probably unheard of in the west.

    The reason for this is Return on Capital Invested.
    Large corporations like banks, and insurance companies have to invest and get the best possible return on their capital.
    No good doing this in manufacturing in the west as we make nothing or what we do has little profit.

    Now China is a growth country, pump money into that and you get the best possible return as they are the only ones selling.

    Do you have a pension? where do you think the money from that is going to come from.
    The truth is a vast amount of pension money is being used for investment in China to get the best returns.
    So your pension contributions are actually putting you out of work.

    John S.

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


    • #3
      Nope, no pension. I do have a significant amount invested, and not in US manufacturing.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #4
        I think the reasons are many.Some of which are the Chinese government is pro-business,the Chinese people are pro-business,and the Chinese schools are technical and industrial oriented.

        Then look at the US and Canada,everybody wants their kids to be doctors and lawyers and not to ever get their hands dirty.This has also led to there being a glut of full-time professional college students and fewer workers.Then we have the nimby's and safty-holics and last but not least liability insurance and suits.Thankfully the great state of Mississipi has finally past tort reform,now lets see if we can stick to it and end the "ledigation lottery".

        The only possible saviors of both countires is small business,but frequently the government is becoming more and more hostile all the time.

        For a good eye opener look at the Seig factory tour pictures on Littlemachineshop,very interesting.I too bought a Seig mill and recently a rotary table,you do get a lot for the money and this time its not just union pension funds and insurance.
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          'Tis sad that the US and the "Industrialized world" now wants their kids to be lawyers, doctors, clerks, computer geeks.

          However, in our newspaper, 18 job openings for toolmakers, cnc programmers, 2 for cnc operators, and some higher level machine shop jobs. No lawyers or doctor openings I saw.........

          Got a job offer to leave teaching pay is 40K exact after 18 years. Offered 53K and 4 weeks vacation, full bennies paid to be a safety director for a local big establishment, with a 5% raise after 60 days......., High end salary in the 70's.

          CCBW, MAH


          • #6
            Steve: You've got the summer off (?), my relatives who are NH teachers pay $1 for any prescription, medical benefits are the best out there. Add the pension on top of that. Just be sure to weigh in all the health, medical and insurance benefits because the public sector is on a downhill slide for benefits and an uphill slide for employee contributions.

            Better yet, retire in 2 or 7 years at 50% (or so ??) and then take a higher paying job to rake it in for real retirement

            Evan: Sorry, didn't mean to steal your thread. I think the China product will continue to get better as you are seeing. Overall quality will probably lag for a while and metallurgy may lag for a long time (at least in low end products). Hopefully small, new companies in this country will carry the ball until the playing field is leveled ... one way or another and manufacturing makes a comeback. It's going to take a different business and consumer mindset than we have evolved into today.

            [This message has been edited by nheng (edited 09-12-2004).]


            • #7
              "The reason for this is Return on Capital Invested.
              Large corporations like banks, and insurance companies have to invest and get the best possible return on their capital"

              John, I understand that it is taking place, my problem is that it's not too bright in the long term. If our parents had used that logic they would have invested in Mitsubishi & I. G. Farben & financed Nordhausen & Belsen in the 40's. Slave labor is cheaper,& our technology & R & D used against us. The PLA do pretty well stealing our nuclear secrets from Livermore as well. As Evan says they are getting better & will continue to do so. Why not? We are financing & helping them to. What is the point in having better technology or production methods when corporations will sell out all of that for a fast buck. I don't have a solution, but it can't go on indefinely.


              • #8
                True Story...

                6 months ago, I bought some cheap "Made in China" Crescent type wrenches at one of our local suppliers of "Cheap" tools, a Princess Auto store. [By cheap, I mean $1.49 Cn for a 6" wrench, $2.49 Cn for an 8" and $4.49 Cn for a 10" wrench.]

                Upon examination and comparison to Craftsman (made in USA) wrenches, the jaws have a better fit and less slop, the adjusting screw hasa better feel and less free-play, and the jaws have a narrower width to them. I tested both by clamping over steel protrusions on my bulldozer. The Craftsman had more flex. Couldn't break the imports as hard as I tried.

                So my craftsman wrenches went into my spare wrenches drawer, and the Chinese Wrenches into my tool box. It was the logical move.

                Now, 6 months later, The Chinese wrenches are doing well, and now have bought the 24" wrench as well ($22.00 Cn)

                Question: Why do I feel so guilty?


                • #9
                  A timely subject. Yesterday I went to a gun show and was looking at a large display of inexpensive knives. I saw a pocket knife I thought looked nice that was priced at only $10.00. I bought it just to check it out. It is a Cinese made "Maxan" brand knife, with laminated wood handle scales held in place by brass pins, brushed stainless bolsters, and a nicely ground stainless blade with a liner lock. I can't find a single flaw in worksmanship. Very nicely done. I can't speak to the actual quality of the materials used, because I don't know what they are. I do know this though, the use of the highest quality materials would make this knife only slightly more expensive, and would put it in a league with or beyond many top of the line US producers.


                  • #10
                    Somehow, somewhere, someone in washington needs a reality check about what's going on with business in this country. Oh I know full well that most of them know what's going on,hell they operate in collusion with big business to make it happen. Our trade deficit with China is too big to be ignored. I watched an interesting article on a tv news program the other day, saying that General Motors is now building close to 45000 cars a month in Peking, Beiging, whatever. They're not exporting them from the US, they're building them there, with Chinese labor,(if you believe these people are working for slave wages, dream on, they're the ones buying these cars) Machine tools and tooling made right there in China etc. They also said that unless something really radical happens here, in 20 yrs we'll be buying 80 percent of our cars from the Chinese. I for one, do not plan on voting myself out of a job. I also do not plan on voting myself out of a good paying job into running a deep fryer at burger king to pay for some fat cats tax cuts so he has EVEN MORE money to invest overseas. To some of these people in washington, that's called job creation. I call it subversive to say the least. They talk about replacing the jobs we've already lost with 'high tech' jobs. Duh, thats the jobs that leave FIRST. Remember the good ol days when all the paranoids saw a commie under every rock? Wake up folks, they'll own us very soon. The bad part of it is, we've already surrendered economically to them.

                    [This message has been edited by pete913 (edited 09-12-2004).]


                    • #11
                      You kind of answered your own question, I was taught (beaten into me?) that only fool
                      uses a adjustable wrench, a professional uses the right tool for the job. I mean no offense but I have never owned an adjustble
                      wrench but I have made money off the end result of using an adjustable wrench.
                      Non, je ne regrette rien.


                      • #12
                        Alright...Let's rant!!!

                        I have bought alot of stuff from princess Auto and i just don't find the quality there. Don't get me wrong. I still buy stuff. Why would i pay 75.00 for a wrench from Sears or Snap-on when i will only use it 2-3 times a year. The same wrench for 20.00 at princess? Seems like a no brainer

                        Ajustables have there place, however you have to know their weaknesses. I hear you when you say they damage bolts, but i am not carrying up my toolbox when i climb the ski lift towers at work. One ajustable and i can do 80% of the work.

                        Now for my rant....
                        What burns me is when you buy something at KBCtools or MSC or anyone of the big wholesellers and you are getting exactly the same cheap piece you would have gotten from one of the local part stores but at a higher price.

                        Rant part 2
                        I keep reading why don't we make things cheaper, better, etc. Well it is easy folks. Supply and demand as well as greed. No one is forcing you to buy the cheap parts/tooling. You just do because you want to save money (Greed). Do the north american companies re-invest in their products? Probably not. The upper management are on performance bonuses (most likely) and are using the high prices to keep their incomes higher (greed). Basically it is capatilism. Mix in the fact that economics is changing from a local to world market.

                        Do you think there is too much safety in the work place? Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. They should be teaching people common sense though. You just used a torch to cut through metal. You turn off torch and pick up the piece of metal. You have now burnt your hand. Sue the shop for not warning you.

                        Ahh monday morning...can you tell it is going to be a fun week!!



                        • #13
                          You guys have missed it so far,so I'll remind you.

                          We have seen this before,in Japan,Korea,Hong Kong,Indonesia and several others.The wages and quality always start out cheap,then improve gradually.

                          Remember the Japanese stuff that was first imported?It was crap,but over time wages and skill levels increased.People were able to move in and out of jobs and do the best they could for thier families.

                          So,what has been the result? Electronics,cars and construction equipment that are second to none.High wages that are nearly equal to ours.No they won't work cheap for long.

                          As long as there is movement of workers from one job to the next the situation will progress in China.I personally don't see the communist goverment lasting much longer either.Those kids are growing up and seeing how the rest of the world lives and they want the same freedoms.
                          I just need one more tool,just one!


                          • #14
                            Just to digress for the moment---Chief, I can`t agree with your adage that only a fool uses an adjustable wrench ( we call them shifters). If you are in a workshop environment then the correct tool is usually at hand but if you happen to be on site then maybe you have to make do with a shifter ( or shifting spanner). The mistake most people make is using it in the incorrect manner. Pick up a shifter and hold it to a bolt head, now if the flats of the bolt are bearing on the outer edge of the moving jaw then you are applying it incorrectly, reverse the shifter and note the difference, there is far less inclination for the moving jaw to stretch open and cause slipping. This was pointed out to me by an old Kiwi fitter years ago (thanks Alan, your advice saved me from inumerable skinned knuckles ).
                            China is winning because the west needs to have influence in the great awakening giant and because there just aint no sovereign nations where international trade is concerned.

                            [This message has been edited by speedy (edited 09-13-2004).]


                            • #15
                              Talking about adjustable wrenches and things, time was when a craftsman wrench was pretty good stuff. I used a lot of them during my earlier days as an auto mechanic. Slowly though, like a lot of things, their quality has really deteriorated, ie, sockets and box end wrenches so thick you can't get 'em on a nut unless it's out in the wide open spaces, etc. And power tools, sheesh. My dad had a craftsman table saw built in 1954, and up until about 10 years ago, you could still buy parts for it. Those days are over at Sears. Nowdays, you go to Sears for a switch for a one year old electric drill, and get the "i'm sorry sir, but that part is obsolete and no longer available". Now, how is this better than the imported stuff? >PS, I got to looking around for wage scales in different countries, on US websites, and typed in " toolmaker" and " machinist". I got no results. It's like those job titles don't exist here anymore. Obviously this is part of the problem in this country. It is now considered menial labor, and maybe it is, considering that the wage earner in this country has absolutely no bargaining power anymore, thanks to so called " free trade", which is what has put us in the position we're now in, basically a sevice economy on the way to becoming a third rate power in the industrialized world.

                              [This message has been edited by pete913 (edited 09-13-2004).]