"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Where is it made?

I received an email from a person who had been viewing my ecommerce web site. He asked me where (what country) a certain product I sell was made. The product is sold from Germany but the first thing I replied was, “with today’s world economy, he should have asked where the product was assembled.”

I didn’t know the answer so I gave this person the toll free number of the distributor in the USA and also the email for the same. I also made a remark (maybe unfairly, sorry) that it is far easier to dial a free number and ask, than to read three mindless guys posting pure speculation in a forum like somehow the answer was a secret and none of them had a telephone.

At least my guy wrote to me (a dealer) to ask. I wasn’t chiding him. It’s OK to ask the horse for the answer and hear it directly from its mouth… Ha!

That is as far as my response went, but it did set me off to thinking. Asking where (what country) something is made is a fair question. It is interesting information. I use that kind of information to influence or create an image of quality or sometimes lack of quality. It’s a common marketing ploy.

Today it is more smoke and mirrors than helpful decision making information. Leaving politics out, we are truly in a world economy. Many things are much better made and lower cost because of this fact. Even the American (Made in the USA) slogan where some people here in the USA demand 100% USA parts, seldom get it. The bauxite used to make the aluminum I machined on my Asian lathe to create the Made in Texas, USA component might have been imported from Canada.  Yeah, that’s really stretching the point, but anyone should be able to see that point.

Mostly the quality is the care taken by the people in every step of the process, but quality is most critical at the assembly of the final product. The selection of good components of a good design properly assembled is the final measure.  Then in my opinion it doesn’t matter from where the parts come. The question is, “How good is the finished assembly?”

The cast iron machine bed can be cast and machined in Germany; the chuck can be made in India but branded for the German product. The motor might be made in Italy and the electronics for the controller are made in Japan. That’s the way it is. If all these suppliers met the design specification and the assembler rejected deficient components, then the product will be as good as intended.

Pure 100% country of origin products can be produced and purchased. They exist everywhere. I want to make some myself and brand them, “Made in Texas, USA”. But if I need a small DC motor for the product, would I not consider a quality but lower cost imported one? Hmmm… Maybe from Michigan?

“Texas, it’s like a whole other country” (Texas, USA tourist marketing slogan.)  🙂

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