During IMTS 2022, Hardinge Inc., a multinational machine tool and accessories, received the 2022 National Metalworking Reshoring Award in honor of its success in bringing manufacturing back to the United States. Specifically, Hardinge shifted the manufacturing of its milling and turning machining center solutions from its Taiwan plant to its plant in Elmira, New York. The company’s global headquarters are in Atlanta.
“We’ve been a proud partner of American manufacturing since the 1890s and are excited to have our Talent Series lathes produced under the same roof as our industry-leading SUPER-PRECISION® turning centers at Hardinge’s Elmira, New York location,” says Jeremy Michael, Hardinge’s vice president andgeneral manager of turning andmilling. “It is through domestic production that Hardinge can provide the quality, flexibility, and responsiveness required by our customers to help them succeed in today’s competitive manufacturing world.”
The ReshoringAward is made possible by the Reshoring Initiative; the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA); AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which owns and produces IMTS; SME; and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA).
Hardinge Customers Benefit
The benefits of reshoring are greater than what countless companies learned the hard way when the COVID-19 pandemic exposedweaknesses of global supply networks. The current labor shortages have revealed additional vulnerabilities. Michael says, “There is an increasing movement to invigorate manufacturing in the U.S., and the resounding benefits of reshoring to Hardinge customers makes the effort a rule, not an exception.”These benefits include:
Increased flexibility and speed-to-market with its facility in Elmira. Hardinge canwork more closely with customers to design and deliver advanced machining solutions suited to their specific industry and applications.
Utilizing local suppliers provides additional opportunities to improve customer service by shortening lead time, such as when customers want machine modifications or additional options.Overseas manufacturing made this difficult, not to mention impossible once a ship leaves port.
More accurate delivery schedules. Overseas port disruptions and cargo ships stalled off California ports are beyond the control of everyone. With production in Elmira, shippingbecome a non-issue.
Tighter control of production, in-processes inspection, and faster problem resolution. While not an issue for machining centers, smaller products made overseas are often ordered by the container load (or other minimum quantities), and quality issues such as a bad board can affect entire lots.
Higher product quality resulting from a higher localized headcount of machine tool experts, better meeting the stringent machining demands of industries such as aerospace, defense, medical, and technology. “We are making ‘Made in the USA’ synonymous for excellent products,” says Michael.
Ready to Reshore? Based on their award-winning strategy, Hardinge offers a few points of advice for other companies looking to reshore.
Start with an understanding of the supply chain environment and full cost implications, both the good and bad (see Total Cost of Ownership Estimator from the Reshoring Initiative for help on this topic).
Make sure good processes, associated documentation, and the workforce are in place before transferring production from site to site.
Finally, consider back-up plans to ensure delivery to customers or parts to your own production lines. Run parallel paths to avoid any outages or production stoppages or build up an inventory.
“Our teams worked late hours with their counterparts overseas to ensure that knowledge and processes were transferred to our facility in Elmira, New York, and these efforts were rewarded as we began to see machine tools rolling off the new lines and out to customers,” says Michael. “We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the hundreds of Hardinge employees in the United States and Taiwan who worked to make our reshoring initiative a success.”