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For decades, U.S. companies have sought to reduce business expenses by offshoring their manufacturing facilities to countries with lower production and labor costs. Globalization accelerated in the 1990s, creating a complex embedded system of supply networks spread across multiple countries. However, recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and associated labor shortages have revealed the vulnerabilities of these networks, prompting manufacturers to rethink their manufacturing and supply chain strategies.
To better prepare for potential crises, many manufacturers plan to reshore their physical locations, especially in light of increased expenses overseas. Cheaper labor costs can be offset by higher expenses for international shipping, trade tariffs, and raw materials — which can drive unwelcome price increases in finished goods. For example, in January 2021 the Economist reported that when faced with unexpected supply bottlenecks that pushed up costs, 25% of surveyed companies had to raise their prices.
Hardinge is Investing in “Made in the USA”
These experiences have prompted manufacturers, including Hardinge, to return some production resources back to the U.S. to build resiliency and consistency into their supply chains. As a result, customers are rediscovering the advantages of choosing U.S. made products versus those from overseas suppliers – especially for the long run.
In early 2021, Hardinge moved the manufacture of our Bridgeport® Vertical Machining Centers and Hardinge® CNC Lathes from Taiwan to Elmira, NY. This move allowed us to consolidate product development, supply chain, and assembly operations for Hardinge’s Americas and Europe turning and milling business to a single U.S. based location. We also invested heavily in modernizing the Elmira facility with new assembly capabilities and state-of-the-art heat treatment equipment. The facility is now one of the world’s most advanced manufacturing plants for precision tools, capable of producing the highest quality precision tooling in the industry.
“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, NY location,” said Jeremy Michael, Hardinge’s Vice President & General Manager of Turning & Milling. “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.”
We expect the expansion of our U.S. manufacturing capacity to benefit Hardinge U.S. customers in the following ways.
Hardinge, Inc. is the trusted global provider of high precision, computer-controlled machine tool solutions for critical, hard-to-machine metal parts and advanced workholding accessories. With over 125 years of experience, Hardinge offers the largest variety of metal-cutting turning machines, grinding machines, machining centers, collets, chucks, index fixtures, repair parts, standard and specialty workholding devices, and other machine tool accessories. Hardinge’s solutions can be found in a broad base of industries including aerospace, agricultural, automotive, construction, consumer products, defense, energy, medical, technology, and transportation. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes machine tools in over 65 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information about Hardinge, please visit us at hardinge.com.