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Earth Day, A Good Time To Consider Re-Shoring

Recently, we celebrated Earth Day for the 47th year.  Although it is a day recognized throughout the whole world, some countries seem to put a higher priority on good environmental stewardship of our planet than others.

The word “Green” is the popular abbreviated terminology for environmentally conscious or environmentally friendly.    How Green are you, and your company?  Are you truly Green, or are you “feel good” Green?

Being Green and importing can be mutually exclusive.

We all know domestic manufacturing has a tough time competing with the prices of imported products –particularly products from Southeast Asia and Mexico at this time.  As a country’s standard of living rises, wages rise, thus raising manufacturing costs.  In the US, we have earned a high standard of living, thus higher wage rates.

The playing field is not level.

However, we are not only challenged by the lower wages paid in some other countries. There are many other costs that American manufacturers bear that increase the cost of our products – such as; unemployment insurance, employers contribution to Social Security and Medicare with-holdings, workman’s compensation insurance, OSHA safety compliance, environmental compliance requirements, and a whole host of other overlapping laws, and regulations.

In the old days, our “Yankee ingenuity” in machine design and other industrial engineering concepts help us to increase our widgets/hour count so we could overcome a significant portion of the cheaper foreign labor.  Our prices were not out of sight in comparison to imported products, especially when quality was considered.  Our quality was far superior to many imported products.  But, today the quality of many imported products is much improved, and considered equal to or sometimes even better than domestically produced items.

How Committed to “Green” are you?

So, back to the point of this article; can you be truly “Green” if you import products from 2nd or 3rd world countries??

Many 2nd and most 3rd world countries do not have much concern for the environment as they chase the “all mighty” buck (yen, peso, yuan, etc).  Air and water pollution run rampant.  Worker safety standards are lax.  On the one hand you can understand the desire to economically improve the standard of living for their citizens, albeit at the risk of their health and the ruination of the environment.  In my view, it is a sin against humanity and mother earth for these countries to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the volumes of information that has been developed over the past 75-100 years with regard to being good stewards of the earth from an environmental perspective.

So, if you are currently sourcing products off-shore, perhaps you want to re-think it, consider the environmental impact of doing so, and look at re-shoring those products.  If we are all deeply committed to being environmentally “Green” then the competition that drives us to off-shore lowest cost pricing (and highest pollution pricing) would be reduced.  We would all compete with each other at “Green” pricing that reduced the negative impact of manufacturing on our planet.

Small Parts Storage Cabinet

Bull Metal Products Small Parts Drawer Cabinets are manufactured from 24 gauge cold rolled steel and are available in four basic different cabinet and drawer configurations.  The small cabinet measures 17-5/16″W x 11-9/16″D x 10-5/8″H and is available with 9 or 12 drawers. The large cabinet measures 33-7/8″W x 11-9/16″D x 10-5/8″H and is available with 18 or 24 drawers.  Cabinets are pre-drilled top and bottom to facilitate bolting together for secure and safe stacking when creating that perfect small parts storage system.  Look for part #’s 9D-K, 12D-K, 18D-K, and 24D-K in our industrial storage product catalog http://www.bullmetal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Industrial-Storage-Products-Catalog-Rev-1.pdf

Drawers are made from durable injected molded high impact styrene plastic and are available in two different sizes, 5-1/8″W or 3-3/4″W. Each drawer includes 2 dividers for sub-compartmenting in one inch increments.  An integrated draw pull is molded into the bottom of the drawer front.  Optional extra dividers are also available. Drawers can be easily removed to bring contents to job location.  The drawers are modular allowing for all kinds of custom combinations.  Let us help you design a drawer configuration that will fit your specific needs.

Cabinets are finished in an industrial gray powder coat or can be custom color finished along with your logo or message to proudly represent your company’s image in the market place.

Made in the USA by our loyal and dedicated American workers. 

ISO 9001:2008 Registered 

Lighting Control Enclosure

As a well-recognized supplier of enclosures, cabinets, and chassis to OEM’s in wide range of industries, Bull Metal Products worked closely with our customer in the design and development of this lighting control cabinet.  It is actually the master control cabinet for multiple integrated systems in which lighting control is an important part of the system.

The cabinet’s features include take-apart hinges that allow complete removal of the door in the field to make for unencumbered access for the installing electrician or a service technician.  This feature is also significant for the assembly process in the factory.  With the door being removable, each unit takes up less space on a bench or conveyer when it is being built.  The back boxes are more easily handled in production without doors.  The door is installed as the last step in assembly.

The complete, operational enclosure requires a number various components; relays, PC boards, switches, jacks, touch screens, circuit breakers, etc.  Although our responsibility was only the sheet metal fabrication, the stack up of electronic components was significant which required close attention to detail in fabrication of the cabinet.  Multiple PC boards and other components are mounted on welded brackets in the back box and/or stacked on top of one another, and then required to align with penetrations in the dead front panel which is a loose part secured by fasteners.  Bull Metal’s engineering team tackled the challenge and brought some production cost saving ideas to our customer’s attention.  Being able to secure the relays with one fastener instead of two fasteners was one such saving – not so much in the hardware, but in the build out labor.  The use of extruded holes for self-taping fasteners as an alternative to pressed in threaded inserts (pems) is another cost saving detail that we worked hard in developing with our customer.

The enclosure has an attractive and durable powder coated finish with a screen-printed name/logo on the door. With an end use that often is outside in the elements this gasketed NEMA 3 enclosure is an example of the type of products fabricated at Bull Metal Products.

Contact us at 860-346-9691 or at sales@bullmetal.com

Proudly Made In the USA by our skilled American work force

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