“Local manufacturing is the new Service Economy.”
In 2013, manufacturing is coming home, that is, if ‘home’ is a mature market.
Driving this trend: the perfect storm of consumers’ ever-greater NEWISM, the expectation of getting just the right product (and NOW!), eco-concerns and the desire for more interesting STATUS STORIES, all combined with the spread of new local manufacturing technologies such as 3D-printing and make-on-demand.
And of course, consumer embrace of AGAIN MADE HERE will be welcome news for executives concerned by rising labor costs in China, long lead times and fragile global supply chains.
Just one stat to kick-start the discussion:
Observant readers will have by now noted how PRESUMERS and AGAIN MADE HERE will feed off each other in the coming months. Get ready, as the reshaping of the mechanics and business models of manufacturing will make ‘local’ in 2013 about much more than just artisan food and craft ;-)
In October 2012, leading 3D printing platform Shapeways – which provides 3D printing services to its community of designers and PRESUMERS – opened its Factory of the Future in Long Island City, New York. The 25,000 square foot site will host 30 to 50 3D printers, and will have capacity to print 3 to 5 million objects annually.
June 2012 saw the first deliveries of the Tesla Model S, manufactured in Fremont, California. The car is powered by a lithium-ion battery and has a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, providing a high performance sports driving experience. The Model S also has a touchscreen dashboard with wireless Internet access (which can be synced with various smartphones), allowing users to control systems such as navigation, music and temperature.
September 2012 saw Hiut Denim release their first batch of jeans from their factory in Cardigan, Wales. The UK start-up aims to bring work back to the town, which lost its major employer when the previous jeans factory was closed nearly a decade ago. The jeans also come with a ‘History Tag’ app, which enables customers to see images from throughout the jeans’ manufacturing.
In March 2012, French electric bicycle company Véloscoot moved production from China back to La Rochelle, France. Véloscoot say they will now manufacture the first “Made in France” electric bicycle, and aim to become more competitive by being closer to their primary market.
In June 2012, Google unveiled the Nexus Q home media-streaming entertainment player, and the wireless system is laser-etched with "Designed and Manufactured in the U.S.A.". The Nexus Q's metal base is made in the Midwest, moulded plastic components are manufactured in California, and the device is then assembled a short distance from Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.