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Okay - I need to put a finer point on it.... but not too sharp.
0:00 - The MakerGear Amendment
1:30 - Frantone Electronics
2:25 - The MakerGear Difference
4:10 - Doing it all yourself
5:15 - What does Made In America really mean now?
9:34 - Bring Industry Back?
14:05 - Thanks to the Patrons
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By Fran

15 thoughts on “What can made in america really mean???”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Greg Reynolds says:

    I had a significant manufacturing business (140 people), here in the UK. While you're right about lots of parts, our raw metal was generallly EU and UK sourced. Also, injection moulded parts were UK injected, using material sourced from UK and EU.

    When it came to the PCBs though, although we assembled in house, both the boards and parts were made in the far East.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Saddest Chord says:

    You could bring it back but it would require truly enormous subsidies from the federal government. I don't think we'll ever see that unless war with China becomes a real possibility.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars KayPea says:

    Like some of the other comments on here and yourself Fran, I run an electronic repair company in the UK, and we are also suffering extremely long lead times on very many electronic components. I don't know where the main problem exactly lies, but it just seems to be across the whole spectrum of components.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hello Kitty Fan Man! says:

    Per your title: "Made in America" can mean anywhere from Canada to Venezuela. That's why the "made in…" labeling goes by nation, such as Mexico or USA, instead of something like "America."

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mr.Monster says:

    Fran with the truth and realtalk…love it.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tim Mooney says:

    Safety and regulatory issues could also force the price to be astronomical. A few years ago one of the few remaining companies that processes lead in the US shut their doors. Health monitoring and downtime for worker who were exposed to too much lead must be costly.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars aldntn says:


  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars LOTIL62 says:

    As someone who worked a few years in semiconductors making RF filters for phones, and now making PCBs for a living, I can also agree with how little has its raw material originate in the US.

    Chemistry will need to come from past the borders most often, sometimes mexico, or China, or Japan. Thete is the rare case it can come from the US. I know there is a popular brand of solder mask that is (though where their raw mats come from is beyond me.) The laminate material (be it FR4 or the less common ceremic based material like CLTE) will come from everywhere depending on the company be it Kingboard, Rogers or Panasonic (be it PRC, Japan, Germany, Thailand etc.)

    Then comes the machines that we use. The vendor we use for a lot of our tools makes them in the US, but even they have supply issues for their components too as of late too, leading to linger lead times for their stuff and certain spares from them. Even stuff made in Asia seem to have a supply chain that goes everywhere!

    Remember when I mentioned the RF filters? My previous employer made stuff for even major Chinese telecom brands (granted our Civil stuff was modulated in the PRC after being diced up in Central America, while the ITAR stuff clearly stayed stateside the whole way.) My understanding is major suppliers for these that also use semiconductors used a similar model. The more "precision" (for lack of better terms) work would be done in the US, and the basic assembly work over in Asia. Then again, our "raw" materials came from everywhere. Same for our manufacturing tools.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Pica-Delphon Michael-Scheel says:

    It why I used to use US Foil from NJ for my PCB Boards..

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Luther7718 says:

    The Chinese economy was built on 5-year plans, while the American economy was built on quarterly earnings reports

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Atoool K says:

    Bottom line: extreme capitalism bad

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Atoool K says:

    90.99% "Made in M'uerica"

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars LUCKY SEVENS BAND. says:

    Your the best

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars knarFkcalB says:

    Fran is right about the dearth of viable choices, for now. We soft Americans couldn't work up the gumption and extreme sacrifice needed to make stuff ourselves or do without, unless…all other choices were negated across the board and the playing field was diminished to within US borders only. In other words, total isolation. As if the rest of the world was on its knees or worse. Like Europe will probably be next winter or sooner, as the Russians strangle their energy supply. One huge dam breaks and China is flattened. The game is afoot, anything is possible. We all should at least learn how stuff is made in the real world, because someday we may have to build our pyramid from the ground up.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars rachel gilmore says:

    We have the same issues here in Australian Manufacturing…

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