Following Donald Trump’s election as president in November, the Reshoring Initiative recommends a robust national strategy to achieve goals of returning millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs. Candidate Trump focused on seemingly uncomplicated actions such as imposing 35% to 45% tariffs on Mexican and Chinese goods, renegotiating trade agreements such as NAFTA, and cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%. Reshoring Initiative executives say President Trump will need a broader portfolio of actions, especially those that are proven and can be unilaterally implemented by the U.S. and passed by Congress.

Reshoring Initiative founder Harry Moser says the Trump administration should consider:

  • Jobs lost to trade vs. automation
  • The number of jobs that have come back this decade
  • How many jobs can be brought back from efforts to make the U.S. more cost competitive
  • Economic changes needed for reshoring
  • Impact on reshoring on the budget deficit, debt, income equality, the environment, defense preparedness

“The country has a unique opportunity to address a broad range of economic and social issues. Reshoring’s success bringing back hundreds of thousands of jobs in the last six years despite the headwinds faced by U.S. manufacturing is proof that millions can and will be brought back when the headwinds are eliminated,” Moser says. www.reshorenow.org

Phoenix Connect expands North American e-mobility services

Phoenix Contact is expanding its electric drive efforts in North America, naming Vince Carioti as director E-Mobility North America. Founded in 2013, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH, Schieder-Schwalenberg, Germany, addresses the emerging electric mobility industry. The company offers charging inlets for electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles, electronic components for charging stations, and hardware for charging infrastructure.

“Phoenix Contact is in the unique position to perfectly match the requirements of the automotive industry with the demand of the quickly developing charging infrastructure network,” says Oliver Stoeckl, executive vice president of Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH.

In the U.S., Carioti has identified partnerships to provide technical knowledge for e-mobility project startups. Phoenix Contact’s Customer Technology Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will house E-Mobility North America.

“Although electric cars are still only a small percentage of vehicles on the road, the market is growing quickly,” says Jack Nehlig, president of Phoenix Contact USA. “Vince’s extensive knowledge and close relationships within the American auto industry have been key to establishing and building this business in the U.S.” www.phoenixcontact.com

Materion, LIFT partner to explore lightweight aluminum structure

Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT) and Materion Corp. have teamed with industry experts and university researchers on a two-year project to develop more cost-effective means to manufacture lightweight aluminum metal matrix composites (MMCs) for use in large-scale automotive and aerospace platforms. The initiative will examine the consolidation and metalworking methods necessary to fabricate advanced mechanically alloyed powder metal derived MMCs.

The project team will explore alternatives to the hot-isostatic press (HIP) manufacturing process in which powders are compressed into solid materials by applying isostatic high pressure and temperature. The team expects alternative processes to reduce production time and costs while meeting high specific modulus and strength-to-weight ratios. One component of the project will be the investigation of several product forms, including extrusions, 3D near-net-shape HIP, press and sinter parts, and thin sheet.

“Too much time and money is tied up in a production process which we believe can be improved upon,” says Keith Smith, vice president of technology and government business development at Materion. “We will explore and refine those new methods to benefit not only our work, but that of the entire industry.”

LIFT, a founding member of Manufacturing USA, a Detroit, Michigan-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, will manage this project.

At the end of the project, slated to run through 2018, the team will validate the new manufacturing processes through a series of production trials for the components as defined by the industry partners. The initiative will also work to develop the capacity for high-volume production to meet the demands of the automotive and aerospace materials markets. www.lift.technology, www.materion.com