Ramblings about “Made in the USA”

  • Do you care where Ted Cruz was born?
  • Ever wonder where the car or truck you drive was made?
  • Does it matter where your food comes from?

These questions about origin make me think about the phrase “Made in the USA” and what it really means. Where something is made often plays into my purchasing decision. I find it amusing when looking at product labels and seeing the different ways companies disclose (or hide!) where it comes from. I’ve seen:

“Assembled in the USA”

“Made in the USA using domestic and foreign components”

“Made in one or more of the following countries…”

and the list of countries that follows is a paragraph long!

Made in Which America?

So, what does it mean when something claims to be “Made in America”? A quick search on the internet reveals that there are 55 countries in North, Central, and South America – each one of these countries being qualified to make this claim.

“Made in the USA” sounds straightforward, but there still seem to be differences in opinion about what qualifies. This may come from the  FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) definition as “Made all or virtually all in the U.S.” which is then left to personal interpretation. Some state by definition 51% is considered a majority so it could be argued as “virtually all”.

So, how does this apply to ABTech as we are a U.S. manufacturer that proudly claims “Made in the USA”?  We not only cut, turn, mill, and grind steel and aluminum from raw stock at our manufacturing facility in Swanzey, New Hampshire, but we design everything we make with our own mechanical and electrical engineers and software programmers on site here as well. We’re proud to employ talented local machinists that create amazing parts following our “Pride in Precision” motto.

Keeping No Secrets

In the name of full disclosure; we do incorporate optical encoders manufactured in England in some of our products, LVDT gages and other miscellaneous electronics from Europe in our controllers. With that said, our motors are custom-made in the Midwest, our granite comes from Vermont (even though NH is the “granite state” – go figure!), and our weldments and castings are outsourced, although still made locally here in New Hampshire. Other than that we manufacture everything else, assemble, test and certify in our facility here in New Hampshire.

Giving Each Other a Lift

In addition we support many other US manufacturers large and small with our motion products and gaging equipment so that they can achieve greater performance and maintain a competitive edge. Examples of these companies are GE Aviation and Power divisions; Corning; Rockwell Collins; Timken Bearings; TurboCam; Magellan Aerospace; Pratt & Whitney; OptiPro Systems; Trend Performance, Schlumberger; and Giddings & Lewis (and many more will be listed on future blogs!).

So choose wisely when you are shopping (or voting!), and good luck sorting it all out!