Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Made In America,” a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.
U.S. NOW PREFERRED LOCATION FOR NEW FACTORY CAPACITY AS RESHORING INTEREST GROWS: Of manufacturers planning to add production capacity over the next five years for goods consumed in the U.S., more plan to add that capacity in the U.S. than in any other country – a sharp reversal since as recently as two years ago. And a rising percentage of U.S.-based executives at those manufacturers say they are already in the process of reshoring production work from China. These are among the findings of new research released by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
UNDER ARMOUR OPENS HUGE DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN TENNESSEE, PLANS TO HIRE 1,500: Sports apparel giant Under Armour opened the doors last week to its new one million square foot distribution and warehouse facility in Mount Juliet, Tenn., just outside Nashvile. Under Armour said it will invest more than $100 million and will create 1,500 new jobs in the area over the next five years.
This is Under Armour’s third distribution facility in the U.S., joining the company’s original warehouse in the Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan area and another located in Rialto, California. The facility features an onsite Under Armour Fitness Center for employees, state-of-the-art equipment including a 12+ mile conveyor system, automated receiving technology, voice-directed-picking software and advanced sortation methods. Under Armour also operates two Under Armour Factory House retail destinations in Tennessee, located in Nashville and Sevierville.
U.S. STEEL SHIPMENTS RISE 3.5% IN OCTOBER, STILL DOWN MORE THAN 13% YTD: The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported recently that for the month of October 2015, U.S. steel mills shipped 7,369,472 net tons, a 3.5% increase from the 7,120,663 net tons shipped in the previous month, September 2015, and a 13.4% decrease from the 8,508,477 net tons shipped in October 2014. Shipments year-to-date in 2015 are 73,532,445 net tons, an 11% decrease vs. 2014 shipments of 82,632,250 net tons for ten months.
A comparison of October shipments to the previous month of September shows the following changes: hot rolled sheet, up 8%, cold rolled sheet, up 2% and hot dipped galvanized sheets and strip, up 1%.
U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT TO HOST FIRST-EVER SMART FABRICS SUMMIT: The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced it will partner with the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) to host the first-ever Smart Fabrics Summit on April 11, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The Summit will provide a forum for public and private sector leaders in technology, apparel, and textiles to highlight recent developments in the smart fabrics industry, identify opportunities for collaboration, and discuss key industry challenges.
Recent advances in technology have brought together the apparel, technology, and textile industries to develop new capabilities in fabrics with the potential to change how athletes, patients, soldiers, first responders, and everyday consumers interact with their clothes and other textile products. Known as ‘smart fabrics’, the applications for this new technology are broad, with most smart fabric product development seen in the fields of defense, fitness, health, and public safety. The world market for smart clothing is projected to grow from a base of $17.2 million in 2013 to approximately $600 million by 2020, according to research firm Tractica LLC.