HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Comments
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/5  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Built to a price
naperlou   8/29/2012 9:02:18 AM
The problem you are experiencing is driven to a large part by the large retailers and partly by consumers.  The products are built to a price.  What that ends up meaning is that the products are made overseas.  That is why I get really upset when I see articles wondering if US workers cvan handle the manufacturing that "coming back".  This is crazy.  Who do you think is doing the manufacturing in Asia???  These are peasants from the countryside that just before they became a manufacturing force were working farm plots by hand.  Don't get me started...

But really, it comes back to the consumer.  One time I was going hunting and much of my stuff was at another location.  I needed a knife for dressing out the game.  I went to the large retailer, which was the only store in the area, and the only stuff they had was cheap junk.  I bought one anyway, but later threw it away.  It's a good thing I did not get anything that weekend. 

That said, I know manufacturers who deal with those large retailers and it is the case that they determine what price they want to sell each item at and the manufacturers have to comply.  Since they are so large, they drive the train and the manufacturers comply. 

I remember the tools and appliances you talk about, Eric, and they do make a difference.  I still have a ratchet wrench from a large tool brand that my father made when he worked in  a drop forge.  It is still going strong and it is much older than I am. 

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Built to a price
tekochip   8/29/2012 9:27:11 AM
Absolutely true, much of the blame rests on consumers that decide which product to buy based solely upon the cost rather than the quality.  If customers looked on the the WALL of their local MART and decided that they wanted a product because it was built to last rather than the cheapest one they could find then corporate management would demand that the suppliers build that product.  The big box stores are so big that they tell their suppliers what to build, how much it will cost and the profit the supplier is allowed to make.  The big box store demands to see the product Bill Of Materials and then tells the supplier how much profit they will be allowed to make, very often the first year of production is required to be for break even money.  They even demand to see the die area of semiconductors and base the cost of the semiconductor purely on the size of the die.
 
Shop somewhere else.


Astro-Eric
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Built to a price
Astro-Eric   8/29/2012 10:04:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks for the comments naperlou, tekochip.  Funny thing is that I'd be more than happy to spend the money to get a good product, rather than having to buy frequent replacements.  But this option doesn't seem to be available in most consumer items.  You can still buy some good tools (if you look hard enough) and I seem to be able to get good astronomy equipment.  The price is high, but so is the quality.

 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Built to a price
Rob Spiegel   8/29/2012 1:33:40 PM
NO RATINGS
Eric, where to you think the source of the problem with lower quality products comes from? Off-shore outsourcing? Poor engineering?

Astro-Eric
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Built to a price
Astro-Eric   8/29/2012 3:43:50 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Rob,

I think there are several problems.  In my humble opinion, I'd list the problems like this:

1.  Product Design - Poor Engineering

2.  Materials

3.  Workmanship

The products are not designed for any sort of longevity US materials.  I can't tell you how many "Stainless" kitchen knives that I've had that have rust spots.  I can recall a "weld-buster" chisel that I purchased for my air hammer that "flowered" the first time it hit a strip of 7011 weld (rod for mild steel). The workmanship also leaves a lot to be desired.  I've had to repair many circuit boards with cold or lacking solder joints.  Many times, the electronics will work properly (for a while), if soldered properly.  But on other occasions, an electronic part will fail because of a cold or unsoldered joint, for lack of heat sinking, grounding or other issues. 

 

 

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Built to a price
Charles Murray   8/29/2012 5:47:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Seems like there might also be an issue of planned obsolescence here. If you wear it out in a few years, you're left with little choice but to run back to the store and buy a new one.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Built to a price
NadineJ   8/29/2012 7:07:11 PM
NO RATINGS
That's true.  Consumer cost is the biggest driver in manufacturing.  Worldwide, people want the newest, coolest item.  Irons, especially, need to be lightweight today.  As everyone has said, you sacrifice something with those restrictions.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Built to a price
tekochip   8/29/2012 7:44:17 PM
NO RATINGS
The "stainless" knives reminded me of a trip to Home Depot where I picked up some "copper" plumbing.  The "copper" was just a flash over the surface of some mystery metal.  The flash wasn't even deep enough for me to brighten up the surface for soldering.


Astro-Eric
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Built to a price
Astro-Eric   8/30/2012 9:15:10 AM
NO RATINGS
Couldn't agree more, Charles.

 

 

 

Droid
User Rank
Platinum
Glass half full
Droid   8/30/2012 9:58:59 AM
NO RATINGS
It is true that certain modern items seem to be produced with a lack of quality.  People often decry the use of plastic in replace of metals - and often an item's lack of mass is looked at as a lack of "material strength".  

For example, the modern car is sometimes looked at as lacking quality because it lacks the heavy iron of yesteryear.   However, those old cars really didn't last that long in terms of miles. Flat tires were a common occurance, and everyone new how to tear apart the engine because it was occasionally necessary.

So count me in among those who are generally optimistic about the quality from modern engineered items; especially relative to price and relative to our buying power. For most of us, our parents and grand-parents worked quite hard just to afford a few items, tools, household appliances, etc.   Today, I freely toss out or give away any older appliance which begins to fail because buying a new one isn't a big deal.  My grandmother probably had one simple sewing machine - my wife has 6-7 fancy one.    My grandfather was lucky to have a few simple tools. I am fortunate to have a whole shop full of hand tools and power-tools which are just as good or better than the one he had.

 

Page 1/5  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
3D printing has met up with drones in a 3D-printed UAV. University of Sheffield engineers printed the prototype drone in 24 hours from ABS plastic using Fused Deposition Modeling.
Product design is changing with advances in technology and outsourced manufacturing. The Art of Product Design spells out the future of design engineering.
AMD is set to launch the industry's first 16 GB workstation graphics card -- the W9100.
Samsung's 5th-generation Android-based Galaxy smartphone includes a fingerprint scanner, updated camera and display, and water/dust resistance.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service