CNC Machine Manufacturing in the USA

I try to hit a number of CNC machine related forums a few times a week.  I enjoy reading the insights, opinions, and suggestions of others on various forum threads.  As you can imagine a common topic of conversation is the state of manufacturing in the USA.

A CNC Turning Center in the FAME Lab in the Le...

A CNC Turning Center in the FAME Lab in the Leonhard Building at Penn State. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the  CNC machinists, operators, and programmers, to the set-up persons and CNC repairs tech, we take pride in knowing that just about any product made here state-side that lands in a persons hands has been machined at some point.  Manufacturing has also been one of the great mainstay’s of this country’s middle-class, and the common refrain for quite some time has been that manufacturing is dead. I often read the lament from forum poster’s that we’re a dying breed. While manufacturing has seen it’s shares of ups and downs, I believe it’s on the way up.  Again.  I believe it’s a fairly optimistic time. More and more companies are realizing that there are too many trade-offs by off-shoring their production.   More and more people are fore-going the common route of working for a company, purchasing a used CNC machine and other shop equipment and going it their own.  With the technological advances (3D printing and DIY CNC anyone?), coupled with a home grown college tuition system that seems bent on disenfranchising a whole generation, I’m seeing more and more young persons moving toward CNC programming and machining. A couple of articles I’d like to point you toward:

The Insourcing Boom

This is a very in-depth and excellent article describing our recent manufacturing past here in the states: the outsourcing boom, the decline in manufacturing jobs, and the subsequent realization that the trade-offs of outsourcing are many.  GE serves as a prime example in this article of realizing that outsourcing is the old, inefficient  and poorly imagined way of conducting manufacturing in the US.

Skilled workers needed to run high-tech CNC machines

Like the title says…skilled workers needed.  Us older guys are going to want to retire at some point.

Your Turn:

How about you?  Do you believe manufacturing, specifically CNC Machine manufacturing, in the USA is on the rise?  Believe we’re a dying breed?  What are your thoughts on the newest CNC up and comers?  Leave your thoughts below!