Manufacturing In The USA

Horn USA believes in being involved in the manufacturing community. Membership in the PMPA as a technical member and in the ISMA has afforded us the opportunity to learn about the difficulties others in the manufacturing community have faced during the economic slowdown and what is being done about it.

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During the past few years, we have read articles and listened to people worry about the slowdown of manufacturing in the United States and about the exporting of manufacturing jobs to other countries. China has become the focus of this enmity, eclipsing Mexico, the previous frontrunner. Paul Horn GmbH, along with its North American subsidiary Horn USA, does not feel that importing is the correct approach to the market. Our philosophy has always emphasized manufacturing capability located where the product is being used. This is especially important for Horn as a tooling producer in the United States, where imperial (inch) standards are intermixed with metric standards.

In 1998, Lothar Horn, managing director of Paul Horn GmbH, took the plunge into the U.S. market by opening Horn USA, Inc. in Franklin, Tennessee. The idea was to create a centralized distribution point for quality grooving, parting-off and small boring tools for the U.S. market. In 2001, Horn USA was ready to begin producing its own tools for its home market. The idea was to create a smaller-scale version of the manufacturing plant in Tubingen, Germany, so Horn GmbH created a duplicate cell of machines to be placed in the Franklin plant.

Some may say we take a big risk in producing products and continuing to invest in expanding manufacturing capabilities. We think it would be risky not to continue this investment. Currently, 35 percent of items sold by Horn USA are produced in our manufacturing facility in Franklin. The goal is that, within the next several years, Horn USA will produce up to 90 percent of all product sold in the United States. In order to facilitate this goal, our parent company has committed to almost double the manufacturing capacity in Franklin during the next 18 months. This will allow Horn USA to produce a wider range of products in a reduced amount of time.

Horn USA has put in place an inventory management software system that has enabled us to analyze our costs, plan for inventory requirements via forecasting and further automate our internal processes. With this system, we will be able to better use our available capacity and provide a high rate of order fulfillment.

As we produce more products in the United States, our service level rises. We are able to provide better order fulfillment, faster turnaround on custom tooling and higher quality technical support. We have even provided emergency tooling production. Even the best-planned tool consumption and acquisition plan can be upset by unexpected issues. In these events, because we are manufacturing the product in the United States, Horn USA has been able to provide tooling literally overnight. The United States demands that business be done in a different manner than in Europe; 8-week delivery for special tooling is not acceptable. This may be even truer in the precision manufactured products industry, where our customers have limited time to obtain tooling and tooling is rarely standard. With the addition of new machines in the coming months, we anticipate turnaround to be reduced even further. We have also implemented a “Quick Delivery” program that allows for simple insert modifications within 1 week.

Horn USA believes in being involved in the manufacturing community. Membership in the PMPA as a technical member and in the ISMA has afforded us the opportunity to learn about the difficulties others in the manufacturing community have faced during the economic slowdown and what is being done about it. PMPA has proved especially useful with the technical listserve in providing access to expertise of a collective manufacturing community. The organization recently voiced concerns about and offered action plans relating to loss of manufacturing at a meeting with our legislators. We encourage all who have access to these organizations to participate and to use their services as much as possible.