Interesting article on Maglite and "Made In USA" federal bill

LeanBurn

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Many incan lights were 100% made in the USA.

Are there ANY LED that have complete made in the USA parts LED switch and all? In effect, does going to LED mean outsourcing?
 
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idleprocess

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I read an article on Maglite's woes with that state law many years ago. At the time I believe that the sticking point was the incandescent lamp being imported.

I'm surprised they don't take the approach of the automakers - "Made in the USA with domestically and globally-sourced components".
 

bykfixer

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At my work they have "buy America" clauses where certain things have to be made in the US. Manhole lids, steel rebar, water pipe etc. Yet there is a percentage built into the items so that when certain parts that are not available in the US the products being mainly US made allows it to qualify.
Maglite would be an example if we bought flashlights.

One item that surprised me was certain grades of liquid asphalt that binds the rocks together. There are some grades where the properties of the oil are only available from oil harnassed outside of the US. US crude cannot be turned into an asphalt binder that meets certain properties in some specific mixes designed for certain flexible properties when cold or stiffness when hot.

Anyway it's one reason SureFire Streamlight and some others continue to get certain contracts. They uniquely qualify to meet Buy USA clauses. That was all part of a Stimulous package began by Bush and continued by Obama back in 08.

I hope the bill by the Senator from Utah passes.
 
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ZMZ67

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At my work they have "buy America" clauses where certain things have to be made in the US. Manhole lids, steel rebar, water pipe etc. Yet there is a percentage built into the items so that when certain parts that are not available in the US the products being mainly US made allows it to qualify.
Maglite would be an example if we bought flashlights.

One item that surprised me was certain grades of liquid asphalt that binds the rocks together. There are some grades where the properties of the oil are only available from oil harnassed outside of the US. US crude cannot be turned into an asphalt binder that meets certain properties in some specific mixes designed for certain flexible properties when cold or stiffness when hot.

Anyway it's one reason SureFire Streamlight and some others continue to get certain contracts. They uniquely qualify to meet Buy USA clauses. That was all part of a Stimulous package began by Bush and continued by Obama back in 08.

I hope the bill by the Senator from Utah passes.

The federal law setting a uniform standard is probably a good thing as long as it doesn't undermine products made in the U.S. It seems like most light manufacturers are using at least a few imported components even if the majority of the light is made in the USA.
 

sgt253

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According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Made in USA” means that “all or virtually
all” the product has been made in America. That is, all significant parts, processing and labor
that go into the product must be of U.S. origin.

www.ftc.gov
 

bykfixer

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I wonder if Mag changed the phrase to "built in USA" if that would be ok. Or like some clothing and other items that say "assembled in USA"...

I bought a Streamlight that was built in USA from US and foreign parts. It was an early production unit that did not indicate any origin anywhere on the product, packaging or paperwork. They corrected the error in future production of it to state it was assembled in the US from both foreign and domestic parts.

I have not purchased anything new from SureFire so I don't know what their packaging states. But Maglite packages now state "A US manufacturer" under the little flag.
 

ElectronGuru

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Many incan lights were 100% made in the USA.

Are there ANY LED that have complete made in the USA parts LED switch and all? In effect, does going to LED mean outsourcing?

The problem isn't the led. Incan are direct drive. An LED can be made here and direct driven just as easily. The problem is dd isn't good enough any more. So you need modes and regulation and special features.

These take electric components, like you might find in phones and other consumer electronics. Many of these are made by the billion in specialized factories in specific countries.

It's beyond the resources of a single flashlight company to reproduce locally. Even if it wasn't 10M investment for a few thousand parts that otherwise cost half a cent each on the open market.
 

idleprocess

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The problem isn't the led. Incan are direct drive. An LED can be made here and direct driven just as easily. The problem is dd isn't good enough any more. So you need modes and regulation and special features.

These take electric components, like you might find in phones and other consumer electronics. Many of these are made by the billion in specialized factories in specific countries.

It's beyond the resources of a single flashlight company to reproduce locally. Even if it wasn't 10M investment for a few thousand parts that otherwise cost half a cent each on the open market.

Most supply chains are global. Apple latched onto this more than a decade ago and in accordance with the fundamental profit motives of all corporations, went to where they could get their work done for the cheapest, thus the apparent genesis of "Designed in the USA" that you see on almost everything.

Locally, I know of a few examples:
  • Texas Instruments makes the chips for everything from DSPs to simple digital logic circuits in their local fabs then ships them overseas for packaging; this is an arrangement they've had for decades. It allows them to protect their intellectual property while saving money on the packaging operation, which is where a lot of the cost is.
  • Motorola briefly performed final assembly of the first Moto X phone in Fort Worth - presumably this simply meant mating the finished chassis with the color accents chosen by the customer when the order was placed. It felt like a PR stunt and indeed subsequent versions of the phone were shipped in complete from overseas and the plant was shut after about 2 years.
 

turbotype

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So streamlight and surefire are 100% USA made from tail to lens?

I own 3 different Streamlight ProTacs and they all had "Made in China" on the package. I've read (on CPF I think) that the entire ProTac line is imported, but their other product lines are "Assembled in the USA".
 

snakebite

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it is virtually impossible to produce any electronic item 100% made in usa.
are there any producers of leds here?
or of mosfets,buck/boost ic's?
i doubt any led flashlight can be 100% usa produced.
 

Timothybil

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Back in the Dark Ages (late 80s) I worked for a major computer services company, and worked on a proposal for the US State Department for a world-wide computer network, including among other things laser printers. The RFP had the language that all ROMs, PROMS, EPROMS, and any other form of solid state electronic storage had to be produced and programmed in the US. Do you know how hard it was to just get a manufacturer to admit to where they got and programmed their printer controllers? We ran into a lot of that kind of thing.

BTW, remember the furor over $400 hammers. Simple explanation: Some lazy SOB helping write the RFP slaps on a MILSPEC number as the standard, instead of just saying 'meets reasonable and customary performance standards'. Do you know how expensive it is to prove a piece of equipment meets a MILSPEC? Provide some specified number of samples, each of which must pass some very rigorous tests to prove that the specified part won't shatter in Arctic cold, soften in tropical heat, and otherwise perform to standard when used and/or stored anywhere in the world. This is a needed standard for military gear, hence the name MILSPEC. But for a non-military outfit like the State Department where a $10 hammer from Lowes would be more than adequate applying a MILSPEC requirement is a joke. It's not vendors ripping off the government, it's government employees being lazy and not understanding the actual requirements of what they are asking to be sourced.
 

LeanBurn

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it is virtually impossible to produce any electronic item 100% made in usa.
are there any producers of leds here?
or of mosfets,buck/boost ic's?
i doubt any led flashlight can be 100% usa produced.

That...is the point I was getting at. Even with a primitive direct drive Dorcy 41-1218 5mm penlight, all components are made abroad. In moving to LED technology with all its features, modes etc, the flashlight is no longer a 100% in-house product. It went away with the direct drive incandescent light in the late.

Case in point, Surefire: http://www.surefire.com/surefire-is-made-in-usa

"Our sound suppressors, rifle magazines, hearing protection earplugs, 123A batteries, and pens are proudly Made in the U.S.A." All SureFire illumination products are designed, perfected, and manufactured in the USA with the finest materials and components sourced worldwide.

I see it over and over on many sites of assembled in/fabricated in the USA. There are no lights made in the USA, not even many incan bulbs:

"The semiconductor chips in LEDs are made in the U.S, and final assembly of the bulbs is often done here, according to Alex Boesenberg, manager of regulatory affairs for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, a trade group representing lightbulb manufacturers. But he adds that as LEDs are produced on a larger scale, manufacturing will likely take place wherever it’s most cost effective. The majority of CFLs are made in China and most incandescents are no longer made in the U.S."

Even my 1999 Maglite 2D incan...its bulb is made in Germany.


It is a stark realization when one looks into how much of an economy of a nation is outsourced.

 
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idleprocess

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BTW, remember the furor over $400 hammers. Some lazy SOB helping write the RFP slaps on a MILSPEC number as the standard, instead of just saying 'meets reasonable and customary performance standards'.
That or someone needed to funnel some budget into classified programs ;).
 

Timothybil

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That or someone needed to funnel some budget into classified programs ;).
That's not the way to do it. Money is funneled into classified "black" programs through entirely fictitious line items. You can be sure that if some idiot placed a MILSPEC in the RFP, that when the contract is granted there will be some inspector that sooner or later is going to want to see the certification that the object in question actually meets the MILSPEC, and if they are not satisfied, there will be testing done, and much wailing and gnashing of teeth if it doesn't pass.
 

bykfixer

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That's not the way to do it. Money is funneled into classified "black" programs through entirely fictitious line items. You can be sure that if some idiot placed a MILSPEC in the RFP, that when the contract is granted there will be some inspector that sooner or later is going to want to see the certification that the object in question actually meets the MILSPEC, and if they are not satisfied, there will be testing done, and much wailing and gnashing of teeth if it doesn't pass.

That would be my boss. "I am not paying for it until I see the certification." lol. She has had her windows smashed over line items she'd refuse to pay for. Yup there's been some teeth gnashing when they see she is the manager.
 

Jammer Six

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The kindest thing you can do to American manufacturing is encourage savage competition.
 

Timothybil

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That would be my boss. "I am not paying for it until I see the certification." lol. She has had her windows smashed over line items she'd refuse to pay for. Yup there's been some teeth gnashing when they see she is the manager.
At that point I think the DA or the Attorney General would need to get involved. That type of reaction pretty much guarantees that someone is not playing by the rules.
 

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