Executive Briefings

Is There a Manufacturing Renaissance in the U.S.?

Prospects are very bright for manufacturing in the U.S., says Raj Batra, president of the industry automation division at Siemens. Batra, who believes that the U.S. now offers a high-end, innovation-oriented manufacturing environment, cites 30 months of consecutive increases in the PMI index and growth in plant capacity utilization as signs that a renaissance is under way.

Speaking with ARC Advisory Group Andy Chatha at the 2012 ARC World Industry Forum in Orlando, Batra says these indicators go hand in hand with the fact that many companies have record levels of cash on their books "and the best thing to do with that money is to invest in their own operations." Also, he notes, there is external market pressure and capital market pressure to invest in manufacturing. "So manufacturing is much more strategic to the enterprise today," he says. "It is not the black-box technology that we saw in the mid 1970s, when it was in vogue to outsource manufacturing. Today we really see the U.S. arriving as a high-end, innovation-oriented manufacturing arena and we think the prospects for manufacturing in America are very bright."

Batra says he also see this trend reflected in the interests of Siemens customers. "We did a qualitative survey of 500 C-level executives and the singular point they are most focused on is increasing productivity through automation and energy efficiency," Batra says.

Batra notes that 75 percent of manufacturing costs are pre-determined in the product design phase. "Customers want and are moving toward a common environment for product design, production and supply chain," he says. "They want to view these three environments as an integrated whole."

Delivering this vision is where Siemens "can drive a paradigm shift in manufacturing," says Batra. He points out that to drive productivity enhancements, plants will have to modernize since most U.S. installations are dealing with legacy automation technologies that may be two decades old or more. "At Siemens we are harvesting our worldwide expertise and sharpening our strategic profile to focus very aggressively on the vertical industries we serve," Batra says.

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Keywords: Automotive, Chemicals & Energy, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing Planning & Execution Systems, Business Strategy Alignment, Global Supply Chain Management, ARC Advisory Group, Andy Chatha, 2012 ARC World Industry Forum, Investment In Manufacturing, Manufacturing Capital Expenditure, Automaton Investment

Speaking with ARC Advisory Group Andy Chatha at the 2012 ARC World Industry Forum in Orlando, Batra says these indicators go hand in hand with the fact that many companies have record levels of cash on their books "and the best thing to do with that money is to invest in their own operations." Also, he notes, there is external market pressure and capital market pressure to invest in manufacturing. "So manufacturing is much more strategic to the enterprise today," he says. "It is not the black-box technology that we saw in the mid 1970s, when it was in vogue to outsource manufacturing. Today we really see the U.S. arriving as a high-end, innovation-oriented manufacturing arena and we think the prospects for manufacturing in America are very bright."

Batra says he also see this trend reflected in the interests of Siemens customers. "We did a qualitative survey of 500 C-level executives and the singular point they are most focused on is increasing productivity through automation and energy efficiency," Batra says.

Batra notes that 75 percent of manufacturing costs are pre-determined in the product design phase. "Customers want and are moving toward a common environment for product design, production and supply chain," he says. "They want to view these three environments as an integrated whole."

Delivering this vision is where Siemens "can drive a paradigm shift in manufacturing," says Batra. He points out that to drive productivity enhancements, plants will have to modernize since most U.S. installations are dealing with legacy automation technologies that may be two decades old or more. "At Siemens we are harvesting our worldwide expertise and sharpening our strategic profile to focus very aggressively on the vertical industries we serve," Batra says.

To view video in its entirety, click here


Keywords: Automotive, Chemicals & Energy, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing Planning & Execution Systems, Business Strategy Alignment, Global Supply Chain Management, ARC Advisory Group, Andy Chatha, 2012 ARC World Industry Forum, Investment In Manufacturing, Manufacturing Capital Expenditure, Automaton Investment