Popular Manufacturing Companies in Washington State

In Washington, you will find manufacturing industries like aircraft and missiles, chemicals, shipbuilding and other transportation equipment, metals and metal products, lumber, machinery etc. You will find other manufacturing companies like boats builders, trucks, space exploration equipment manufacturer, food processors, fruits, and vegetables and the makers of beverages, instrument manufactures, electro medical equipment, lumber and plywood manufacturer, computers peripheral manufacturers, construction equipment manufacturer, pulp and paper manufactures, printers and publishers manufacturer etc.

Why manufacturing is important to Washington State?

Manufacturing is the main component of Washington State economy. This industry provides for almost 13% of the total employment I the state. Manufacturing also creates a good amount of additional jobs in the supplier and distributor level. The manufacturing creates need that drives the service sector performance. It has a contribution of $26.6 billion to economy of the state. Manufacturing constitutes a good part of the state’s tax revenues. Manufacturing accounts for major export items.

In Washington State, manufacturing has rise and downturns. Manufacturing industry see it because of the market cycles in the economy. Aircraft and electronics are facing more competition from the world. You will find manufacturing spread all over the state, in different counties. The distribution is because of availability of power and less cost electricity. The aircraft and aerospace industries, aluminum, boat and shipbuilding facilities are located at the western part. Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser dominate Washington manufacturing. Combined they have 20 in-state facilities.

Boeing

The Boeing Company is an aerospace and defense corporation. It is the largest global aircraft manufacturer. In defense equipment manufacturing it stands at the second position. It is also the world’s largest civil aircraft company. Boeing was established in 1916 in Seattle. Boeing’s stock, listed in NASDAQ, is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Boeing has some interesting records in its history. Its 777-200LR while traveling from Hong Kong to London, on November 10, 2005, continued flying for 22 hour 42 minute, where it covered 11,664 nautical miles or 21,601 km. It was a demonstration of the capacity of the aircraft that Boeing makes.

Boeing also has a satellite base Internet Connectivity called as Connexion by Boeing, for the air travelers. But due to its high cost, it was not very successful and ultimately Boeing discontinued it. Boeing is trying to bring in some radical changes in the technology used in aircraft. The aim was to reduce fuel usage.Boeing was facing continuous competition from Airbus. The competition has reached such a position that now Airbus is competing at all the categories of aircraft that Boeing makes. There are many controversies related to Boeing. Some of them are the subsidy disputes with airbus, industrial espionage in Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) competition, unethical conduct in leasing of KC-767 etc.

Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation is the biggest computer technology corporation. It is a multinational company which dominates the operating system area in computer technology. About 76000 employees are working for it in the world. It is a high revenue grosser in the world. Microsoft develops software, license them and provide support for various software products for computers and such related devices. The main products from Microsoft that are popular in the world are Windows Operating Systems and Microsoft Office suite. Microsoft has its foot on other areas also. It has the MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia in its kitty.

In the computer hardware section, it has produced computer mouse and also home entertainment and gaming console like Xbox, Zune and MSN TV. Microsoft is the unquestionable leader in the software system for desktop computers. It is listed in NASDAQ. It offered its IPO (Initial Public Offering) in the share market which is continuously increasing in value since then. Microsoft was founded to develop and sell BASIC interpreters. Then in mid 1980s it made the popular MS-DOS. From then it just went on to do more and better. Microsoft has many controversies also. It was accused of monopolistic business practices, antitrust violations and software bundling. Microsoft also sells computer games for windows like Age ofEmpires,Halo and the Microsoft Flight Simulator series. Microsoft also markets hardwares like mice, keyboards, joysticks, and game pads, along with other game controllers.

WEYERHAEUSER

Weyerhaeuser is one of the largest pulp and paper companies in the world. It is a Multi national company which operates in 20 different countries like United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, China, Mexico, France, Ireland etc. Weyerhaeuser has the largest private softwood timberland. It is the largest distributor of wood products in North America. It was started in 1900, by Friedrich Weyerhaeuser.

Weyerhaeuser is not only doing business in lumber and wood, but now has more than 100 subsidiaries in different sectors like construction, real estate etc. The company has five major business segments Timberlands, Wood Products, Pulp and Paper, Containerboard Packaging, Real Estate. It produces wood products, papers, photographic films, absorbent products, containerboard, paper boxes, bags etc. It also makes homes and buildings. In the wood products section it manufacturers building materials for homes and other structures and distribute them. It produces recycled items from waste papers, boxes, newsprints. In 44 American states Weyerhaeuser has its offices that work on timbers. It has such offices in Canada and other neighboring countries. Imports of timber products are done from different countries like Malaysia, Chile, and Brazil.

Many of the Washington state counties’ economy depend on manufacturing for revenue and jobs. Washington manufacturing companies also has a problem of concentration in a few sectors like aircraft and aluminum. You can find out many reports stating the probable problem in the manufacturing in Washington State. But some others want to say that there is no problem at all. The sector will come out safe and will evolve in the process.

Who Has Keys to Your Castle?

One area of home security that is often overlooked, and one of the most visible, is the common key. Even if you are the owner of a new house, or the first tenant of your apartment, you cannot be sure that no one else has a key to your door.

Many times new locks are supplied to a building site that are keyed with special construction keys and pins. The theory is that when the builder turns the property over to the owner of the property, inserting and turning the owner key will trap the construction pins, rendering the construction keys useless. The reality is that not all projects receive locks that are construction keyed, some manufacturers do not offer the option, some builders may buy their hardware from a regular hardware store, etc.

Others who could have a key to your home include, the builder or a construction worker, real estate agent, ex owner or tenant, friend or relative of last owner or tenant, any of a dozen or so service people, or a neighbor who still lives next door.

The first thing you should do when moving into a new home, is have the locks recombinated by a professional locksmith. If you are renting or leasing, and the building owner or manager, cannot or will not assure you that the locks have been changed, do not move in.

Another area of concern is how you handle your keys. You should not have anything on your key ring that identifies you or has your address on it. If you feel this is necessary, see your professional locksmith, they can decode and record your keys, some will keep a record for you. If leaving your car at a parking or service facility, don’t leave any keys on the key ring, other than keys to the car, and don’t leave the trunk key, if you have any valuables in it.

If your keys are marked “Do Not Duplicate” or “Unlawful to Copy” are they safe and secure? People have been known to cover those markings with tape, liquid plastic, rubber key boots, etc. Not all persons who duplicate keys will look under these covers. The minimum wage clerk at the local variety store or hardware store cannot be faulted for not heeding those warnings. Some may even look at them as a challenge.

A good option to explore with your professional locksmith is the use of controlled distribution keys, or high security cylinders, along with controlled distribution keys. These systems feature keys that are not obtainable to key duplicators who are not contracted to purchase them. In some systems the actual keys are patented. One popular High Security, key control manufacturer asks the following questions in their advertising. “Do you give your keys to anyone?”, “Do you mind if they have copies made without your permission?” Unlike standard keys, high security keys are protected by patents and are only provided to authorized, contracted distributors or dealer locksmiths. The duplication of these keys cannot be done without your express permission. Some are so closely controlled that they are only duplicated by the manufacturer, and then sent to the authorized owner. Using this type of security for your keys, gives you the control over who has the keys to your castle.

The Housing Industry Is the Problem!

The spectacle of Barack Obama and his minions trying to come up with new ways to squander money that we don’t have on things that we don’t need is almost laughable. I say almost because it’s a great American Tragedy with the answer staring these people right in the face. It’s the Housing Industry, stupid! The Housing Industry contributes between 17 and 18% of the Gross Domestic Product, a staggering percentage that has been allowed to languish.

Let’s recap a bit. On October 3, 2008 President George W. Bush signed the Troubled Assets Relief Program. Its original intent was the purchase assets and equity from financial institutions in order to help alleviate the worst of the subprime mortgage crisis and assist the Housing Industry. The bill’s intention was to rehabilitate assets held by banks that were no longer viable. Instead, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson used TARP to strengthen institutions within the financial sector whether they wanted or needed the help. It appears that Henry Paulson threats were made to financial institutions who neither wanted to participate nor were interested in taking over other trouble financial institutions. According to a talking points memo obtained by Judicial Watch: “If a capital infusion is not appealing, you should be aware that your (FDIC) regulator will require it in any circumstance.” From a bill whose intention was to help the mortgage sector it became a bill whose main goal appeared to be to help “Wall Street” rather than “Main Street”.

Now, I don’t disagree with helping American financial institutions but the main lesson that the American people learned was that if you were “too big to fail” you would be assisted by the federal government, “bailed out” and saved. Interestingly, Lehman Bros., an archrival of Paulson’s former company Goldman Sachs, was allowed to slip into bankruptcy. We still don’t have an adequate explanation for that action. Meanwhile, non-financial institutions were allowed to convert themselves into banks in order to qualify for TARP assistance. The TARP program spawned a number of controversies that do not come within the purview of this post.

Those are just the preliminaries. The TARP bills original intention was to correct the problem in the housing industry by straightening out the mortgage crisis. That was a miserable failure. Today, almost three years later the American housing industry is in a shambles. New home construction is a disaster. Unless you are willing to sell your family’s principal asset for well-below market value your house will sit on the market well beyond a reasonable period. Banks are foreclosing on homes and then sitting on them because they won’t loan money on a reasonable basis. Everything that the politicians thought would be corrected by TARP has remained and even gotten worse.

The Housing industry is one of the main drivers of the U.S. economy. The new home construction side of the industry impacts a number of sectors and labor markets. Think about what makes up a new home. First we have architects and engineers. Then we have the Home Building foundation components: concrete, stone, steel and the workers who do these jobs. Then we have the wood framing which provides work for timber companies, sawmills, trucking firms, distributors, all of the workers and carpenters to build the frame. Some houses have brick exteriors which provides work for the brick makers and the masons who lay the brick; not to forget the truckers and distributors of said bricks. Roofing materials, siding, paint, wallboard, wall coverings, hardware and the workers who do these jobs are next. Then we have more skilled tradesmen and the items that they install: plumbers, electricians, plumbing fixtures, electrical hardware, lighting fixtures and water systems. The durable goods industry has been hit hard. People are not buying washing machines, stoves, refrigerators and the like. So workers are making them, truckers aren’t trucking them and distributors aren’t selling them.

You get my point. Job one is righting the housing industry in America. It may not be sexy like so-called “green jobs” or high-tech weaponry but without a healthy housing industry America will continue to have a sick economy. We need to spend what little money we have to correct this major problem. Without a healthy Housing Industry we will continue to have a huge hole in our economy with no hope of recovery.

Third Party Vs Original Equipment Manufacturer Products in Your Network

I. Saving money by purchasing third party components

When outfitting a new network or upgrading existing infrastructure, savvy buyers know that they can save themselves or their companies a great deal of money by purchasing expensive equipment secondhand. Yet when consumers are presented with the opportunity to more significantly reduce cost by incorporating third party hardware in the configuration, they often find themselves perplexed. Despite the clear economic advantage of third party equipment- in many cases third party products are sold for more than 70% less than the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or equivalent “approved” hardware1- a fear prevails that such third party equipment is orphaned, unsupported or generally inferior to the manufacturer certified options, and might even void the warranty for the entire network.

II. The purpose of the Original Equipment Manufacturer designation

To better understand the problem and to put it in its proper perspective it is necessary to explore the circumstances by which a part comes to be approved by the manufacturer and designated as Original Equipment Manufacturer(OEM). As the name suggests, the part in question is either the only specifically constructed part or, much more commonly, one of a specific list of parts which have been selected by the manufacturer for inclusion in a more complex system. The name also implies that these parts are custom built for the given application or even produced as part of the manufacturing process, but in reality this is very rarely the case. Most, if not all, manufacturers of durable goods for the retail market simply do not have any need or desire to create dedicated facilities for the production of each and every component that they integrate into the finished products. They are only interested in ensuring a uniformity of quality and effectiveness in the goods they intend to send to market carrying their brand, and to this end they choose the components which serve these needs with a maximum of dependability and cost efficiency. In order to facilitate uniformity in production and consistency for repairs and maintenance, the manufacturer compiles a list designating the parts and the vendors upon whom they rely to supply them. These happy designates are the approved or OEM equipment.

But is OEM necessarily better or more suitable? One must suppose that in a theoretically unlimited and free market vendors will always step forward to produce such valuable and useful goods at lower cost, and possibly even at superior quality. Indeed, the Illinois State Supreme Court seems to have determined that this is the case here. In litigation between a major automobile insurance company and its customers, this court found in 2005 that the insurance company did not act in breach of contract or in a fraudulent manner by arranging for the repair of damaged vehicles with non-OEM parts. Of course, there may be some unscrupulous suppliers who bring counterfeit and defective parts to market, compromising the valuable systems into which they are incorporated. There can be no doubt that consumers’ concerns might be allayed by the sight of the well regarded brand and the designated part which is clearly the correct component for the given application.

III. Manipulation of consumers to enrich manufacturers

Manufacturers obviously don’t create their approved OEM parts list solely out of altruistic concern for the welfare of their customers. By establishing a set catalog of parts and suppliers, they can leverage their vendors and bring down the costs associated with production. By ensuring that a given part is clearly specified and exclusively offered they also eliminate the guesswork in maintenance, which would ultimately complicate service issues and divert support resources. Most importantly, manufacturers of durable goods almost always set themselves up as the exclusive distributors of these OEM parts, effectively creating a monopoly2.

In the computer and networking industries, manipulation of the parts markets is more subtle and sophisticated. If only because of the proliferation of information effected by the growth of the internet, it has become difficult for manufacturers to entirely corner the market on components. Some have tried and have enjoyed limited success as a result of the power and reputation of their highly respected brands. In most cases third parties are allowed to distribute parts and are still designated as “approved” or OEM, which should not be surprising if one considers that almost none of the parts are anything other than third party to begin with. In fact, in many cases two identical parts, made by the same manufacturer, will be designated differently depending on whether or not they have been distributed through the agency of the manufacturer. What purpose, then, is served by the OEM appellation, and how does the manufacturer benefit? More importantly, when does a manufacturer of computer equipment or networking hardware cross the line that separates protection of the end user’s interests and predatory capitalism?

IV. Fear created among consumers that third party parts will void warranty

In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to more closely examine some of the specific tactics that might be employed by an avaricious manufacturer to compel customers to make use of only the parts explicitly endorsed. This creates an artificial shortage of products in the market, drives up prices, and restricts the avenues of distribution. In highly complicated and specialized arrays of equipment such as those found in electronic devices, especially network configurations, the manufacturer can exercise significant leverage by means of the conditional warranty. A warranty is a guarantee that a manufacturer makes to the end user that the manufactured product is free of defects, reliable, and serviceable in the event that trouble should arise. For consumers who rely heavily on their array of electronics, such a guarantee is absolutely critical to the operation of their computer networks and to their bottom lines. For a manufacturer to employ a vaguely worded or excessively restrictive warranty in a manner that coerces compliance with its particular interests is a very powerful tool. It is, in fact, so powerful that the United States Congress made it illegal to tie enduring warranty coverage to the ongoing purchase of designated goods or services. (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 1975) The same act prohibited companies from explicitly offering warranty coverage and then failing to provide that coverage by creating conditions on the warranty to effectively nullify it.

Despite these legal restrictions on the means and extent to which a vendor can mortgage his warranty protection to forced compliance of a consumer, it is all too common for the sales representatives of large manufacturers to suggest that failure to employ an OEM part will invalidate the warranty. Because the law clearly and explicitly forbids such business practices, the representative and the company will almost never put such a threat in writing; even if they do, they will couch it with so much ambiguity that it will never hold up legally. Unfortunately, even the suggestion that warranty service could be forfeited by failure to purchase the manufacturer’s chosen goods is enough to influence a great many otherwise savvy consumers to pay greatly inflated prices for OEM parts, further enriching sales representatives and their employers. Whatever their individual merits, it is absolutely fallacious and unlawful to contend that a warranty or service agreement should be contingent upon integration of exclusively OEM parts in the system.

Older posts »