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LED vs. Incandescent lighting

  

With the changing technology, there is a lot of question as to what is the better choice when it comes to lighting. The main question is which is better; the new lighting option of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) or the well known Incandescent lighting that we all have become accustomed to. There are four main focuses in the argument of what is the better choice: the lifespan of the bulbs, the cost difference, how much power the different bulbs consume, and how much light they actually give off.

Life Span of the Lighting 

One of the strong arguments in favor of LED lighting is their longer lifespans. At just over forty times the longevity of incandescent lighting, the newer LED lights are quickly proving their worth to consumers. This longer lifespan makes it easier for consumers who would have been purchasing numerous amount of the incandescents throughout a year’s time. There is less concern by consumers that they will have to have a continuous supply of light bulbs on hand at all times.

Everyone has had that drawer or cupboard with boxes of light bulbs. They sit in waiting for the next time of darkness, that will come too soon. LED lighting can cut down on the amount of bulbs that consumers need to keep on hand by providing light for a longer amount of time. By installing the LED lighting and not have to worry about replacement for a longer time period there is a good reason to believe that LED lighting would therefore also be more cost-effective.

Price of Bulbs and Cost Lighting

The longer life of the LED bulbs implies that there will be fewer times of replacement. Over time this will save the consumer money. However, if you look at the initial cost LED lights are a noticeable amount more expensive than incandescent bulbs. Incandescent lights can usually be purchased for around $1 or even less in some stores. The $8 or more that LED lights can be found for can make consumers leery of savings.

The initial purchase can seem a frightening amount higher to consumers. However, when they break down the facts about LED bulbs they will more than willing to pay the extra amount. The lifespan of the bulbs already saves the consumer money by cutting back replacement costs. The consumer can also look at the price decrease with the decrease in their electricity use. In some cases the LED bulbs have been known to use five times less the amount of electricity than that of Incandescent bulbs. That decreased use of electricity can add up to a decrease in electricity bills.

Power of the Lighting

There is one major difference between an incandescent bulb and an LED bulb. The incandescent bulbs that everyone has become so accustomed to being purchased on their amount of wattage. While the LED bulbs are measured by their lumens. The idea is that the amount of power running through the bulb affects the brightness of the light. This, however, is only true with the incandescent lights and not the LEDs.

LED bulbs are made to use a lower wattage but have a higher output of lumens. Lumens are the more accurate way of measuring the strength of a bulb. Watts only measure the power running through a bulb, not the amount of light that is given off. LED light bulbs are able to function at a lower wattage. LEDs are able to maximize the amount of light that is given off for use. For example an Incandescent bulb that is rated to be at 150 watts would have the same amount of lumens that a LED bulb rated to be between 25 and 28 watts. The two bulbs are using very different amounts of power. They, however, are achieving the same amount of light that is being seen.

Looking at the differences between the bulbs it is easy to see the benefits of using LED over Incandescent. LED bulbs not only save money but attribute to saving energy. They do this all while doing a better job of lighting up the darkness. Comparing the two types of lighting shows the changes that technology is bringing to everyday objects.   

There are times when an American business is the supplier of products in other countries. When working with a foreign company there can be some difficulty with achieving the final outcome. A few of the issues that can arise are the misunderstanding of what is needed, instructing for installation, and  the difficulty of repairing products once they have left the U.S.

Communication Issues in Doing Business

Sometimes when working with other countries there is a large communication gap. Whether the communication is happening through emails or even over the phone there can be a lack in the understanding. These communication barriers can prevent the American company from fully understanding the needs of the foreign company.

They can also cost the foreign company more money on materials. This can happen if they don’t know how to ask for what they need. Sometimes in these cases the American company may make assumptions based off of older models of the product. However, if those assumptions are incorrect the entire product could be wasted. It can be difficult to bridge the gap of communication and can cause a lot of extra time and money.

Installation Issues

Another issue that can go along with that of communication is the problem of giving installation instructions. If there is a gap in communication there is also a large chance that there will be difficulties instructing the foreign country how to install the product. If the instructions get lost or translated incorrectly the foreign business will have a difficult time using the product.

When there is an issue with instructions there is often a need for a representative from the American company to go to the foreign location. Depending on the distance away from the American business this travel can have a high cost. Traveling will also take up valuable time that could be used to work on other projects. Instructional issues can all be traced back to the main issue of communication.  Both companies would be able to achieve all the stages of the production if there were no communication gaps.  

Repair Issues

Another issue that can come from communication issues is damage. Some damage may occur during installation. If the foreign company is not accustomed to working with a product and they attempt repairs the situation could be made worse. It is difficult to troubleshoot a problem when you are not in physical proximity to it.

Repairs for goods damaged in shipping will be something that can’t be planned for. If there are damaged pieces that no longer work in the product they need replaced. There is no guarantee that the receiving company would be able to preform these tasks or have the product line in house to change out broken pieces. This can be a difficult situation to fix with the manufacturer being in a different country.

Communication, Installation, and Repair issues are problems that can happen when doing business outside of America. Communication is the basis for the other two issues. When there is a language difference it is difficult for everyone to understand solutions to problems.

Offshoring occurs when a company chooses to perform some or all of their production in a country other than that of the United States. A company may choose to move their production elsewhere. This is under the understanding that their costs, mainly, concerning labor will be lower than that possible by staying in America. These companies don’t always understand the effect their actions will have on the country as a whole.

Offshoring Effects the Economy

When production is moved out of the United States the effect on the economy will not be noticed right away. In some cases a company can offshore their business in stages. These stages happen slowly. Moving the company to another country and leaving small pieces in America. However, when a company begins to offshore their production line it can affect the local economy of its original business.

Offshoring Decreases Jobs

There will be a decrease in American jobs in favor of a workforce that is more cost effective. Companies are forced to terminate some or all of the positions that their American workers hold. The termination of workers can increase the unemployment rates for that county. This increase in unemployment rates is not an ideal approach. It decreases the amount of monetary flow in smaller counties which will eventually affect the entire country.

Offshoring production heightens the economy in other countries. These employees spend their earnings in the other countries and those funds are not circulating throughout the U.S.. That decreases the amount of money that is available for use within our own country. This lack of circulated money doesn’t just effect the larger companies in the country. It will also make it more difficult for smaller, local businesses to thrive.

The residence will be less likely to spend their money on a more expensive product that is made locally if there is less money circulating around a county. Money is more likely to be spent on a product that is lower in quality, more importantly, lower in cost. The local businesses with dependence on the local traffic will be forced to shut down and increase unemployment in the community.  

Offshoring Effects Local Businesses

Offshoring does not just affect the larger businesses who move out of the country. It also affects the businesses that are still here. The flow of money connects all businesses and if that flow is moved elsewhere, over time there won’t be any more businesses in the United States. The American economy is dependent on keeping businesses and their employees here. By companies moving to other countries our own country is suffering.  

Falconer Electronics Inc. is seeing a strong upward trend in onshoring custom manufacturing. As a United States based contract manufacturer for over 30 years the company knows what works and what doesn’t. However, there are numerous challenges and threats to outsourcing manufacturing operations. Therefore, these threats increase when you outsource to foreign countries. Also, there are many hidden costs associated with outsourcing. These determining factors include the heavy cost of monitoring operations as well as quality control. There is also a lack of intellectual property protection. Along with an extended supply chain. Consequently, these are all reasons a company would be better off onshoring custom manufacturing of their products instead of offshoring them.

Benefits of Onshoring Custom Manufacturing

These positive trends with manufacturing operations returning to the US hold great promise. Especially for US manufacturers. The outsourcing of production abroad to foreign countries have negative trends. Therefore, terms such as onshoring, reshoring, and redesign manufacturing are generating a new buzz. Onshoring drastically improves lead times. It also cuts inventory levels. For us, at Falconer Electronics Inc. it is crucial to be located close to our vendors as supply chains shrink.

Like Falconer Electronics other companies in the US are finally realizing the many benefits to manufacturing products stateside. However, this is after decades of losing US manufacturing jobs. The majority of which went to lower cost countries such as China. Wage gaps are also shrinking between China and the United States. Right now the US offers a superior infrastructure. Also, the US is superior in terms of automation, education, information technology, and transportation.

Perks of Onshoring

Cutting Back on Concerns

The products and services an onshoring custom manufacturing business offer effect every aspect of the company. Everything from their strategy, supply chain, staffing, and operations are affected. Control over the protection of intellectual property is another one of the many concerns. Also, there is a huge vulnerability by relying on foreign suppliers. Meanwhile, there is also the threat of stolen proprietary information and processes. Therefore, causing devastation to a company. However, a company has more control to all of these aspects when they choose onshoring compared to offshoring.

No Heavy Cost of Monitoring Operations and Intellectual Property

You still want to be sure that the work is getting done correctly and on time. Especially when you are not in the same area as your operations. Also, you want to ensure your intellectual property is safe. How do you do this when offshoring? You will have to ensure you know what is being done there. This can mean hiring someone that you trust to run the offshored facility. It may also mean you will have to run the facility yourself.

Therefore, you would have to spend the extra amount to get a manager into that facility. Or at even greater cost moving your entire life to the new area. Whereas if you had your operations in the same place you are located you could save either of those costs.

Quality Control in Manufacturing

Quality control is another serious issue. Separating manufacturing and product development can be extremely detrimental. Managerial focus when operations are halfway around the world is a significant disadvantage. At Falconer Electronics, we pride ourselves on producing top quality printed circuit boards (PCB). We also take pride in our wire harness assembly.

Reliable Skills and Knowledge

We have had many clients experience unacceptable products from foreign suppliers. Therefore, failing to meet our customer’s standards. Falconer Electronics has a history and in-depth knowledge of Circuit Boards. We also have a long history with electronic assemblies from subsystems to complete systems assemblies. Our customers have been able to rely on us. Furthermore, we have a history of repairing products that have been imported. By repairing these products, we are able to show our superior knowledge and skills. Even when working on pre-existing products. We have found that our customers greatly cherish the reliability and high quality work our team provides.

Onshoring Custom Manufacturing: Circuit Boards