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US metals die casters see business return from overseas

According to the North American Die Casting Association, US metals die casters, although facing challenges during tough economic times are seeing some business return from overseas. In a recent survey of US die casters, 78% reported that they have seen die casting parts business come back from overseas during the last two quarters. According to these reports, die cast components orders are returning to the US for 3 main reasons namely concerns about part quality, customer supplier proximity and overseas logistics. One die caster saw interest from OEMs wanting to bring some components orders back to US die casters because of offshore quality issues. It said that "One company has talked to us about bringing some parts orders back, particularly plated or painted parts. Poor packaging results in parts getting damaged during shipment."

Another die caster won some business because of both offshore quality issues and proximity to their customer. It said that "We have, within the last year, produced castings that were previously sourced offshore. It is our understanding that two magnesium castings we produce, which were previously sourced offshore, were brought back to the US for reasons of quality and proximity of the supply base." Another die casting official said that his company recently brought back about 500,000 zinc castings that were made in China. He said that "This occurred for several reasons. Metal costs fluctuated in China, and suppliers would not take orders at prices that had previously made them competitive. Adding increased transportation costs, you can see how the trend changed. At our plant, we remained tooled and had machine capacity at our US plant to be able to absorb the work without any capital outlay."

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